Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

Archive for the tag “brook trout”

Fall Trout Camp 2018

Natch fishing backwards

If there’s a story about trout closer 2018 it’s that we needed cold weather to get fish moving up the trout streams and it happened, at least on the Pigeon River. Feral and I fished the Sturgeon twice, saw one brown trout about 18 inches and a couple small ones and that was it. Feral was so discouraged he went bird hunting (partridge) for a good part of the closer. Lots of long walks with a vintage Montgomery Wards 20 gauge pump he picked up somewhere for two and a quarter. He was determined to add a couple birds to our annual trout dinner. Didn’t work, scarce birds, but fortunately Natch and I went over to the Pigeon River where we found some pretty good fishing.

First trip, funny story. Natch and I were on a sandy stretch of the Pigeon and he caught a nice brown about 16 inches. I took the lead and caught one 19 inches. He took the lead and stopped at a pool too deep to wade and told me to make a few cast with my lure figuring maybe a trout might like what I was throwing. So, standing behind me, he made a long cast back downstream to where we had just fished. See the photo above. 21 inch male hook-jawed brown. Now that I think about it, that story isn’t so funny. Two days later I caught another brown about 19 inches on a different stretch of the Pigeon and Natch pulled out another 21 incher. That’s a disturbing trend.

Luther with 19 inch brown trout

Denny came up for one night. We were happy to see him. That was last Friday and it started raining that evening about the time we started thinking campfire for warmth. I had pitched a screen tent in case of rain so we set up lawn chairs in there and drank beer to get warm. Natch brought some home brew whiskey kind of thing which I tried and liked but held off. Natch is ten years younger and has an iron stomach. I am usually surprised by the variety of things he can mix down there. Denny headed home Saturday. I think he’s been too accustomed to camping in a heated trailer with Mike, our departed and missed brother.

I fished a second stretch of the Pigeon with Natch on Saturday. We jumped in the river off the Shingle Mill pathway and fished upstream to the Elk Hill Equestrian Campground. It was a long and treacherous journey that produced a couple fish (my second 19 incher) but it was brutal walk back to the car across low ground with tight saplings and heavy grass, and a hill made for mountain climbers. If we ever try that again we will be spotting a car at the campground. Lesson learned.

Natch suits up, just off the Shingle Mill Pathway

Feral picking out a good lure on the Sturgeon

On Sunday Feral said he was bird hunting again so Natch and I decided to fish another stretch together. So far we had been catching plenty of fish and there was one more section of the Pigeon we were thinking about, with some dread. Downstream from Tin Bridge. There’s no fisherman’s path along the river. You bust your way through saplings and pines and tall grass that hides stumps designed to trip you up or put holes in your waders. The grass is waist deep in some places and woven so tight you tear grass when walking through it. By the time we made it downstream to a bend that looked promising we had to drink a bottle of water and eat a nut trail mix snack just to see straight.

Natch spent part of the walk in figuring out how to get me out if I were to have a heart attack. The answer: tie two logs together and lay me on top, push me off, and hope I float down to the next campground. No real chance of me making it but I appreciate the thought. Seriously, if you get hurt back in there it’s time to make peace with the world.

Natch’s second 21 inch brown

We hadn’t fished but one or two bends before Natch hooked up with another decent fish. It came from under a grassy bank. From then on I was determined to catch something over 21 but it never happened. I did catch a nice rainbow, about 16 inches. It was surprising because brown trout seem to take over and dominate streams. I should mention while Natch and I fished Tin Bridge, Feral fished the Pigeon where it crosses Sturgeon Valley Road and pulled out a 16 inch brook trout. So there you go, exceptions to the rule.

Luther with a Rainbow

Natch and I were gone so long Feral decided to drive over to Tin Bridge and look for us. We were a couple hundred yards downstream of the bridge when I heard a whistle. Knew right off it was Feral. He joined us and took the lead.

Luther and Feral below Tin Bridge

Natch stayed back and took some photos. I was hoping to see Feral catch a really good brown – this was it, the end of the season, last stretch. Didn’t happen but the closer was everything we could have imagined. Productive fishing, some great campfires (Natch brought a chainsaw), a fish dinner cooked up with cajun fish mix, beer, fall colors getting traction. Good conversation, lots of humor. Doesn’t get any better.

