Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Catch Trout - An Introduction

More and more people each year are coming to the water looking for tips and advice on how to catch trout. Some anglers will gladly share their trout fishing tips and secrets - and others will guard them closely. Worse yet, ask ten anglers a question, and you're likely to get ten different answers.

While there are some common techniques in trout fishing, there are a lot of differences too. Some people use spinning rods and reels while others use fly rods. Some anglers prefer to fish in lakes and others fish in rivers, streams, and creeks. Some anglers fish for wild trout, and others are perfectly happy to fish for hatchery trout.

Then there are the differences in trout species. Some trout anglers primarily fish for steelhead, speckled, or lake trout as opposed to rainbow, brown or brook trout. Geography has a lot to do with being able to fish for certain types of trout.

There are many factors that affect the answer to, "how to catch trout". The type of rod you use (fly or spinning), where you fish (lake or river), time of year you fish (spring, summer, fall or winter), what species of trout you're fishing for (steelhead, speckled, rainbow, etc.) .... all determine how you will go about catching trout.

There are other factors involved as well. But if you seriously want to catch trout, then you must consider these variables and then use the fishing technique that offers success for your water and weather conditions and the species of trout you're fishing for.

While anybody can have random luck in catching trout - few can catch trout consistently again and again. And the reason great anglers catch trout more often than not, is because they've taken the time to learn the science behind trout fishing.

Understanding the science part of trout fishing will help you catch more trout because, you'll know:
  • When to fish for trout (time of day, season, etc.)
  • Where to fish for trout (you'll know where to find their hiding places)
  • What kind of bait, lure or artificial fly works best in different weather and water condition
Trout behave differently in stillwater (lakes) and moving water (rivers, streams, and creeks). And they behave differently in different water conditions (warm water versus cold water, colored water versus clear water, etc.)

Taking notes and paying attention to variables like outdoor weather (sun, clouds, rain, snow, wind), water temperature, water clarity (colored, clear, muddy, etc.) and whether or not trout are striking your offering (bait, lure, fly, etc.) will help you start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. You'll start to learn the science of trout fishing through your own experimentation.

But here are a few things to help you jump start your knowledge on the science part:
  • Spring and Fall are the best time of year to fish for trout (water temperature is a big factor behind this)
  • Trout are primarily concerned with safety, so if they don't feel safe (because there aren't any good hiding places or the water is clear and shallow), they won't feed
  • Trout are very sensitive to their water temperature. If it's too warm, they become uncomfortable and can die. If it's too cold they become very lethargic. In both conditions, trout won't feed
As you'd expect, there are some gray areas with the variables above. While trout become very lethargic in very cold water, there are times you can entice them into striking your lure if you present it correctly giving the current conditions.

These things and more are discussed in greater detail in the "Trout Fishing Tips" eBook. But for now, these are some of the variables you'll want to start paying attention to.

Tomorrow, I'll share some more information that will show you how to catch trout.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Trout Fishing Parks in Connecticut

Trout Fishing season in Connecticut opened on April 21st, and 11 new Trout Parks opened with it. These new Trout Parks will enhance Connecticut's urban fishing program by providing easy access to trout ponds for youth, novice and physically challenged anglers.

The most recent additions to DEP's new urban fishing program are Keney Park Pond in Hartford and Lake Wintergreen in Hamden. Bunnells Pond (Bridgeport) was stocked for the first time last year.

These Trout Parks will be stocked weekly with trout from the state's fish hatcheries.

Although the Trout Parks will have more fish in them, their daily creel limit (the number of trout an angler can keep) has been reduced from five to two fish per day in order to spread the catch among a greater number of anglers.

The DEP's Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) program is offering free trout fishing classes to families. The goal is to get kids and families outdoors this spring.

Many CARE courses have already been scheduled in the coming weeks, so be sure to check the calendar.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rainbow Trout Fishing Tips

While there are lot of different trout species, the majority of trout fishers fish for rainbow trout which have been planted in their local waters by state run hatcheries. Hatchery rainbow trout are the most prevalent across the country - and some of the easiest trout to catch. Still there are some rainbow trout fishing tips which will help you catch more trout.

Artificial flies, lures, spinners, nightcrawlers, mealworms, salmon eggs, grasshoppers and other common bait sources work well on hatchery rainbow trout.

But there are some other baits that work well also that most people would not consider. Cheese, marshmallows and corn are the top of the list. Many anglers even use corn for chum. Lake fishers often consider these bait sources some of their favorite rainbow trout fishing tips.

