Monday, December 31, 2007

Upcoming Trout & Fly Fishing Seminars in Tampa

There are two seminars during the first week of January for trout fishing and fly fishing enthusiasts.

The first is a free fly fishing seminar hosted by the Tampa Bay Fly Fishing Club. Captain Pat Damico will share information about fly fishing in Patagonia. The seminar will be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (January 2nd, 2008) at Compton Park Recreation Center at Tampa Palms. The club welcomes new members, also teaches tying flies at no charge.

The second is a free trout fishing Thursday at 7 p.m. at Jerry Ulm Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep center. This seminar is hosted by Rattlesnake Point Outfitters. The address is 2966 N. Dale Mabry in Tampa.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spotted Seatrout Season Reopens January 1st in Florida!

After two months of closure, the spotted seatrout season will reopen in the southern half of Florida on January 1st, 2008.

The maximum daily bag limit for spotted seatrout in these areas is four fish per person. In all Florida waters north and west of these areas, the daily limit is five fish per person. All spotted sea trout must be 15-20 inches to keep them, but anglers may keep one spotted sea trout larger than 20 inches as part of their daily bag limit.

There are a few rules you anglers should be aware of:
  • Multiple hooks with live or dead natural bait are not allowed
  • Snagging or snatch hooking spotted seatrout is not allowed.
  • Spotted seatrout may be taken only with hook, line gear and cast nets and must be landed in a whole condition.
Artificial baits like plastic shrimp or swimbaits will work, but anglers will definitely do better on live shrimp.

Spotted seatrout are currently active in the Gulf along the West Coast. For the last decade, one of the best trout areas in the state has been St. Joseph Sound,the shallow, grassy basin stretching roughly from Anclote Key south to Clearwater. The fish are typically found anywhere from 10 feet off the island to 50 feet out.

The spotted seatrout fishing season will close again during the month of February in northeast and northwest Florida waters.

For more information about spotted seatrout fishing in Florida (including the best fishing holes), click here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ice Fishing in Cleveland Metroparks

Several Cleveland Metroparks were stocked with trout this week for the winter ice fishing season. However, the ice is still too thin for walking on. But you should be able to fish from shore or piers.

Of the 1,800 pounds of trout planted in lakes this week, Wallace Lake received the Lakes receiving the most (800 pounds) - including some brown trout. The remaining trout were planted in Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, and Judge's lakes. Salmon eggs, power baits, and jigs tipped with grubs are just a few baits these trout will hit well.

Local rivers are reporting good trout fishing, including steelhead trout fishing. Excellent reports have been received from the Vermilion and Rocky rivers and from the Chagrin and Ashtabula rivers and Conneaut Creek. The Grand River is finally shaping up as well, and should be in fine condition in a couple of days.

Fly fishers are casting a wide variety of egg patterns, especially sucker spawn flies, as well as nymphs. Some of the largest steelhead trout of the winter have been caught in recent days from the Rocky River.

For more information about trout fishing in the Cleaveland Metroparks, click here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Trout Fishing Tournaments on Lake Jocassee

Once again, the Jocassee Outdoor Center in Salem, S.C. is sponsoring a series of four trout fishing tournaments on Lake Jocassee.

The first trout fishing tournaments is scheduled Jan. 12th, 2008. The remaining tournaments are scheduled for Feb. 9th, March 8th, and April 12th.

Entry fee is $50 per angler for the first two tournaments, $35 for the March event and $25 for the finale. Entrants also have the option of putting into a pot for the largest trout weighed in each of the tournament days.

For more information, visit the Jocassee Outdoor Center's web site or phone 864-944-9016.

Jocassee also has a trout club which is open to everyone interested in conserving, protecting, and improving the trout fishery at Lake Jocassee.

For more information about Lake Jocassee, click here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fly Fishing Clinics in North Carolina

If you live in or near Fayetteville, North Carolina you might like to take advantage of the fly fishing clinics being offered at the John E. Pechmann Education Center. The clinics are scheduled for Jan. 12, Jan. 26, Feb. 2 and Feb. 16. The first three clinics are open to first-time participants only. The last clinic will be for anglers with advanced fly-fishing skills.

Additional clinics are set March 1 and March 8 for Boy Scouts seeking to earn fly-fishing merit badges.

If you wish to attend a clinic, you must pre-register and pay a $5 fee. Clinics are limited to 40 participants. To register phone 910-424-6134.

Fishing equipment will be available for those who need it.

For more information, visit the North Carolina Wildlife web site.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing

If you're still looking for Christmas gift ideas for the angler in your life, you might want to check out the book, The Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishing (the Freshwater Angler).

I recently purchased a copy of the book and was quite impressed by the depth of information contained in it. It's one of those books that every angler would appreciate having in their library. I personally will be picking up a couple of more copies for my nephews.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

2008 Changes to Kansas Fishing Regulations Online

Printed copies of the 2008 Kansas Fishing Regulations Summary won't be available until early January, but anglers should be aware of several new regulations that take effect Jan. 1, 2008.

Some of the changes include reduced fees youth trout, paddlefish and the 24-hour fishing license. Other changes affect gigging (i.e., spear fishing), length and creel limits, and more.

Changes affecting trout fishing in Kansas include:
  • Willow Lake in Tuttle Creek State Park has been added to the list of waters where a trout permit is required for all anglers from Oct. 15 through April 15; and
  • Lake Shawnee in Shawnee County requires anglers fishing for or possessing trout to have a trout permit Oct. 15-April 15.
  • A 20-inch minimum length limit and one-fish creel limit on brown trout has been established in the Mined Land Wildlife Area;
  • Youth 15 and younger no longer have to possess a trout permit to fish during the trout season in designated trout waters, but there is a daily creel limit of two trout for those youth (unless they purchase a trout permit, which allows a full daily trout creel limit);
You can read the rest of the 2008 Kansas Fishing Regulation Changes by clicking here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trout Make a Daring Escape!

This story is too good not to share. Hatchery trout were recently caught on photograph making a daring escape from the hatchery (no kidding!).

To see the photo and read the full story of the brown trout making their escape, click here.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Trout Stocked at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

533 Trout were stocked Friday at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center into a new pond beside the Hart-Morris Conservation Center as well as into the older 1.5-acre casting pond (which got 995 trout). Trout will continue to be stocked through the winter months.

The new pond (which also has a fishing pier), has plenty of room around it for backcasts, making it ideal for fly fishing. In addition to rainbow trout, the pond also has largemouth bass in it.

Wet flies such as Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Soft Hackles and Dave’s Red Squirrel work well. Effective streamers include olive or black Wooly Buggers, Zonkers, Marabou Muddlers and Black-nosed Dace patterns.

Fishing is included with admission to TFFC, and no license is needed. TFFC also provides bait and tackle. Anglers who wish to keep trout must pay $5 for the opportunity to harvest up to five fish.

For more information, visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fishing Regs Change December 10 in Minnesota

If you live in Minnesota, you should know that some of the fishing regulations will change on December 10. These regulations affect ice fishing, handling fish, and fishing for certain species of fish. But some of the changes affecting trout fishing include:


All lakes in Aitkin County and Blue Lake in Hubbard County are open to winter trout fishing.