Brook Trout in the Shallows

I visited my local creek again and rather than flooded it was well in the banks and the sun came out… the other thing that can go wrong. I should have went early morning when it was sprinkling. Still, the fish were biting. I caught five browns and one brook trout which was a nice surprise. About 16 inches. I don’t remember ever catching a brook trout on this stream but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be in there. Farther upstream they are likely common. I fish near where the creek empties into the Rogue River, where browns are dominant.

I caught him at the top of a deep, sharp right-hand bend, a place almost impossible to cast. I had to negotiate over a log and step into deep water then shuffle up to the inside bank. This left only a few short underhand casts, 10 feet or so, into pockets of branches leaning into the stream. And one cast straight upstream where the water was shallow. He took the lure in the shallow water and headed to the deep bend. I had to pull back on the rod and reel quickly to keep him out of dark mess on the opposite bank. The trout was hooked good and I was stuck in the stream where it was impossible to get out. I would have liked to set him on the bank for a nice photo but I could see nettles. I unhooked him with my needle-nose pliers and set him loose.

I released the browns too, which were similar in size, one or two a little smaller. I only saw one “lunker” brown which made several passes at my lure but I finally had to give up on him when I snagged a branch on the opposite bank.

Turned out to be a great escape from work. I do illustration work out of my house and when I get busy I often work weekends, which has been the case for about a month. So a little fishing on a Sunday afternoon was just what I needed to forget the workload and relax. A little camping soon would help too.

Michigan Brook Trout

Feral with brook trout

Feral with brook trout

I’ve been wanting to write about brook trout ever since I started blogging but the problem has been getting photos. Feral loaned me some of his and I found the one above which is a respectable brook trout for the water we fish. Generally speaking, brook trout reside far upstream from where we normally fish. They are more suited to the small headwaters where the water is colder. If we catch a brook trout on the lower stretches of a stream it will often be where a small feeder creek empties into a larger stream. Or where a small spring introduces cold water, sometimes trickling off a hillside.

Brook trout are more aggressive and less wary than brown trout. That works against them (vs fishermen) and may be one reason browns have taken over their territory. According to the Michigan DNR browns were introduced in our rivers in 1883 and say what you will, browns are great sport, run bigger, and are very abundant. That makes catching a nice brook trout all the more interesting. I probably catch one brook trout for every 20 browns. I always release them in the hopes the population will grow and I’ll see more of them. Feral releases them too.

We catch brook and brown trout on the same lures: minnow baits and spinners. If we were to concentrate on catching more brook trout, small spinners with wide blades would be the way to go. Blue Fox lures in gold or silver. Wider blade means more “hang time.” In effect, the trout have more time to see and catch the lures.

Mike and Denny, two trout camp regulars, often fish the Black River in the fall for brook trout. The Black angles through the Pigeon River State Game Area up near Vanderbilt. I fished it once with Mike and the stream was overgrown with a canopy of saplings and brush. It helped to be an expert at underhand flip casting because there is no way to overhand cast a lure into the trout cover. I am sure there are open stretches without so much canopy so that is a good excuse to do some exploring.

I am trying to place exactly where the above photo was taken and have concluded it is  on the Pine River in Lake County. The Pine may be one of the best naturally reproducing streams in Michigan. It’s landlocked with a dam so it doesn’t get salmon or steelhead runs and that may be the clue to it’s health. We catch browns, brooks, and rainbows out of the Pine which makes it interesting. A brook trout over 14 inches is an event that deserves a cold beer back at the truck. Of course, just getting back the truck also qualifies as a beer event.

Feral at truck

Feral tailgating the S-10, Labatts in hand.


Pigeon River Country Closer

Feral works a bend on the upper Sturgeon

Feral works a bend on the upper Sturgeon

The trout season came and went and I was fortunate enough to have several memorable camping/fishing trips this year with buddies that really bring something to the table – not the least a desire for adventure. For our trout season closer, Feral and I were joined by Natch first and Keith later up at Pickerel Lake which is centrally located in the Pigeon River State Game Area.

Natch is a trout camp regular having put up with Feral and I for something like a dozen years – so this year we told him he has graduated to “Honorary Member 2” not the least because he outfished Feral. I have asked Natch to write a first hand account of his trip to the Sturgeon River on the day we set up camp where he will hopefully mention those anglers whom he admires so much and have provided so much inspiration. It would be embarrassing, but not out of the question, for me to have to edit that kind of information in to his post. As a teaser, here’s a picture of the smallest of three fish, a twenty incher, he caught on a single pass at the river.