PowerBait is another one. It's not uncommon to find several anglers carrying multiple PowerBait colors along with a bit of cheese, corn, and marshmallows in the cooler. In fact, these three things are so effective on hatchery rainbow trout, that Berkely has even started making PowerBait that mimic corn, cheese and marshmallows.

One of the primary reasons PowerBait such an effective bait source is because it floats - which keeps your baited hook off the bottom of the lake. This makes it easier for trout swimming by to see.

Many anglers will blow air into their nightcrawlers using a worm blower or syringe. Doing this gives you the best of both worlds - natural scented bait that floats so your baited hook stays off the bottom of the lake! This again, betters your chances of catching trout passing by.

Trout attractant is another great tip for catching rainbow trout. Live baits have the advantage of providing their own scent which trout can smell from a distance. But artificial baits usually lack this quality. Adding a bit of scent to lures and spinners will greatly improve your chances of catching trout.

And here's the best rainbow trout fishing tip for kids. The hardest part about teaching kids to trout fish, is the wait between catches (which is often far and few between). Kids lack patience and not catching fish can be frustrating. The best way to overcome this difficulty is to take them to a rainbow trout farm.

These trout farms usually allow the kids to fish (and even provide poles and bait) in an environment where they are pretty much guaranteed to catch fish. Reeling a fish in will give them a joy and excitement they will remember for a lifetime and it will help them gain interest in trout fishing.

A word of caution though - some of these trout farms can be expensive (as they make the size and number of trout you catch). So pay close attention to the kids and how many fish they are catching (catch and release is usually not allowed on rainbow trout farms).

Arizona has one of the best rainbow trout farms in the country. If you've never been to a trout farm, you can get an idea of what they generally have to offer by checking it out. Others trout farms are pretty much the same, with costs being the main difference.

Next time you go trout fishing, you might want to give some of these rainbow trout fishing tips a try. For more trout fishing tips, click here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Trout Fishing Tips for Strawberry Reservoir

Ice has started melting along the shorelines of Utah's Strawberry Reservoir. This means anglers are out enjoying one of Utah's most popular trout fishery.

Fishing has been good, especially around the Soldier Creek side of the reservoir.

DWR Conservation Officer Paul Davis says many anglers are finding great success by casting tube jigs, minnow-imitating lures or even traditional baits toward the edge of the ice. That's where hungry trout are often lurking.

There is still quite a bit of ice in some areas of the reservoir (especially around the Strawberry Marina so this boat ramp is closed), so boaters should be careful.

Keep in mind that Strawberry Reservoir does have it's own special rules regarding trout catches. You can only catch 4 trout a day and all cutthroat trout between 15 - 22 inches must be released. You may only keep 2 cutthroat trout under 15 inches and only 1 cutthroat trout over 22 inches.

For more information about trout fishing in Utah's Strawberry Reservoir, click here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kids Trout Fishing Derby in Paradise

The Paradise Recreation and Parks District will hold its annual Children's Trout Fishing Derby from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, at the Aquatic Park Pond in Paradise.

All children, preschool through 15 years of age, are welcome to participate free of charge. The pond will be stocked with hungry trout, and prizes will be awarded in several categories.

The event is cosponsored by the Butte County Fish and Game Commission, Paradise Lions and Paradise Host Lions Clubs. Refreshments will be offered for sale.

Call (530) 872-6393 for more information.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told!

I recently received an email from Skyhorse Publishing informing me of their newest released titles which are now available. If you enjoy fishing and listening to good fishing stories, you'll definitely want to check these books out!

The first is called, Trout Eyes: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fly-Fishing by William G. Tapply.

Not only a writer and angler, Tapply is also a contributing editor for Field & Stream and a columnist for American Angler. He has written a dozen books and nearly a thousand magazine articles, mostly about fly fishing and the outdoors.

The other newly released title is called, The Gigantic Book of Fishing Stories, written by Nick Lyons. This 800-page hardcover book is one of the largest compilations of fishing stories ever created! It's the ideal gift for any fisher man or woman!

The book contains fishing stories for everybody - no matter their level of experience or how they fish or what they fish for. You'll find fishing tales and wisdom from Rudyard Kipling, Dave Barry, Lefty Kreh, Zane Grey, and so many more.