While on or fishing waters with size restrictions, all fish for which the size restriction applies must have their heads, tails, fins and skin intact and be measurable except when a person is preparing and using such fish for a meal.


When packing fish, labels identifying the fish must include the name of the lake where the fish was caught and the size of each of the fish that are regulated under a special size limit.


Anglers older than 16 do not need a license from Feb. 16-18, 2008, if they are accompanied by a child younger than 16 and are actively participating in Take A Kid Ice Fishing Weekend.

For a more complete list of fishing regulation changes in Minnesota, click here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

2008 Ohio Trout Lottery

It's that time of year again for anglers to send in their application for the 2008 Ohio Trout Lottery. This lottery is hosted by the Department of Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife and gives anglers an opportunity to fish a controlled section of Ohio's Cold Creek - A half-mile section of the creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County.

However this angling opportunity is limited to a certain number of anglers and selected dates between March 31 and October 31st in 2008. Lucky anglers will be chosen through a special lottery.

Anglers interested in fishing the stream must submit an application form and a non-refundable $5 application fee to the Division of Wildlife, 2054 Morse Rd, G-1, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693 between December 1, 2007 and January 31, 2008 in order to be eligible for the random drawing. The online application fee is $3.

For more information about the 2008 Ohio Trout Lottery, click here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Speckled Trout Fishing in Mississippi Improving

Fall has always been one of the best times of the year for trout fishing. And Thanksgiving weekend brought a cold front across much of the country - which caused trout fishing action heat up even more!

Speckled trout fishing in Southern Mississippi continues to improve thanks to this recent cold front. Below is the fishing report recently published in the Sun Herald.

As water temperatures plunged below 70 degrees, speckled trout and redfish are searching for bait from Moss Point to Bay St. Louis with the majority of the action taking place around deep drop-offs and bends in the rivers.

The only holdback has been dealing with the effects of rainfall - before Thanksgiving and after. In some places, the smaller bodies of water will be murky.

When this happens, look for cleaner water in the main rivers and bays that cycle muddy water out quicker with low and high tides.

With that in mind, places like the old Kremer Marina in Gulfport and Biloxi's Big Lake should be good.

In Hancock County, fishing remains solid off the Jourdan River near I-10 and back south toward the Bay of St. Louis for trout. In Harrison County, Bernard Bayou, Parker's Creek and the Industrial Seaway should have trout.

The Pascagoula River, Mary Walker Bayou, Sioux Bayou and the Singing River have been solid all the way from the interstate south to Northrop Grumman.

Other top spots in Jackson County are Fort Bayou - just east of the bridge on Washington Avenue - and the mouth of Graveline Bayou.

Two of the top baits for Graveline are live croakers and small minnows suspended underneath a popping cork.

Live shrimp should be available at bait shops through the end of the year. Small pogies and finger-size mullet are plentiful in the bays and rivers for those anglers using brill nets.

Slow-trolling using plastic jigs and slow-sinking lures will become more productive in December.

To read the entire fishing report which also covers redfish fishing, click here.

For more speckled trout fishing tips, click here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Heritage Pond Stocked with Trout

Heritage Pond on the north side of Dubuque was scheduled for stocking yesterday. It's the first of three stockings scheduled. More than 1,500 catchable size rainbow trout were planted in the first stocking.

These stockings are part of an initiative by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to provide trout fishing opportunities through the Thanksgiving holiday.

More stockings are planned for January and March.

For more information about trout fishing in Iowa, click here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fall Trout Fishing in Arizona

Fall trout fishing continues to be excellent in Arizona. I've been taking my nephews, their friends, and others out fishing at Lynx Lake a lot this season. My youngest nephew is 5 now and old enough to really enjoy trout fishing on his little Jack Sparrow fishing pole.

Since Fall is one of the best times of the year to be out trout fishing, now is a good time to take the kids out for a day of fishing! It's a lot easier to keep kids focused on trout fishing when they're catching trout.

Here are some photos from some of this year's Fall trout fishing excursions.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trout Fishing Opens on Madison County Lake Next Friday

Madison County Lake (near Huntsville, Alabama) will open for trout fishing the day after Thanksgiving.

Anglers ages 16-64 must have a valid Alabama fishing license and a daily lake permit - both of which can be purchased at the lake store. Bait and rental equipment also are available at the lake store. The lake is open on weekends until Feb. 1 from daylight to dark.

Stockings will be a bit different different this year. The lake will get its usual 3,000 pounds of trout from a Georgia hatchery, but this year there will be several smaller stockings instead of three large ones. This should give anglers more opportunities to catch trout over the whole season.

For more information about trout fishing on Madison County Lake, click here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Trout Fishing Tip #2 - Watch Where Trout are Rising

It may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people will sit there watching trout rise or jump out of the water for insects and never move try and cast their line into that spot.

Figuring out where trout are hanging out is half the battle. But once you do figure it out, you can improve your chances of catching them by casting your line into that spot. Trout are lazy fish - they don't want to work hard for a meal. So if you present your offering to them, you have a better chance of getting them to take it.

But watching trout rise (or jump) is important for another reason. In addition to telling you where trout are - it also tells you that they're feeding near the surface of the water. And if you're lake fishing - this information is especially important!

Lakes are usually deep and so there are different feeding zones. As the day progresses, trout may change feeding zones. When you see them rising (or jumping), you know they're actively feeding near the water's surface - so you'll want to keep your bait near or close to the surface of the water (in other words, you don't want to be bottom fishing deep in the lake when trout aren't there).

Watching trout rise is another of those telltale signs that gives you a couple of bits of information which can in turn help you choose the right fishing technique.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trout Fishing Tip #1 - Watch the Birds!

Osprey Trout FishingOne of the biggest keys to successful trout fishing is being observant. There are usually telltale signs around you that will give you an advantage of how and where to catch trout.

Watching the birds is one of these telltale signs. Birds have an uncanny ability to spot trout in the water from the air! If you pay attention to the section of water they're flying over and where they're swooping down to grab fish, you'll know where the trout are!

And if you know where the trout are hanging out, you'll have a better chance of catching them!

You'll notice in the image above, that this Osprey has a trout in his claws. I took this picture a few weeks ago at my while I was fishing at Lynx Lake. I watched as he swooped down and grabbed the trout from the lake. By being observant, I was able to stay in touch with where the trout were hanging out in the lake that day and make sure our kids took home their bag limit.

Watching the birds (as well as the rest of your environment) is important when trout fishing. Being observant of these little telltale signs will make you a better trout angler!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Brook Trout Fishing Secrets

Brook trout are fall spawners so many trout anglers consider this to be the best time to catch them. And since brook trout need cool, clean streams in order to spawn, you can often find them in making their way into tributaries this time of year.

Like other trout species, brook trout like to hang out near boulders, logs and other structures that provide cover and security. They feed on worms, grasshoppers, and other insects.

When fishing in lakes, try trolling near shore with worms or spinners tipped with worms. Salmon eggs, Wooly Buggers, and dark colored nymphs are also effective. Corn is also effective on hatchery brook trout.

Artificial flies are also work well when fishing for brook trout – especially dry flies, streamers and nymphs that imitate natural food sources.