Natch's smaller brown trout

Natch’s smaller brown trout

The thing about Natch and Feral is they are both game for adventure and this year it was put to a test. I won’t go into a lot of detail here – look for a post later about Dog Lake Flooding, a pike haven of some repute. If the trip in to the flooding doesn’t destroy your truck, and you don’t fall through the floating bog mass, and the whitewater and freezing rain don’t exhaust your stamina, you might catch a… OK, I have said too much already. I’ll do a post with photos.

We also took the kayaks out on Pickerel Lake which was fun but not to productive. We caught a handful of bass and a couple perch but we had to work for those.

Luther and Feral at the boat landing

Luther and Feral at the boat landing

Natch on Pickeral with Feral in the distance

Natch on Pickerel with Feral in the distance

Natch pulled out Sunday night and then it was up to me and Feral to prove we could still catch a trout and fortunately The Pigeon River, recently decimated by a silt fish kill by the Song of the Morning dam, still holds trout if you know where to look and when to fish. In the fall, large brown trout move upstream into the decimated area and you might believe the fish kill never happened. Feral and I took a couple big trout – but we were amazed that Feral also caught two brook trout about 10 inches. I don’t know what that means but it could be the brook trout were hardier than the browns when the dam was opened.

Trout camp would not be trout camp if we didn’t play some guitar and knock down some beers over a campfire. Keith, another adventurer, came up Monday for one night – which is a good four hours drive both directions for one night of camping. Somebody conk me in the head with my guitar as I didn’t get a campfire photo of Keith playing. Keith is good enough to sit in with any world-class band and add killer lead guitar and he wasn’t about to pass on the chance to play with “Rock Bottom and the Out of Tuners” which is a name unfairly placed on Feral and I by jealous contemporaries who may not realize we own an electronic tuner.

We played some of our standards, like Buenos Tardes Amigo by Ween, but Keith really cooked when I started jamming the old JJ Cale song “Call me the Breeze.” Keith has some blues rock mojo and that took over. He played my old Les Paul Studio through a battery powered Roland Street Cube and rocked the campground. The other highlight was listening to him play my Martin acoustic including doing some of his own jams. A cold beer, an acoustic guitar played by a master, a warm fire… no further explanation needed.

Feral lights a fire with extra virgin cooking oil.

Feral lights a fire with extra virgin cooking oil.

Feral and Keith, morning coffee

Feral and Keith, morning coffee

I woke up a little before them, poured a coffee, and went down to the lake and took a few photos. Another reason why camping gets in your blood. I heard an elk bugle out past the lake through the fog.

Morning coffee, Pickeral Lake

Morning coffee, Pickerel Lake

So look for some more posts on the fall camping trip to Pigeon River State Game Area: Dog Lake Flooding; Natch’s account of 3 monster browns out of the Sturgeon, and some video Feral and I took on the Pigeon with big browns.

2012 Trout Camp Closer

I hope to write a couple posts about this years closer,  but here are some highlights:

  1. Great trout fishing – 4 browns 20 inches, many others
  2. Brooks and rainbows
  3. Great camping weather
  4. Plenty of beer
  5. Met some nice people – Ray and Desiree, her older brother, and his crazy girlfriend
  6. Ray cooked best venison I ever had
  7. Feral sang the Mexican song with Luther on acoustic guitar, even Natch joined in
  8. Mike and Denny camped on the Pigeon but came over for the campfire
  9. Stories and banter that encouraged another beer
  10. Another beer
  11. Feral re-invents the blow gun
  12. Natch fished the whole valley in one stretch
  13. Feral and I saw a bull elk that filled a two track – half a ton?
  14. Saw a bobcat, countless deer and turkey
  15. Waders leaked but I didn’t get cold
  16. Caught two big browns following Feral – offered to take the lead!
  17. Best trout camp ever.

Feral landing a good brown

Odd angle for a photo

Natch working the bend at the top of the valley

Checking length against Feral’s marked pole

The one hour trek through bear country

Why we make a one hour trek through bear country

A Wasted (fish) Life

Natch with one for the skillet

I hate to release a trout I think won’t survive. In Michigan there are minimum size limits for various trout species and it seems like the aggressive undersize trout are the ones most likely to perish from unhooking and handling. Unfortunately, if you are caught with an undersize trout you could face a fine – maybe even lose your license. So there is the dilemma – let the trout go when you know he may die or take it home to eat and risk a fine.  This may be a case where a little common sense may improve the law – allow a single undersize fish in the creel. Trust the angler to make a judgment call about the condition of the fish.

