Trout Fishing Techniques Overview


Successful trout fishing uses many techniques. But all techniques can be broken down into stream and still water methods. Some of the still water trout fishing techniques are:

  1. Bait fishing techniques with worms, shrimp, minnows or other types of bait.
  2. Spinner techniques with lures, spoons and other spinners.
  3. Trolling with lures of some type is one of the most effective ways to catch trout in a lake or pond. The best lures are ones that have blades that are flashy and make noise when pulled through the water. Most fish locate the majority of their prey through noise the prey makes swimming. Bait fish and nymphs in still water will move about and make noise allowing trout to locate them through their sensitive lateral line hearing organ.Trolling involves determining the depth at which trout or other fish are located. Then putting your rig down into the fishes holding and feeding location. These days, a fish finder that shows the depth and fish is generally used to locate schools of fish. After the proper depth is determined, a small trolling motor is generally used to move your boat forward pulling the rig after it.But did you know that trolling can be done by a fisherman in a stream by allowing some line with the leader and fly attached to be in the water while wading from one spot to the next. I have used this trout fishing technique many times over the years and have caught trout with it. (Just make sure it is not illegal where you are fishing.)

Stream Trout Fishing Techniques

Generally when thinking of trout fishing, most people think of fly fishing. Fly fishing techniques can be broken down into sub-surface and on the surface. Sub-surface means fishing between the bottom of the stream and the surface of the water column.

Sub-Surface Trout Fishing Techniques:

  1. nymph fishing
  2. streamer fishing
  3. fishing with small lures and a spinning rod

Several advanced nymph fishing techniques are:

  • combining the dead drift with small rod tip twitches several times during the drift to simulate the nymph struggling to get out of the current. This technique depends on fishing a nymph that is in the swimmer category.
  • The Leisenring Lift with a skim and twitch at the end of a drift.
  • When fishing stone flies, complete the dead drift and swing the nymph in toward the bank to simulate a stone crawling out to hatch.

Dry Fly Fishing Techniques

  1. dry fly fishing on the surface when there is an insect hatch going on
  2. using a dry fly – dropper combination when trout are taking emergers below the surface
  3. fishing with terrestrials in the late summer or early fall when ants, grasshoppers and land beetles are available and being blown into the water by winds.

An interesting dry fly fishing technique during a caddis hatch is using a short leader with a light 6x or 7x tippet. At the end of your drift, point the rod down the line and give a sharp upward twitch about 6 inches. This will send a wave down the line lifting the caddis dry fly off the water and allowing it to settle back. This imitates a female caddis laying eggs.

While these lists of fly fishing trout techniques are not all inclusive, they do represent a good overview of the main categories of methods available for catching trout.