Keep in mind that of all the trout species, brook trout are usually pretty small and if fishing in streams or small rivers, you’ll need to use light tackle (2-4 lb test). In lakes, you can usually get away with using 4-6 lb test line.

Although most brook trout are pretty small, there have been some amazing trophy-size brookies caught. In 2006, an angler in Manitoba caught a 29 inch brookie. Although this catch would have most likely given him the world record, he released it after snapping a few photographs - thereby eliminating his chance of a world record. However, in 2007, the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame awarded this angler a catch and release record.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Struggling to Catch Trout - Try Trout Attractant!

Often times when I'm trout fishing my favorite lake, I'll spend the day reeling trout after trout while others around struggle to hook one. We may even be using the techniques (shore fishing with powerbait on a sinker) ... yet I'll catch trout, and they won't.

Sound familiar? Here's one of my trout tips for you ...

What these folks often don't know is that I'm also using trout attractant - which can sometime mean the difference between a good day at the lake and a bad one.

Like it or not, we have a human smell. And this human smell is often transferred to your line and bait as you handle them. If you're a smoker, it can be even worse. One of the ways to fix this problem is to put a dab of trout attractant on your leader and bait.

You can buy the stuff in any sporting goods store (even in Wal-mart). Attractant is specially designed for different types of fish (trout, bass, game fish, etc.). You'll either want the trout formula or the one for live game fish.

Although you can "spray" this stuff on your bait, I like to remove the cap and use the tube attached to the lid to wipe attractant on my leader and bait (sometimes, I'll even dip my bait into the bottle).

Trout attractant gives your offering a bit of edge over other angler's. If you're struggling to catch trout, you might want to pick up a bottle and give it a try!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fall Trout Fishing Fun!

In the past two weeks, I've made several trips to Lynx Lake in Prescott, Arizona to enjoy the fall trout fishing action. I've been teaching my nephews and their friends how to trout fish ... so we've taken full advantage of their days off school.

As usual, we've managed to walk away with our daily bag limit on each fishing trip. But in addition to sharing our boy's excitement when they reel in their catch, one of the more interesting things to me is watching others around us get skunked.

It doesn't take long before they start moving in closer to us (thinking we've found a secret trout hole), and eventually they start asking our secret - of which I'm always happy to share (especially when there's kids involved).

Anybody can bait a hook and throw it into a lake and wait for trout to swim by. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But the good anglers are always paying attention to the little things .... such as outdoor temperatures (especially water temps), where trout are rising, and other things.

These are the things that separate intermediate trout fishers from advanced ones. If you want to be a successful trout fisher, you need to understand these things and adjust your fishing tactics accordingly. And the longer your fishing day, the more changes you may have to make.

Fall is one of the best times of the year to be out trout fishing. Water temperatures are cool, and so trout are usually actively feeding near the surface. Pay attention to where they're rising (or jumping). That will tell you where they're feeding - and if you look closely, you may even see what they're feeding on!

Trout are lazy fish - they don't want to work hard for a meal. So if you can get your baited hook to them (rather than wait for them to swim by and find it), you'll have a greater chance of catching trout.

For more trout secrets and tips, check out the "Trout Fishing Tips" eBook. Take advantage of the fall trout season while you can!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trout Stockings Delayed in New Jersey

Dry weather and low stream flows have resulted in another postponement for trout stockings in New Jersey. As a result, the 16 lakes originally scheduled for fall trout stocking have been rescheduled for October 31st and November 1st.

A total of 20,000 brook, brown, and rainbow trout averaging 14 to 16 inches, and weighing 1½ - 2 pounds, will be distributed in 16 streams and 16 lakes and ponds statewide. In addition to these trout, approximately 1,000 broodstock trout (two and three-year old rainbow trout, averaging 17 - 18 inches) will be planted as well.

The older broodstock trout noticeably larger. This is the second year that broodstock trout will be planted in the Fall in an effort to give anglers the opportunity to catch a big one!

For more information about the trout stockings in New Jersey, click here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Only a Few More Days Left of Fishing at Lake Pardee

On October 28th, Lake Pardee the 2007 fishing season will come to a close! This means you have less than one week left to enjoy the fall trout fishing at Lake Pardee!

After that you'll have to wait for the 2008 fishing season, which will begin on February 2, 2008.

Fore more information about fishing at Lake Pardee, click here.

Winter Trout Season Opens November 1st in Oklahoma

The Winter Trout Fishing Season will open on November 1st in Oklahoma! This means that you'll be able to fish for rainbow trout in the following areas:
  • Lake Pawhuska - This 96-acre lake is about three miles west of Pawhuska. Trout season runs Nov. 1-March 31. During that time, the City of Pawhuska waives the City fishing fee.Quartz Mountain - The designated trout area directly below the dam at Lake Altus-Lugert. Trout season runs Nov. 1-March 15.
  • Lake Watonga - This 55-acre lake lies within Roman Nose State Park. Trout season runs Nov. 1-March 31.
  • Lake Carl Etling - This 159 acre lake is located within Black Mesa State Park in Cimarron County. Trout season runs Nov. 1-April 30.
  • Blue River - The Blue River trout area is located within the Blue River Public Fishing and Hunting Area near Tishomingo. Trout season runs Nov. 1-March 31. Bank access and wade fishing is available throughout the area.
  • Robbers Cave - Located in Robbers Cave State Park, the Robbers Cave trout fishery is located directly below Carlton Lake Dam to the southboundary of the park. Trout season runs Nov. 1-March 15. Bank access and wade fishing is available anywhere within the state park boundaries.
In addition to these areas, you can also catch trout year-round at the lower Mountain Fork River and the lower Illinois River.

For more information about trout fishing in Oklahoma, click here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall Trout Fishing in Utah

If you're looking to take advantage of the Fall Trout Fishing season, there's plenty of good trout action in Utah right now ...

Trout in Utah's northern streams are hitting streamers, small nymphs and Rapalas. Some of the better fall streams include the Green, Provo, Weber, Ogden, Blacksmith, Strawberry, Currant Creek, Huntington Creek, Diamond Fork and the Price River.

Fall lake trout fishing is peaking right now at Flaming Gorge and Bear Lake.

Strawberry remains hot, with fish hitting most jigs or lures all around the reservoir. Scofield, Jordanelle and many other waters are also very good.

You can view Utah's Division of Wildlife and Resources' fishing hot spots online.

For more information about fall trout fishing in Utah, click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top Fly Fishing Mistakes

This morning, I read an interesting article listing the top mistakes fly fishers make. The article was written by John Berry - Arkansas Fly Fishing Guide.

According to Berry, the most common mistakes he sees are:
  • Casting too much line - which results in casting beyond trout feeding zones, not being able to detect strikes or set the hook.
  • Lack of Line Control - which results in too much slack or drag in the line. If there's too much slack in the line, you can't set the hook (and can therefore lose fish). And if there's too much drag in the line, your fly won't look natural, and fish will be turned off.
  • Improper Rigging - which often in poor or unnatural fly presentation. One of the most common mistakes here is working with too short a leader/tippet.
  • Not Checking Your Fly Often Enough - which can result in a couple of different problems. When you're new to fly casting, it's easy to lose your fly while casting. It's a good idea to check that this isn't happening to you. Another common problem is allowing weeds and other debris to stick to your fly (which makes it look unnatural).
Most of the errors described above are seen with new fly fishers. But many trout anglers tend to get a bit lazy about checking the fine details of their gear or technique and may also experience some of these problems as result.