These are two books you'll definitely want to add to your library!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Youth Trout Fishing Tournament at Fort A.P. Hill

Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia will host a Youth Trout Fishing Tournament on April 28th from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Cost is $10/child (15 and younger). Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Game Check Station.
Prizes will be awarded for heaviest single trout and heaviest total stringer weight.

For more information about the Trout Fishing Tournament, call (804) 633-8219.
For more information about Fort A.P. Hill fishing, click here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival

This weekend (April 21-22) Waynesboro will host the 7th Annual Virginia Fly Fishing Festival (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). This festival is held each spring on the banks of the South River.

There will be exhibits, raffles, lectures, wine tasting and live music. Bob Clouser, King Montgomery, Dusty Wissmath, Capt. Brian Shumaker, Capt. Gary DuBiel, Beau Beasley and artist Bruce Bunch will be present for lectures and demonstrations.

Some of the topics that will be covered include: fly fishing from kayaks and float tubes, fixing casting problems, casting for saltwater anglers, and fly fishing tips for many of Virginia's fishing hot spots.

Admission is $10 for adults. Admission is free for kids under 12 years of age.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gila Trout - A Southwest Native

Most people know about rainbow trout, brown and brook trout. But have you ever heard of gila trout? Don't feel alone if you haven't. I never did until I moved to Arizona (and I grew up trout fishing).

As you'd expect, this trout species gets it's name from the river drainage's it once occupied (the Gila River). Gila trout were once found all through the upper headwaters of the Gila River, Agua Fria, San Francisco, and Verde River drainage's in Arizona and New Mexico.

Gila trout are rare - so rare in fact, that they can only be found in two U.S. States (New Mexico and Arizona) and they're currently listed as "threatened" on the Federal Endangered List in 1967.

In 1975, the known distribution of the species consisted of only five relict populations restricted to headwater stream habitats in the upper Gila River drainage in New Mexico (Main Diamond Creek, South Diamond Creek, McKenna Creek, Spruce Creek and Iron Creek).

But in 1996, it was discovered that the Gila trout in McKenna and Iron Creek were actually hybridized trout (i.e., Gila trout had mated with Rainbow trout creating a hybrid). Hybridization is common threat to weaker trout species.

In 1998, Gila trout in the wild numbered about 37,000. Although these numbers are divided up into 14 distinct populations, there is only one place you can find Gila trout in Arizona today - Raspberry Creek near the New Mexico border.

Gila trout were once known to exist in Dude Creek on the Mogollon Rim near Payson, but post-fire flooding contaminated the water thereby destroying the Gila trout population.

Gila trout are easily recognized by the gold/copper coloring on their sides. The dark spots on the sides are irregular in shape and size. Gila trout are closely related to Apache trout.

Gila trout are small, often 7 to 8 inches in length. They are easily recognized by their golden and copper colored sides, and whitish to yellowish tipped fins. Like Cutthroat trout, they too have a "cut throat" mark under their jaws. They spawn between April and late May to early June (depending on water temperatures). Their eggs have an incubation period of 8 - 10 weeks.

They typically require cool, clean mountain streams with gravel beds above 4,500 feet.

Despite improvements in Gila trout populations, fishing for them is still prohibited by law. Most waters in New Mexico containing pure strains of Gila trout have been closed to anglers. And in New Mexico, it's unlawful to posses Gila trout. Same is true for Arizona.

With ongoing recovery efforts, this will hopefully change one day.

For more information about gila trout, click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

C.A.S.T. For Kids Foundation

C.A.S.T. stands for "Catch a Special Thrill" and it's the name of a special fishing foundation for kids. Founded in 1991, this C.A.S.T. tries to give disabled and disadvantaged kids the fishing thrill of a lifetime.

Volunteers who love to fish team with C.A.S.T. to take disadvantaged and disabled kids fishing for the day. The foundation provides rods and reels, tackle, hats and t-shirts to all the kids.

Each year, fishing opportunities grow as more volunteers and kids get involved. C.A.S.T. fishing events are now offered in 22 states across the U.S.

You can help! The C.A.S.T. foundation not only needs your financial support, but also your time and fishing expertise. The goal is to offer more fishing opportunities for kids and they need more volunteers to accomplish this.

Check out the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation web site for more information or call (425) 251-3214 (Western Division) or (972) 913-2933 (Eastern Division).

Be sure to watch the C.A.S.T. video! Choose your connection speed - Cable & DSL or Dial-up.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Steelhead are Jumping on the Skagit River!

