Trout are one of the most popular kinds of fish that anglers like to catch for sport, and, in addition to being plain fun to catch, they come with the advantage of being great to eat as well!
In this article, we’ll run through all you need to know to get started with catching trout, including where to go, what equipment to use, and what techniques are most likely to have you going home with a bag full of trout for dinner.
What Are Trout?
Trout are a kind of freshwater fish that are closely related to both salmon and char. In fact, there are several different varieties of trout, many of which are fished for sport and food.
In the US, the five major varieties are rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, and lake trout. Other varieties can be found in more localized areas.
Where Do Trout Live?
Trout are native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and have also been introduced in Australia and New Zealand. Regardless of the continent you’re searching on, the best place to find trout is in cool water of between 50 and 60°F.
They live in both streams and lakes and can be found in all sorts of places, from mountains to lowlands near the shore. Wherever you are, there are likely to be trout to catch near you!
Trout Fishing Regulations
Before you head out to the water to get fishing, make sure you’re up-to-date on the local trout fishing regulations.
Since these vary depending on where you are, you can check the website of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, search for the area where you’re planning to fish,
and find out what the rules are there. For example, there might be limits on the minimum length of trout you’re allowed to catch, on the equipment you’re allowed to use, and so on.
Another reason this is useful is because it can give you detailed information about exactly where the best waters for trout fishing are,
including maps, fishing reports, aids to identifying different fish, and tips for successful fishing.
Best Tackle To Use For Trout
The good news is that just about any kind of tackle can be used for catching trout, as long as the hook isn’t too big, so you can probably use whatever kind you already have.
That being said, the best results usually come from using the lightest equipment practical. Trout are often cautious fish, and can be scared off by thick, bulky lines and the like.
A 6-8 foot rod with a light, monofilament line (up to 8lbs) would be a good setup to get started with trout fishing.
Best Baits Or Lures To Use For Trout
The best baits or lures to use when fishing for trout depend on a whole range of factors from water conditions to your own personal preference.
If you’re fishing in water that’s less than clear, and particularly if you’ll be fishing when it’s dark, a natural bait is a must.
This is because while the water or light conditions might stop the trout from seeing a lure, they’ll still be able to smell natural bait in the water.
Natural bait is also particularly useful in areas that are heavily fished, because in places like this, the trout might have become aware that the lures are there to trick them.
They won’t be able to resist natural bait, though. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing which natural bait to use.
Live worms are good, as are insect larvae, minnows and other baitfish. You might be surprised to hear that trout can also be lured with things like chunks of velveeta cheese, mini marshmallows, salmon eggs, and pieces of canned corn. Take your pick!
That’s not to say that you can’t use lures – plenty of success is there to be had by using lures to fish for trout. Many kinds of lures are effective. Small minnow-type plugs are excellent, as are crankbaits, jigs, spoons, and small spinners.
All you’ll need to do is cast the lure near some cover and reel it in as slowly as you can. That might well be enough to snag you more than a few trout.
Fly Fishing For Trout
If you want to get into fly-fishing for trout, then the best thing to do is find someone who knows what they’re doing who’s willing to teach or mentor you in learning, as it can be a bit of a difficult process to start with.
To start out with, you can try a graphite rod of around 8-9 feet and 5-6lbs with a good reel and a floating weight-forward fly line.
There are many different types of flies, so it’s best to consult an expert in your area to give you advice on which will be best for catching fish in your local area.
You’ll also want to get some waders, since you’ll be spending a fair amount of time standing in rivers and streams if you’re serious about fly-fishing.
There are different models made from different materials, both with and without built in boots. Shop around and see which ones suit you before you buy.
It’s also advisable to actually try the waders on, or at least see them in person, before you buy them, as you’re going to be spending a lot of time in them and uncomfortable waders might lessen the enjoyment of fishing, which is the last thing you want.
Trout are such a fun fish to go angling for that nobody should miss out. With this guide, you’ve got the information you need to get started and join in on the fun.
Don’t give up if you struggle at first, because the experience you gain from giving it a try even just a few times will make it so much easier later, and before you know it,
you’ll be the one that people come to ask for advice about trout fishing. Good luck, and happy fishing!