Keeping these mistakes in the back of your mind while out fishing, will help prevent you from making the same ones.

You can read John's full article on the top fly fishing mistakes, by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Free Fly Casting Lessons in the UK

Looking for something to do with the kids over Fall Break? If you happen to live near the Albury Park Fishery (near Guildford, Surrey) you might want to consider taking advantage of the free fly-casting lessons.

October 22-26th, the Albury Estate Fisheries will be offering free 30-minute fly casting lessons followed by a trip to the lake to catch a trout. While the casting lessons are free, there is an £8.00 fee for the fish ticket.

Fishing equipment will be provided, but you're welcome to bring your own. You'll also want to bring polarised sunglasses, a baseball cap, and a linen handkerchief.

Although this event is mostly aimed at teaching kids how to fly cast, it's open to all ages.

For more information or to book a lesson, contact Tony Hern at Albury Estate Fisheries on 07976 810737 or Email:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Trout Fishin' Fun!

I spent most of last week taking my nephews and other friends trout fishing. The kids were on Fall break from school, so we spent most of the week on the lake.

Fishing with kids is always a lot of fun for me (despite all the tangled lines). I love watching their joy and excitement as they're reeling in fish. And I'm always happy to to take time to capture the memories on film!

I've been working to teach our boys the secrets of trout fishing - and so it's always exciting for me when they call it a day after catching their bag limit. They go home proud, knowing they're becoming skillful young anglers.

Despite the great week we had on the lake, we watched other anglers around us struggle. Although some of these anglers were fishing right next to us, they just couldn't seem to catch trout.

Several frustrated anglers came over to ask what our secret was. Each time, I was happy to show them how our poles were set up and offer some bait and fishing tips. As I explained to others, the real trick to trout fishing is understanding trout - what their needs are and how their environment affects them.

While all of these secrets are shared in my "Trout Fishing Tips" eBook, I did my best to condense the information into a few verbal tips.

Of course, I did my best to help other kids on the lake too by re-rigging poles and offering them some of our bait. And it was exciting to watch to watch those efforts pay off as they too started catching trout.

Our boys enjoyed their Fall break trout fishing adventures. Each day became a competition to see who could catch the most trout.

My oldest nephew (pictured on right above) usually caught the most trout - but my youngest nephew (also pictured above in the middle) usually caught the largest trout! His biggest for the week was an 11.5 inch rainbow trout on his little Jack Sparrow fishing pole!

My nephew's best friend (pictured above on left) caught his first fish ever that particular day (not to mention several more). He was so excited that we told him to take the all the trout home and tell his family he was providing dinner that night!

The whole week was like this! We caught our bag limit every outing - and captured many new memories on film.

Fall is one of the best times to be out trout fishing due to cooler water temperatures. And since trout are easier to catch this time of year, it's a great time to get the kids out fishing. Enjoy it while you can!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How To Catch Your Limit While Trout Fishing Lakes

Lynx Lake is one of the nicest fishing lakes in Prescott, Arizona. I spent much of yesterday fishing there with family and friends ... and despite the water levels being very low (lowest I've seen in 30 years), we were still able to catch our limit of rainbow trout.

And of course, as we continued to reel in trout after trout, folks continued to ask us to share our secret - which we were happy to do. But few realized that as the weather changed, so did our fishing tactics - which is what allowed us to keep catching trout when others weren't.

We started off the morning fishing spinners - which worked well. The water was cool and the trout were feeding on the surface. So spinner were very effective.

But by about 10 am, the sun was starting to get a bit warm. As we took our off jackets, we knew water temperatures were rising and trout were no longer feeding on the surface of the water. So we put away the spinners and rigged the poles for bottom fishing.

My favorite bottom fishing rig consists of adding an egg sinker above a snap swivel, and then adding an 18-20 inch leader with a treble hook to the swivel. I like to use the 1/2 oz. egg sinkers because it gives me greater casting distance. We were also using 6-lb test line.

There were three of us fishing yesterday, and some of us used nightcrawlers and some of us used powerbait (all colors). Another thing we did was to add a bit of trout attractant to the leader and bait (many anglers don't think to do this).

Bottom fishing worked very in the late morning and early afternoon hours. And because we were able to recognize when trout changed their feeding zone, we were able to keep catching fish (when others weren't).

These are the kind of secrets that I've revealed in the "Trout Fishing Tips" eBook. Learning to recognize changing weather and feeding patterns is one of the biggest secrets of trout fishing.

Not only did we catch our trout limit yesterday, but we had a fun watching the bald eagles catch their trout too. And I was even fortunate enough to catch some great photos of the eagles. You can check out some of our pictures below.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Extended Trout Fishing in Eastern Sierra Nevada

No need to put away your fishing gear come November 15th! The trout fishing season has just been extended for three prime trout fisheries in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

So come November 16th, you can keep fishing in the East Walker River, Hot Creek, and the Upper Owens River ... and you can keep fishing until November 15th, 2008!

The change was made for two reasons. First, it was determined that closing these waters didn't help the fishery any. And second, it was determined that by keeping them open all year, might help relieve some of the fishing pressure in other regions while providing greater angling opportunities.

This year is a test, to see how things go. So enjoy it while you can!

There are special fishing regulations in effect for these trout waters, including the use of barbless hooks and artificial lures. So be sure to check the rules and regs before going fishing.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Trout Fishing Being Restored at Lake Davis

Most anglers know you're not supposed to release non-native fish into the water. Why? Because it usually ends up destroying the existing fishery. Sure enough, that's what happened Northern California's Lake Davis.

For a while now Northern Pike have been destroying the trout fishing at Lake Davis. Pike are believed to have been introduced into the water back in 1994 by anglers used to fishing for them in the Midwest and Great Lakes. But the problem is that pike are voracious predators and they've been eating the trout - thereby destroying the trout population and fishing.

This past week, California's Department of Fish and Game dumped gallons of rotenone (which is harmless to humans and other animals) into the lake to remove the pike. The goal is to restore Lake Davis to a prime trout fishery.

The whole process will take about 45 days. Lake Davis will be restocked when it's free of any of the rotenone - which is anticipated to occur before the reservoir freezes over.

The majority of the stocking will occur in Spring 2008 rainbow and brown trout.

However, the fear right now is that some pike may escape into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, thereby threatening the salmon and steelhead populations in California's river system.

For more information about Lake Davis and the current problem, click here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Fishing on Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake will open for Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Fishing on October 1st, 2007. The trout fishing season will remain open until June 30th.

There are some new fishing regulations this year, including ...
  • Barbless hooks are required.
  • No fishing is allowed within 500 feet of any docks (this rule is meant to help protect shore anglers while boats are launching from the dock).
  • From March 15 to May 16 the area from Sutcliffe Marina to the end of the South Nets will be closed to protect spawning fish.
  • No alcohol will be allowed on the Marina Beach and Long Beach
Other rules and regulations still apply, including ....
  • Bag limit is two trout.
  • Cutthroat trout under 16 inches in length or between 19 and 24 inches must be released unharmed.
  • You can keep two trout which are 16-19 inches in length or you can keep one trout 16-19 inches plus one trout over 24 inches.
  • You need a special tribal fishing permit and a special tribal boating permit.
For more information, and trout fishing tips for Pyramid Lake, click here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

National Fly Fishing Competition in Colorado

The Annual National Fly Fishing Competition will commence on October 3rd, 2007 in Colorado.