Larger fish are usually pretty tough. I have caught trout with a patch over one eye and their left pectoral fin tied behind their back, so survival rate is pretty good after they hit about fifteen inches. It is the duty of these experienced fish to teach the young ones about the various lures and how to recognize a treble hook, but I suspect the tough economy has had a trickle down effect so and more and more little trout have to fend for themselves without the sage advice of their elders.  The scary hook jawed trout wearing eye patches may offer advice at the stream corner but if little trout are like little people, their mommas told them not to talk to strangers.

From what I have seen there are no shortage of little trout – at least on the streams I fish. That may have a lot to do with the good management of the resource, or, more likely, on the ability of nature to replenish itself in spite of man.

I fished a steam about fifteen years back that crossed a major highway straddled by farm country. It was small, maybe ten to twelve feet wide with some mix of bottom including gravel and some very sandy stretches.  When I stepped on the sand, bubbles of gas came up that stunk like nothing I can describe. I suspect it had something to do with chemical run off from farm land. I kept fishing and caught a few small trout but sure didn’t keep any. After about an hour I came to a sharp bend and at the head of the bend the water was channeled through a tight spot.  I tossed my lure in the backwater of the tight spot and saw the largest brown trout I’d ever seen on a small stream. He made a wake going for my lure then ducked into the deep hole in the bend. I went back once or twice hoping to see that fish again. I suspect that massive trout had a couple good stories and with the help of chemicals may have spoken proper English but I never got the chance to interview him.

Back to small trout badly hooked, and some clarification: Depending on the stream, I’d like the option to cook up the ones I think won’t make it. If they speak English and ask to be put back I’ll honor their wishes.

The Monster Brown

This story by Feral Tweed  captures the excitement and drama of spin fishing for trout – a lone angler returns to a favorite stretch in hopes of catching a lunker he saw on his last trip. Feral’s metaphors are wonderful!  – Published by permission, copyright 2011 Feral Tweed.

The Monster Brown

by Feral Tweed

Dawn was still two hours away as I slipped my oId pickup into gear and turned my wipers on. The memory of my previous fishing trip was still fresh on my mind. Was that a brown trout I saw breaking the surface of that deep shining pool or was it a leftover steelhead? Though I knew there were a few remaining steelhead in the stream, I was convinced, then, that it had been a large brown, and this morning I hoped to find out. If only the rain would hold out, I thought, and if only the brown is still there.

I have always been a stream fisherman but I have never caught a brown trout larger than 18 inches. If I was right about the fish I had seen in the pool last weekend, I now had a chance at a brown that must be well over the magic twenty inch mark.

My headlights were getting dimmer and dimmer with each passing mud hole but I was alone on the road and could see well enough. My old metal tackle box was competing in a noisy contest with my broken exhaust pipe as I throttled my truck over the flooded two-track. I was heading to a spot on top of a large hill that overlooked a four hour stretch on the south branch of the Pine River in Alcona County. It’s still plenty dark I thought to myself as I jumped around like a circus performer trying to get into my chest waders- without putting either of my feet down on the rain soaked ground. Searching through the jumbled mass of hooks and lures that used to be my neat and orderly tackle box, I finally came up with my hand painted brook trout look-alike Rapala and couple of Mepps #2 bronze spinners. I stashed these in my breast pouch, picked up my rod and landing net, and headed down the dim leaf-covered path that led across the oak ridge and down through the cedar swamp to the stream.

The sound of the rain and my beating heart was all that I could hear as I made my way through the tangled mess of blown down cedars. I had to double back several times before I finally found an opening through the mess and made my way to the swift running stream. Halting there to catch my breath, I turned to listen to the mournful cry of a great horned owl somewhere out in the darkness. Hunting for her must be tough in this rain I thought, with all the mice and ground animals snug in a nest somewhere. She probably spent most of her night gliding silently from tree to tree searching for feathered prey roosting among the branches. She’d be giving up soon, I thought. I smiled. For me the hunt was just beginning. I lit my pipe and rigged up my rod.

This lure should do it, I thought as I tied a three inch Rapala securely to my new six pound test line. I don’t normally use lures this large on a brook trout stream but the spring rains should have brought the larger trout up from the main branch down below, and I was after larger trout on this trip. One trout above all, was the monster brown I had seen the week before.