According to guide Sam Ingram, steelhead trout have been displaying an array of rare acrobatics these days on the Skagit River in Washington State.

Ingram reported that fishing has been really good for a couple of weeks now, since water releases have dropped and stabilized to a degree on the big river. His clients have been hooking 3-4 trout a day, with many of them in the 14-20 pound range! And the season remains open through the end of the month.

If the Sauk is relatively clean, folks might want to give the Rockport-to-Concrete drift a try. But if it's blownout, the Marblemount-Rockport stretch can be productive.

Ingram says the big, aggressive natives are suckers for a properly presented plug. He says he'll trollback a Hot Shot in 35 size in clear water, but then jump to a larger Tadpolly (or it's replacement Clattertrap) when visibility drops. Pink, cop car, and blues have been productive color patterns recently. But any good angler knows it's best to be prepared to change colors if something isn't working.

Steelhead expert Bill Herzog prefers using spoons when fishing for the big steelhead trout - especially in low visibility conditions. He's written a book called,Spoon Fishing for Steelhead
exposing all of his secrets! It's a bit advanced, but full of great information.

Be sure to read the regs first - as this is a special trout fishery which requires single, barbless hooks, no bait or scent, and knotless nets.

Dolly Varden and sea-run cutthroat trout are also available for catching on the Skagit River right now - especially below the forks on the lower end.

On the Olympic Penisula, the Sol Duc remains open to steelheading through the end of the month. This is one of those rivers where anglers may legally keep one wild-stock steelhead per season - although most anglers release their catch.

For more information on Washington Trout Fishing, visit

For information on drift-fishing for steelhead trout, click here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Speckled Trout in North Carolina

Residents of Topsail Island reported catching speckled trout in the 2 lb range yesterday. They were using white grubs with blue split tails and Gulp saltwater 4-inch white shrimp.

Click here for more speckled trout tips.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Washington Trout Fishing Events

Trout fishing in Washington is about to get better with a couple of events coming up this month.

On April 28th, the lowland lakes will open for trout fishing. There will be a trout seminar on April 21st to anglers prepare for the new Washington trout fishing season.

The seminar will be held between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 21 at Outdoor Emporium, 1701 4th Ave. S. in Seattle.

In addition to booths and exhibitions, some of Washington's expert trout fishers will be there to offer their best tips. Buzz Ramsey will of teach you how to use PowerBait. Bill Herzog (author of Spoon Fishing for Steelhead) will offer tips for catching giant trout and kokanee. You'll get fly fishing tips from Jim Teeny and fly casting help from Andreson-Redington. Joel Shangle will also be there to offer information on close-to-home trout fisheries.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about trout fishing from the experts. For more information call (206) 624-6550.

On April 29th, the Sky Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited is hosting a free kids' trout-fishing day 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Lake Tye in Monroe.

The event is for children 12 and under. Kids are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear, but there will be gear available for use during the derby if needed.

There will also be an adult fishing derby 2-5 p.m. Cost is $10. Largest fish is $250, plus $500 for whoever catches the tagged fish. For more information, call (360) 794-6378.

On May 19th, there will also be a Youth Outdoor Adventure Expo at the Cowlitz County Expo Center, 1900 7th Ave., in Longview. The expo will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 5 p.m.

The event will include instruction and demonstrations on fly-tying, casting, catch-and-release fishing, firearm safety, outdoor survival, hunting, compass reading, boating, marine touch tanks and bird identification. For more information, call (360) 864-4259 or (360) 902-8308.

Each of these events are a great opportunity to learn more about trout fishing in Washington, so you might want to check them out.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Kids Take Home Trophy Trout

It's exciting when anybody catches a trophy trout - but it's even more exciting when it's a couple of kids!

Selected counties in Southeast Pennsylvania got to start trout fishing season a bit early this year and 11 year old Billy and his friend Karena headed to Perkiomen Creek to try their luck! This was Karena's first time fishing!

It took the both of them, but they landed a 10+ pound rainbow trout measuring 24 inches in length! This trout was just over 5 pounds shy of the state record!

Thanks to Billy and Karena, the Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Season started off with a bang! And so far, the kids aren't sharing their secrets on how they caught their trout!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Fly Shop - Northern California's Fly Fishing Experts

Every good fisherman knowns that local anglers know all the secrets of fishing in their local waters. They know where to find fish and how to catch them. They know what works best and what doesn't. Locals anglers are always able to give you details you won't be able to find anywhere else.