This competition constitutes the final round of the regional competitions held across the United States. Fifteen of the competitors will be chosen by the coaching staff of Team USA to represent the United States in an 2008 Olympic style event in New Zealand.

For three days, participants will fish on the Big Thompson River, the Poudre River, Dowdy Lake and Parvin Lake in a bid to make the biggest catch.

Spectators are welcome!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rule Changes for Lower Columbia River Tributaries in Washington

As of last Saturday (22 Sept. 2007), anglers must release any chinook salmon they encounter on Washington's nine tributaries to the lower Columbia River. The Washington Department of Fish Wildlife (WDFW) say the new rule is in effect because returns in the lower Columbia stocks are lower than predicted.

Tributaries affected are the Cowlitz, Lewis, North Fork Lewis, Elochoman, Toutle, North Fork Toutle, Green (in Cowlitz County), Kalama and Washougal rivers, including Camas Slough.

Fisheries for hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead are not affected by the new rule.

At the same time, however, a sudden surge in upriver chinook past Bonneville Dam has prompted fishery managers to restore some retention fisheries for chinook salmon that closed earlier this week.

Based on recent fish counts at Bonneville Dam, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon now expect this year’s upriver chinook return to be about 10,000 more fish than projected earlier this week.

As a result, both Washington and Oregon agreed to allow anglers to retain chinook salmon they catch in the mainstem Columbia River from the Hood River Bridge to the 395 Bridge.

Click here for more information on this rule change.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Trout Fishing is Heating Up!

Fall has arrived in many parts of the country. And cooler temperatures mean better trout fishing action!

So now is the time to get out and fish. Take the kids fishing and enjoy the outdoors and fall colors.

Trout fishing should improve through October and early November as water temperatures continue to cool. Once winter sets in, trout fishing action will slack off again. So enjoy the Fall action while you can!

Click the links below for more trout fishing tips and information ....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Trout Fishing Season Re-Opened in Pu'u Lua Reservoir

Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources announced yesterday a second open fishing season for rainbow trout is in effect now. Trout Fishing is limited to the Pu'u Lua Reservoir in the Koke'e Public Fishing Area.

Anglers with a valid Hawaii State Fishing License may fish daily during daylight hours between sunrise and sunset for rainbow trout. There is no daily bag limit,

Other trout fishing rules include:
  • Only one pole and line are allowed, or one line with one lure, or one baited hook attached to one line.
  • The use of treble hooks is prohibited.
  • The use of corn baits is prohibited.
All other existing rules remain applicable. The fishing season will remain open until closed by the DLNR.

A break in the water distribution system which supplies water to Pu'u Lua Reservoir, where DLNR manages the public fishing area is what prompted the second trout fishing season.

The break in the inflow system threatens the trout population in the Puu Lua reservoir, and the only remedy until the water flow is restored, is to have as much of the trout removed as soon possible.

The Agriculture Development Corporation will be making the repairs in the near future.

Due to rough roads, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for driving to Pu'u Lua Reservoir. Be sure to check in and out at the check-in station at Pu'u Lua Reservoir before and after fishing (it's required).

For further information or a current list of license agents, call DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources on Oahu at 832-5009 or the Lihu'e Aquatic Resources office at 274-3345.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Difference Between Trout And Salmon

Most people know that trout and salmon are the same family (salmonid). Char, grayling and whitefish also belong to the salmonid family.

One of the things that distinguishes fish in the salmonid family from other fish is that salmonids (trout, salmon, char, grayling and whitefish) need clean, cool water and a healthy habitat to live in. This why invasive species and plants are such a big deal when found in these environments - they threaten the population of salmonids.

Of the salmonids, trout and salmon are very closely related and most trout anglers enjoy catching salmon and vice versa.

Just as there are many different species of trout (rainbow, brown, brook, lake, apache, gila, steelhead, etc.), there are different species of salmon (coho, chinook, Atlantic, sockeye, and chum).

And to the untrained eye, it can sometimes be difficult identifying your catch (especially since these fish have a lot of similar characteristics).

The easiest way to to tell the difference between salmon and trout (when in doubt) is to count the number of rays on the anal fin.

All trout have 12 or less rays in this fin, whereas salmon have 13 or more rays.

This rule is an interesting bit of trivia, it can be useful in helping you identify the difference between trout and salmon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Outdoor Adventure Day in Georgia

Georgia's Department of Natural Resources will host Outdoor Adventure Day on September 22nd between 10 am and 4 pm at Unicoi State Park.

The event will be held in he large field along Smith Creek downstream from Unicoi Lake Dam. The creek will be stocked with trout during the day - and September 22nd will be a free fishing day!

There will be plenty of activities for kids and adults of all ages including canoeing, trout fishing, fly tying and casting, airgun shooting, archery and skeet shooting. There will also be live wildlife shows and hunting dog demonstrations.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about fishing - including fly fishing. Fly fishers from Trout Unlimited and the Georgia Women Flyfishers will be on hand to provide instructions on fly-casting using their equipment.

DNR and US Forest Service instructors will also be on hand to offer tips and help you enjoy skeet shooting. Everything you need will be provided - including shotguns and ammo.

A state park pass ($3) is required for each vehicle. Bring the whole family and enjoy Outdoor Adventure Day together!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Trout Fishing in Kansas

The Trout Fishing Season in Kansas opens October 15th and runs through April 15th. During this time, many lakes and ponds are stocked with rainbow and brown trout.

After the trout fishing season ends, you still may be able to catch a few trout left over from the stockings, but you'll have to wait for the next season for more trout stockings.

However, the Mined Land Wildlife Area Unit #30 (Cherokee County) and Tuttle Creek State Park Willow Lake do offer year round trout fishing (a year round trout permit is required).

Some local governments in areas such as Topeka and Kansas City have their own trout stocking programs. Many of these require a fee, but the state permit is not required. Local city and county recreation departments should be able to give you details.

Here's a list of lakes in Kansas which are stocked with trout during the trout fishing season. Every angler (whether you're catching trout or not) must have a trout fishing permit to fish in these lakes:
  • Cedar Bluff Stilling Basin
  • Cimarron Grasslands Pits
  • Dodge City Lake Charles
  • Ft. Scott Gun Park Lake
  • Garnett Crystal Lake
  • Glen Elder State Park Pond
  • Kanopolis Seep Stream
  • KDOT East Lake in Wichita
  • Lake Henry in Clinton State Park
  • Mined Land WA Unit #30
  • Pratt Centennial Pond
  • Sandsage Bison Range and Wildlife Area Sandpits (Periodically Dry)
  • Topeka Auburndale Park
  • Vic’s Lake and Slough Creek in Sedgwick County Park
  • Walnut River Area in El Dorado State Park
  • Webster Stilling Basin
The lakes below are also stocked with trout during the season, but only trout anglers need to have trout permit:
  • Ft. Riley Cameron Springs
  • Great Bend Veterans Memorial Park Lake
  • Hutchinson Dillon Nature Center Pond
  • Kanopolis State Park Pond
  • Moon Lake on Fort Riley
  • Moss Lake and Horseshoe Lake in Sedgwick County Park
  • Salina Lakewood Lake
  • Scott State Fishing Lake
  • Scott State Park Pond
  • Sherman County Smoky Gardens Lake
  • Solomon River between Webster Reservoir Rooks County #2 Road
In May 2007 , a new state record for brown trout was set. The fish weighed in at 7.68 ounces and measured 10.66 inches in length.