Slipping down into the cold black water I could see that I was about one hundred yards below the deep pool that held the monster brown on my last visit. I tossed an under hand cast up and across the stream to the opposite bank. I watched with anticipation as my lure twitched seductively on the surface of the rain dappled water, then down into the current as it came past me. Taking up my line I tossed another cast upstream that fell just three feet from the bank. As I took up the slack in my line, my lure was smashed instantly by a nice brook trout that leaped several times into the air before I could get him under control and pull him downstream and away from the hole. The twelve inch brookie was a nice surprise. I slipped him carefully back into the water and moved slowly upstream towards the hole where I hoped to find the monster brown. I tried several more casts with no luck.

Stopping below the pool I worked out my strategy. Just in front of me were two half submerged cedars lying directly across the stream. Above the cedars lay the pool with the stream turning sharply off to the right. Over to the left where the cedars struck the bank the water was close to five feet deep and the current dug down fast and deep under the tangled mass of debris left there by the spring thaw. In order to get my lure down under the jam, where I expected the monster to be, I would have to make the long cast upstream and across. Then I would have to let my lure ride the surface down along the far bank and start working it back just as it hit the jam. Hopefully it would dig down under the cover and entice the large trout out of his seemingly impenetrable hiding place.

Luck was with me as I made the cast. My lure touched down easily just inches from the opposite bank, well upstream of the pool. I watched it silently as it slid downstream occasionally bumping into weeds that were hanging off the bank. A perfect cast is always rewarded, I thought to myself as I took up the slack line. Then I swung my rod out and down and watched as my lure dove beneath the surface of the water just inches in front of the log jam. I was rewarded instantly by the steady throbbing of the well tuned rapala as it shifted its course and dug down for the upstream run.

Was the monster down there watching? Was he hungry after a full night of constant rain? Where is he, I wondered, as my lure came out from under the log jam. I didn’t have to wonder long. There he was sliding through the cold water like a u-boat homing in on my rapala. A shudder went through my body the instant before he struck. Then, he was on!

I set the hooks hard driven by more shear panic than good judgment.  I couldn’t believe the size of the monster. He didn’t run with my lure – he just rolled sideways in the current and shook his mighty head back and fourth like a large dog shaking an unlucky cat. My heart was racing as I regained my senses and plunged the rod tip over the cedars and into the stream in a frenzied attempt to keep from breaking my line. Don’t go downstream, I hollered. Don’t go downstream.  The brown replied swiftly by making a mad dash back across to the security of the log jam. No, no, not there either, I hollered. I could imaging all kinds of things under there he could hang himself up on. I swung my rod tip upstream to hold him and managed to get one foot over the cedars before he made a spectacular leap and hit the water on a dead run straight upstream. Shoot. I was astraddle the two cedars with neither foot on the bottom and fighting for balance and I watched in desperation as the line peeled steadily off my reel sending a spray of mist with it. Somewhere upstream I heard the monster break the surface. Freeing myself from the cedars, I plunged into the pool, all thoughts of personal safety and plain human comfort behind me. With no more than two quarts of freezing trout stream down the front of my waders I made it through the pool.

Again I heard the fish leap. Cranking for all I was worth I made my way up to a straight-away that was covered over the top and two sides by thick brush.  Ducking through a low tunnel, I came up to a pool below a beaver dam. There was my monster brown finning easily on a gravel bar contemplating his next move. I was perhaps twenty feet behind him waiting nervously like a bird dog on a hot point. I could see my lure hanging from his long hooked lower jaw. A large male, I thought to myself, all of twenty five inches. My landing net was fastened to a loop on the back of my waders. I would have to reach around with my left hand for it and let go of my reel in the process. I decided to take up some slack in my line first and get a little closer to the fish.

That was my mistake. The moment I moved out of the opening to the deep stretch behind me the monster came to life. I half jumped out of the way as he turned and came down by me. Unable to keep a tight line on him, I watched in desperation as he went by me into the tunnel of swift moving water. For an instant I lost all contact with the fish. Fearing what I knew was going to happen, I raised my rod tip high over my head hoping I would be able to break his run without losing him.

Then he was there. It all seemed to happen in slow motion. First, my rod tip plunged down from overhead splashing against the water in front of me.  Then, down in the tunnel, I watched as the monster brown, framed by the overhead canopy of lush green vegetation, rose mightily from the surface against the straining line. For an instant the brown was clear of the water shaking back and forth like a John Deere at a tractor pull. Then my lure was sailing through the air and up into the brush. Instantly the monster was under the surface and gone. The stream swallowed him up as if he had never been there.

