Small Stream Trout fishing in Michigan

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Wading Deep

Wading Deep

One of the interesting things about trout fishing is meeting whatever challenge comes up. In order to catch trophy trout you have to put yourself into a position where you have a genuine shot at getting a big fish to take your lure. It may be necessary to wade though deep holes, balance on invisible and unstable logs, lean into a hard current, and try to lob an awkward cast into thick cover while swatting that mosquito that is buzzing you ear.

Successful trout fishing is all about making the perfect cast and to do that you need to be in the right spot whether in the middle of the stream or near the bank. And you have to be on the move – continually working cover with a few select casts and then pushing further upstream to the next piece of cover. Generally you stay on the inside of bends so you cross the stream constantly. Imagine a shoot-em-up video game where you are constantly moving forward and blasting enemy that come into view. Sort of like that but you need to be as accurate with your casting as you are with your imaginary rifle.

But this post is about wading deep. If I take the route up through the stream that others don’t – I know may be rewarded. I am often on my tip toes in water so muddy or stained that my feet are my eyes. It’s ballroom dancing on a minefield. You learn to walk sideways in a fast current to reduce drag and gauge the steepness of the decline into pools and whether you can muster your way around some trash or blowdown to stay in the stream. Climbing up on the bank to go around blowdowns or deep pools is a last option – you want to stay in the water because that is where to make the next perfect cast. The one that takes a big trout.luther on Pigeon 2


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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