The Kansas state record for the largest rainbow trout (set in 1982) is currently 9.31 lbs, measuring 28.25 inches in length.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

California Wild Trout Getting Help from the State

Last Wednesday, California's senate passed a bill that will help protect wild trout populations in the state. The bill was introduced by Republican Senator Dave Cogdill.

This means it's now the policy of the state to establish and maintain wild trout stocks in suitable waters of the state and establish angling regulations designed to maintain the wild trout fishery in those waters by natural reproduction.

It's a well known fact that planting hatchery trout in waters with wild trout can result in hybridization and decrease wild trout populations. So the passing of this bill means that the California Department of Fish and Game will now have to be careful where they plant hatchery trout - so as not to threaten wild trout populations.

You can read more about California's Wild Trout on their web site.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Trout Fishing the Elk River

Looking for places to trout fish in West Virginia? Try the Elk River - the longest river (172 miles long) in West Virginia which flows entirely within the state's boundaries. The Elk River is a tributary of the Kanawha River.

You'll find rainbow, brown, and brook trout in the Elk River - and some pretty large ones at that! Although many of these trout are stocked - there are plenty of wild brown and native brook trout in the river as well.

The upper portion of the Elk River (above Webster Springs) offers the best trout fishing. This time of year, brown and brook trout will be starting to show their spawning colors.

Jack Bell (writer for West Virginia Game and Fish Magazine) shared the following fishing tips in a recent article.
  • Spin-fishermen would do well to lean on Rooster Tails, small Mepps Aglia spinners, spinner- fly tandem rigs, Blue Fox Vibrax spinners and small jointed Rapala minnow lures.
  • Flyfishermen should look to streamers like Woolly Buggers in olive, black, and yellow matuka-style patterns, Clouser minnows and Mickey Finns.
  • Nymph fishermen will want to lean on patterns such as the Prince, Pheasant Tail, olive and grey Gold-ribbed Hare's Ear, hellgrammite and red squirrel nymphs. You will want to have these patterns in both beadhead and the normal non-beadhead configuration.
  • Dry-fly anglers will want to use ant and beetle patterns, small grasshoppers, stimulators, elk hair caddis and midge patterns.
In addition to the Upper Elk River (above Webster Springs) - Cranberry, South Branch of the Potomac near Franklin, North Fork of the South Branch, and Shavers Fork of Cheat and Williams rivers are other favorite trout fishing spots in West Virginia.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New Fishing Restrictions in Queensland

Anglers may not require a license to fish recreationally in Queensland (except if fishing in some stocked impoundments), but they will be fined if caught fishing in the coral reefs during spawning periods.

The new regulations will make it illegal to catch coral trout, cods, gropers, red emperors and parrot fish over three nine-day periods during October, November and December during the spawning season. Violators will be fined up to $75,000!

The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries says these new regulations are intended to help preserve fishing for future generations.

For more information about fishing in Queensland, click here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Trout Dying at Wildhorse Reservoir in Nevada

Approximately 8,000 to 11,000 trout have died in Nevada's Wildhorse Reservoir over the last couple of days. A lack of dissolved oxygen in the water is believed to be the cause.

Like us, trout need need oxygen to survive. Several factors affect how much oxygen is dissolved in water. Warm weather and still water are two big factors in the desert southwest which affect how much oxygen is dissolved in the water.

Nevada gets pretty hot in the summer - but this summer, has been a little warmer than normal. Warmer weather, means warmer water temperatures - which result in less oxygen in the water. Warmer weather has also caused lake levels to decrease due to evaporation - which again, results in less oxygenated water.

Other factors affecting oxygen levels in the water include decaying algae on the lake bed. This process depletes oxygen from the water (again, making it harder for trout to survive).

Luckily, Fall is quickly approaching which will help cool water temperatures thereby raising dissolved oxygen levels. The Nevada Department of Wildlife is monitoring the situation very closely.

How does this affect trout fishing? When trout are physically stressed, their primary concern becomes survival - and they stop feeding. This means that until their environment improves, they will not be interested in feeding (or taking your offering). Right now, these trout only care about finding cooler, oxygenated water!

So expect trout fishing to remain poor at Wildhorse Reservoir until conditions improve.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fishing Restrictions Lifted at Yellowstone

Last month, Yellowstone National Park Service imposed a restriction on afternoon fishing (so anglers couldn't fish during afternoon hours). The reason for the restriction was to help trout, which are easily stressed during water temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Any trout caught in warmer water, has a good a chance of not surviving.

But now that afternoon temperatures in the region have cooled down (thus lowering the water temperature too) - the restriction has been lifted. Anglers can now fish for trout during afternoon hours!

Be sure to check all the fishing regs for Yellowstone National Park before you go fishing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Prime Western Brown Trout Waters

Believe it or not, the desert southwest states offer some excellent brown trout fishing - including wild brown trout. Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, and Idaho are among those states for some prime brown trout waters.

Fish and Game Magazine wrote a great article this month called, "Browns without the Crowds" which contains more details for catching brown trout in these states. It's a great article and worth a read (especially if you live in any of the states mentioned above).

Do you have a favorite river, stream or lake for brown trout fishing? Post a comment and let us know.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Should You Sharpen Fish Hooks?

Hooks become dull over time - especially if you're dragging them along the bottom of a river or lake across rocks and other objects. You can buy hook sharpeners to sharpen your hooks - or you can toss them and buy new ones.

In the old days, a lot of fishermen would rather sharpen their hooks than buy new ones (believing they were saving a few bucks).

Now a days, most of the hooks you buy are chemically or laser sharpened - which helps them remain sharpened longer. Manually sharpening these hooks can have a negative affect on the sharpness (which defeats the whole purpose).

Before you decide to sharpen your hooks, you should check to see if your hooks are chemically or laser sharpened or not. If they are, it's best to leave them alone.

You might also want to keep in mind that anytime you file metal, you run the risk of wearing it down to the point it will bend or break easily.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Trophy Trout at Collins Lake

Collins Lake is one of Northern California's premiere trophy trout waters. This 1600 acre lake is about an hour North East of Sacramento and is open year-round.

Over 40,000 trout are planted each season in Collins Lake, making it the largest private trout planting program. The plantings usually begin in January and continue through May (averaging two plants per week). Many of the trout planted are in the 3-8 lb range.

This year, Collins Lake started raising rainbow trout in pens, in an effort to increase the trout stockings even more!