I stood silently, watching as my dreams and heart were swept away in the turbulent water. Then I noticed the rain falling and heard the birds singing their morning songs in the cedars around me. I turned to face upstream and realized that I still had a three hour stretch in front of me. Who could tell, there might even be another monster brown out there waiting for me.

Feeder Creeks

Feral on undisclosed feeder creek

Some of the best spin fishing can be found on the small creeks eight to twelve feet wide that feed the streams made famous by the Hemingway’s of the world. They don’t get much traffic other than an occasional worm fisherman because casting is next to impossible. If you can cast and send lures horizontally into tiny pockets there is hope. Having been taught by an expert (Jake Lucas) that performed trick casting on Michigan Outdoors in the 1960’s helps in my case. Along with untold years of doing just that: casting into difficult cover.

When possible, fish feeder creeks during a summer rain, enough to boil the water or at least dapple it enough so trout don’t see you standing there. Feeder creeks come alive during a summer rain and can provide the best action you will see for the year. In the summer a sixteen inch fish is good, in the fall when the weather turns nasty and the closer approaches, big fish move out of the main stream and up the feeder creeks to find food. For years I travelled long distances to fish the famous and noted water during the summer and then caught my best fish of the year on a local feeder creek. In Michigan, you don’t have to drive far to find feeder creeks since major rivers crisscross the state.

Rain helps but you can also do well early morning or late evening. The trout are usually aggressive for any lures because the competition for food is great, and the trout are not as suspicious of lures as they are on the main rivers. They will stray away from their cover into the main stream channel for a sizable or flashy (think spinners) meal. While I mainly find brown trout on feeder creeks, there is a good chance of catching brook trout the further you go upstream. Catching a brook trout is like stepping back in time, back before the brown trout plantings and the later steelhead and salmon stocking. I don’t keep brook trout. I look them over, enjoy their beauty, and turn them back. Just seeing one is enough.

The Mepps Black Fury Spinner

I always carry a #3 Black Fury spinner with me when trout fishing. I don’t use the lure often even though I have a lot of faith in it. I’ve caught a lot of trout on this and smaller versions over the years. It was all I used on the Baldwin River when I first started spin fishing – it was that dependable.

Now I use it when I need something magical, something that makes no sense, something the trout won’t recognize but want to attack. The stream conditions and topography have to be right. I mainly use it for deep pools and runs. If the water is stained and the stream flooded, that is a bonus. The lure sinks out of sight, down where big trout hold in deep water, and can be reeled in slow because of the large blade. There is no second guessing when a trout hits it. They smash it. The single treble hook does its job – the trout stay on until landed.

Sinking out of site means you can lose the lure on hidden logs and branches. If you do get hung up, wade upstream of the snag as far as possible to leverage it off.

I also carry plain gold and silver spinners in various sizes which must look like the scales of small fish glittering in the stream. On bright days and clear streams, the glitter can entice trout out of cover even though the fish may be smallish.

Mepps also makes a version with a bucktail but I prefer no tail for trout.  For Pike fishing, I think a bucktails adds to the attraction. For trout I think the bucktail looks unnatural, though it is impossible to understand what they consider natural considering they attack Black Fury lures. I have no idea what this lure represents to them.

10 Tips for catching Big Trout with Spinning Gear

Hook-jawed Brown Trout and Hook-jawed Angler

These tips are gleamed from a lifetime of catching trout on Michigan streams, but by no means tell the whole story. The main missing ingredient here is pinpoint casting accuracy- getting the lure under over hanging branches and into pockets that seem impossible to cast to. Read the Close-faced Spinning Reels post for an idea of equipment, and I’ll write a post soon on how to do the Jake Lucas underhand flip cast. Master that, and you can place a cast where the big fish hide.

  1. Wade and cast upstream – they don’t see you coming.
  2. You can’t reel a lure fast enough to keep a trout from taking it. If it wants your lure it will get it.
  3. Trout like a big meal. I have caught trout the same length as the lure I was casting.
  4. A short cast will catch trout – work the banks and cover at all angles.
  5. Fish rising rivers, the beginning of a good rain, for the most fish.
  6. Fish late fall for the biggest fish – catch them in upper stretches of your favorite river.
  7. Try flashy spinners in muddy water and minnow baits in stained water.
  8. On bluebird days with clear streams, a trout is a bonus. Enjoy the day.
  9. Trout are hardy, but not indestructible.  Carry needle nose pliers so you can unhook and turn them back quickly. (Keep only what you need for a meal.)
  10. Visit this site for more tips!

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