The Fly Shop in Redding, California is such a place to find great information about local fishing. These are the fly fishing experts in the area. Not only will they know what artificial flies to use during each of the fishing seasons, they'll be able to tell you where to go to catch fish.

They have a really nice web site too which is full of great information, including detailed stream reports. They also offer guide services, fly fishing instruction, and even have a kids camp!

Folks at the Fly Shop have taken service to a whole new level. They've purchased private leases to property and offer a top quality fishing experience on these private waters! They're all catch-and-release fly fishing only waters, but anglers will have a fishing experience like no other on these prime fishing streams.

For more information, contact the folks at the Fly Shop at (530) 222-3555 or you can email them at

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Fishing Restrictions in Oklahoma

In March 2007, Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commissioners changed some fishing regulations. You'll want to be aware of these before you go trout fishing in Oklahoma. Below is a quick summary of new regulations.

Lower Illinois River (public fishing area) only allows fishing with artificial flies and lures and requires the use of barbless hooks. However, anglers using hooks size 3/0 or larger may use barbed hooks and natural baits (these anglers are mostly fishing for striped bass).

You're also only allowed to keep one rainbow trout a day and it must be at least 20 inches in length. These new rules apply to the half-mile stretch from the USGS steam gauge station downstream to the gravel pit county road.

Another change affects the Lower Mountain Fork River trout stream. Again, the restriction for artificial flies, lures, and barbless hooks was approved for the Evening Hole/Lost Creek areas. You're only allowed to keep one rainbow trout a day and it must be at least 20 inches.

The previous restriction on that portion of stream from Rough Branch Creek downstream to the reregulation dam were eliminated.

Landrum Wilderness Areas downstream approximately a half-mile was established and will be effective Nov.1-Feb. 29 annually. Artificial flies and lures, barbless hooks-only will be permitted in this area during this period. From March 1 through the end of trout season, this rule will not be effect and the statewide trout limit will apply.

Changing to other fishing regulations took effect as well. So if you also like to fish for black bass or walleye, be sure to check the new rules and regs before you go fishing.

Monday, April 02, 2007

How to Find Trout Fishing Information on this Blog

As you may have noticed, I try and post a new article or some tidbit of information relating to trout fishing every day or two. The goal is to provide the information and tools you need enjoy the sport more. As part of this effort, I try and share new trout fishing tips, news, and other information about happenings in the trout fishing world.

As time goes on, and more and more articles are added, they get pushed farther down the page and then eventually archived into a monthly folder. If you've come to the site looking for specific information, it can take a while to weed through the articles until you find what you're looking for.

That's too time consuming for many of us. So to make this much easier for you, I've included a search toolbar at the top of the window. Have you noticed it? It's a dark blue bar with an orange "B" next to it. You'll also notice a white box that you can use to type the info you're searching for. When done, just click the "Search this blog" button next to it.

If there is information relating to your search request, it will be found and displayed for you. Some times several articles will show with a brief description of each - that way you can click on the one you're interested in.

This toolbar makes it much easier to find the information you need to much more quickly. So use it as often as you like to find specific information. It's there to make things easier for you!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Top 5 Trout Fishing Spots in North Carolina

There may not be much trout fishing in North Carolina, but there are places you can go to catch stocked and wild trout. You might even find some big brown trout in these waters.

Below is a list of the top 5 trout fishing spots in North Carolina:
  • Talulah River (Robbinsville, Graham County)
  • Valley River (Andrews, Clay County)
  • Jonathan Creek (Bryson City, Swain County)
  • Deek Creek (Maggie Valley, Haywood County)
  • Allen Creek (Waynesville, Haywood County)
When fishing for trout in creeks and rivers, natural baits usually work best. This is especially true when fishing for brown trout. Worms (nightcrawlers and red worms) are always a favorite. But don't overlook spring lizards, and “nests” (the larva of wasps, yellow jackets or hornets) as possible bait sources. Using something with a bit color always makes your baited hook more attractive to trout swimming by!

However, in-line spinners and artificial flies often work too. When using spinners, stick to the smaller sizes and ones with rooster tails. Get them down deep in the water near the bottom.

Plugs that imitate crickets, grasshoppers, and might also be useful at times. They have been known to work on trout - especially larger trout!

For more information about North Carolina trout fishing, click here.