While trout catches have slowed down for many during these summer months, anglers are Collins Lake are still reporting some great trout catches. This week .....
  • A 7 lb rainbow trout was caught by one woman while trolling Sparkle Powerbait 30' down.
  • 2 Trout over 4 pounds were caught by another woman who was trolling a Blue Fox lure near the dam.
  • A 5 lb 8 oz rainbow trout was caught by a guy trolling a Rapala lure
There is a lot of good trout action at Collins Lake. Catch a tagged trout, and you'll earn a prize!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Latest Fishing Report for Montana

Montana's Fish and Wildlife's web site just released an updated fishing report for the fishing spots around the state.

You can read it by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Colorado Youth Outdoors Assumes Ownership of Swift Ponds

The story behind the Swift Ponds and one man's desire to help disadvantaged and disabled kids catch their first fish is an inspiration for many.

But soon ownership of the Swift Ponds will be handed over Colorado Youth Outdoors (an organization offering after school outdoor education and recreation programs).

CYO plans to make several improvements to the land including the addition of a shooting center, an education pavilion, and docks (making it easy for a kid in a wheelchair to get the best spot at the lake to fish).

Since the creation of the Swift Ponds, the goal will remain the same under CYO's ownership - introduce kids to the outdoors!

For more information about the Swift Ponds, click here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

France Wins Gold Medal in Youth Fly Fishing Championship

The 6th Annual World Youth Fly Fishing Championship has come to an end. France, the Czech Republic and England captured this years medals. Team USA came within one point of earning a bronze medal, but finished in 4th place.

The final standings for the youth fly fishing championship were:
  • France - Gold Medal
  • Czech Republic - Silver Medal
  • England - Bronze Medal
  • Team USA - 4th Place
  • Slovakia - 5th Place
  • Spain - 6th Place
  • Team USA #2 (Team Pennsylvania) - 7th place
  • Ireland - 8th place
  • Canada - 9th place
  • Portugal - 10th place
In the 2006 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship, Team USA finished in 5th place. So this year was an improvement!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Handling Trout for Catch and Release

Trout are slippery! They have a protective slime all over there bodies which helps protect them from infectious diseases. If this slime is removed from the trout's skin, they may not be able to fight off infectious diseases.

When you're reeling in a trout, you pretty much know if it's a keeper before you get it out the water. Anything under 6 inches is too small to keep. And many anglers practice catch and release all the time.

So when you're reeling in the fish, you want to be careful not to reel it upon shore It's best to remove the hook from the fish while it's in the water (or at least pull it up out of the water). Letting a trout flop around the ground, deck, boat, etc. can cause harm to it's scales and protective slime.

You want to be careful handling your catch so as to minimize the amount of slime and scales that are removed. Get the hook out as fast as possible while handling the trout as little as you can. If the trout is large and you can remove the hook while keeping the trout's head underwater, that's even better.

You can still take a moment to take photos of the trout you intend to release. Just try and do it quickly and hold the fish by the tail and belly (as shown in the picture) to help minimize damage to it.

When releasing the fish back into the water, you want to keep in mind that it may be tired from the fight and may need a bit help to regain it's strength so it can swim off again.

You can help out by lowering the trout's head in the water and moving it back and forth to force water through it's gills. Hold the fish by the tail until it shows signs of being able to swim off by itself. You don't want to let the fish go if it's too tired to swim away.

Practicing catch and release helps protect and preserve fishing resources. As anglers, we want to do our part by not causing the fish undue harm.

This trout tip (and more) can be found in the eBook, "Trout Fishing Tips".

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Trout Fishing the San Juan River

The portion of the San Juan River which runs through New Mexico has become one of the premiere trout fly fishing destinations in the country.

The 4.25 mile stretch of the river below Navajo Dam (near Farmington) has about 80,000 trout in it (including rainbow and brown trout). The water is cool and clean (thanks to the Dam), so trout fishing is good year round!

Trout on the San Juan river average 17", but fish over 20" are abundant. River guide Mike Mora recommends tiny flies, fine tippets, proper presentation and attention to detail in order to fool the San River trout. There's more trout fishing tips and techniques on his web site.

Although the first quarter mile of the river below the dam is catch and release only, most anglers practice catch and release. This is why trout fishing on the San Juan River is so good. There's plenty of large trout for everybody to enjoy catching!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Choosing a Fishing Reel

Choosing a reel depends on somewhat on the type of fishing you plan to do. For fly fishing, you'd use a fly reel. For spin fishing, you'll most likely want a spinning reel or a spin cast reel.

Often times, reels are chosen based on personal preference. For example, if given the choice, I prefer spinning reels over spin cast reels. But I like spin cast reels for small kids - since they're easier to cast with.

Below is a description of some of the more common freshwater fishing reel options. Hopefully, this will help you understand the differences a bit better.

Spinning Reels

These are probably the most common type of reels used for trout fishing. Fishing line is spun onto a spool and wraps under a bale before it's thread through the eyes on the fishing rod. To cast, the bale is lifted to release the line. As line comes off the reel, the spool stays stationary. So line is fed off the spool when casting.

Casting is pretty easy with spinning reels, and the whole reel is easy to handle. You can easily swap the handle to accommodate left or right handed fishing and the drag feature is easy to adjust. Many spinning reels also allow you to easily swap out the spool of line so as to use a heavier or lighter line and continue fishing.

The open design of the reel, makes it easy to see twisted line, kinks and knots as they happen (which allows you to fix them quicker).

The downside of spinning reels, is that the line twist is very common - which can lead to knots and make reeling in line very difficult sometimes. The drag feature on spinning reels can contribute to the problem.

But overall, these are fairly good fishing reels, and are still my personal favorite for trout fishing.

Spin Cast Reel (also called Spin-Casters)

These are very similar to regular spinning reels, except that they're enclosed and have a button which is used for casting. To cast, you simply push and hold down the button until your ready, and the let go to cast.

This makes casting easy. You don't have to open the bale, and hold the line while you cast. This advantage alone make spin casters a good choice for novice anglers, kids and handicapped people.

In theory, the enclosed reel is supposed to make it easier to manage line and reduce kinks and knots. But my experience has been the opposite is true.

Since the reel is enclosed, you can't see the line on the spool - which means kinks and knots have a tendency to go unnoticed until they become a bigger problem (and headache). This is why I don't like spin cast reels for my own use - but I still buy them for my nephews.

Baitcaster Reels

These reels are favored among bass fishers and other anglers fishing lures. They offer better accuracy in casting than spinning reels. Lures don't tumble as much during the cast so the presentation is better. This has to do with the design of the reel.

On baitcaster reels, the spool rotates so line is pull off the reel during casting. This allows for greater accuracy - which is often needed for lure fishing. But because you need to apply the right amount of pressure on the line with your thumb while casting in order to achieve accuracy, casting with these reels is trickier. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of using these reels.

Because the way line is pulled off the reel, you can also get greater casting distance with this reels. When saltwater fishing this can big plus. When freshwater fishing, greater distance often isn't needed.

The down side to baitcasters are that they require more attention. Another downside is that they don't work as well for lighter lines (2-10 lb test). They perform better with heavier lines (12-20 test). So if you're in a fishing situation where you'll be using 2-10 lb test line, you may do better with a spinning reel.

Fly Reels

As the name implies, these reels are used for fly fishing. They're designed to be mounted on a fly rod. When choosing a fly reel, you can get one that allows for manual retrieve (where you turn a handle to reel the fish in) or an automatic retrieve (where you push a button and the reel the automatically reel in your fish).

These reels are strung with backing and fly line. And the type of fly line used depends on the type of fishing you intend to do.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Splake Trout - What Are They?

Splake trout are produced when a female Lake trout mate with a male Brook trout. These hybrid trout are mostly man-made and were originally developed to enhance trout fishing opportunities in Canada.

Like most hybrid trout, splake trout tend to grow faster and survive longer. Splake feed heavily on crustaceans and insects during early life, and other fish later in life. Because these trout tend to school, if you find one, you're likely to find others.

Since splake trout are a hybrid between brook and lake trout, they tend to have characteristics of both species. Their tails are slightly forked (but not as much as lake trout), and their spots tend to be whitish or slightly pinkish.

Unlike many hybrids, splake trout are able to reproduce and while they prefer the gravel beds usually used by brook trout for lake spawning, in the absence of these it will use the boulder shoals favored by lake trout.

Splake are usually mature in their third year of life and their spawning period falls closer to that of the brook trout in late October or early November.

In addition to Canada and the Great Lakes, you'll also find splake trout in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the largest splake trout, currently on record weighs 20 pounds 11 ounces (9.38 kg) . It was caught in Georgian Bay Ontario Canada in 1987 by Paul Thompson.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fly Fishing Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Do you have a boy scout in the family? If so, you might want to help him earn the Fly Fishing Merit Badge.

This badge was created in May 2002 to give youth an opportunity to learn about fly fishing, tying flies, and about fishing conservation.

To earn the badge, scouts must demonstrate knowledge about fly fishing, safety, and respect for the environment and fish. After demonstrating how to tie fly fishing knots, they'll also have to rig a fly rod, demonstrate casting techniques and catch two fish!

The actual list of requirements for the Boy Scout Fly Fishing Merit Badge are:

  1. Explain to his counselor the injuries that could occur while fly-fishing and the proper treatment, including cuts, scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, dehydration, and heat reactions. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fly-fishing.

  2. Discuss how to match a fly rod, line, and leader to get a balanced system. Discuss several types of fly lines, and explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.

  3. Demonstrate how to tie proper knots to prepare a fly rod for fishing:
  • Tie a backing to a fly reel spool using the arbor backing knot.
  • Attach backing to fly line using the nail knot.
  • Attach a leader to fly line using the needle knot, nail knot, or loop-to-loop connection.
  • Add a tippet to a leader using a double surgeon’s loop or blood knot.
  • Tie a fly onto the terminal end of the leader using the improved clinch knot.
  1. Explain how each of the following types of flies are used: dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, streamers, bass bugs, and poppers. What does each imitate? Tie at least two types of the flies mentioned in this requirement.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to cast a fly consistently and accurately using overhead and roll cast techniques.

  3. Go to a suitable fishing location and make observations on the types of insects fish may be eating. Look for flying insects and some that may be on or beneath the water’s surface. Look under rocks. Explain the importance of matching the hatch.

  4. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace and how it positively affects fly-fishing resources.

  5. Obtain a copy of the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish by following them.

  6. Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to fishermen. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.

  7. Using the fly-fishing techniques he has learned, catch two different kinds of fish and identify them. Release at least one of them unharmed. Clean and cook another fish.
You can download printable version of the Fly Fishing Merit Badge requirements along with a worksheet by clicking here.

The Boy Scouts also have a regular Fishing Merit Badge. To learn more about it click here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Trout Fishing in Utah

Utah is one of those Southwestern states that provides anglers with many trout fishing opportunities and species of trout. And Utah trout fishing is excellent in some spots right now - especially in Weber River, Long Park Reservoir, and Fish Lake!

In Utah, anglers can catch rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, lake trout, tiger trout, and splake trout.

Utah also has an extensive urban fishing program (referred to as community fishing). These lakes and ponds give families a place to spend the day together without a lot of planning and effort. For many kids, these lakes are withing walking or riding a bike distance. Some of these lakes and ponds are designated kids and handicap fishing only.

Want to know where the current hot fishing spots are in Utah? Now you can find out on Utah's Division of Wildlife web site. They have a cool interactive map that pinpoints hot fishing spots in Utah!

On January 1st, 2007 some of the fishing regulations changed in Utah - so be sure to check them out before you go fishing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The 2nd Annual World Sea Trout Fishing Championship

In 2006, Norway invited folks from all over the world to participate in a Sea Trout Fishing Championship on the River Vefsna. This year, they're doing it again.

The 2nd Annual World Sea Trout Fishing Championship will take place August 9th -12th, 2007. In addition to the fishing competition, there will be a festival (The Sea Trout Festival Vefsna).

This year there will be more activities during the festival days – seminars, exhibitions, Fly fishing show and courses in fly fishing for children – and for women. And for those interested in art – on Friday August the 10th the “Galleria Art Festival” is opening, with art exhibitions and a lot of art activities.

The Sea Trout Fishing Championship is limited to 48 participants, so you'll want to register now.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Trout Fishing in Iceland

Iceland offers some great sea trout and brown trout fishing. It's also a premiere salmon fishing destination! June to September are prime salmon fishing months in Iceland.

The trout season in Iceland starts in April. Most folks fish for sea trout size which average 3-4 pounds, but quite often anglers will get some 15-20 pounders. Local anglers most often use streamers or tubes, but bait is also used.

Best rivers to fish in April is on the south coast of Iceland. Almost every river on the south are packed with sea trout.

In May we anglers start fishing for brown trout. Almost every lake in Iceland has brown trout but in the last 2-3 decades the arctic char is dominating the lakes.

There are three trout rivers in Iceland that hold trophy size brown trout: The River
Minnivallalaekur, River Upper Laxa in Adaldal and Litlaa. The size of the brown trout in those river can get up to 20 pounds but the average size is 4-6 pounds.

Streamers are often preferred in the early season when it's cooler, and dayflies when it gets warmer.

The trick to fish for these trout's is light weight rod #4- line #6. Most anglers prefer dayflies sizes 14-18.

It is a great challenge to hold a wild brown trout of maybe the size of 12 pounds on a 6" rod with line #4 and a 4-6 pound leader.

For more information about fishing in Iceland visit,

Sunday, July 22, 2007

6th Annual World Youth Fly Fishing Championships

Last week, I mentioned the World Fly Fishing Championships, now the World Youth Fly Fishing Championships deserves a mention.

The Youth Fly Fishing Championship is scheduled to take place August 3- 10 at Pennsylvania State College. This is the first time the competition will be held in the U.S.

In addition to Team USA, there will be a second American team, dubbed "Team Pennsylvania".

Competing anglers will fish for trout on two sections of Spring Creek, the Little Juniata River above Spruce Creek in Huntingdon County, and Fishing Creek near Lamar in Clinton County. Anglers will also fish for trout and warm water species on Lake Perez at Stone Valley (previously known as Stone Valley Lake).

According to the official rules, trout over 200 mm (about 8 inches) will score 100 points, plus 20 points for each centimeter. A trout of 19 inches would score a lot of points for the competitor and often makes the difference between winners and losers.

For more information about the 6th Annual World Youth Fly Fishing Championship in Pennsylvania, click here.

To see the final results of the competition, click here.