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432 East Idaho, Suite #C251 Kalispell, MT 59901
email: tkugler@jrwfishing.com

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What is The Best Way to Catch a Trout?



As a person who has been fishing for and catching trout for more than 25 years, there is one question that I get asked more than almost any other and that question is, "What is the best way to catch a trout?". Because of this, I decided it was time to write something down, so that the information was readily available for anyone that is interested in an answer to this often asked question.

Before I get down to the answer itself, I think it's important to point out that while I am an avid trout fisherman, who enjoys fishing for trout as much as any species of fish, I am not a fly fisherman, which some people (especially ones who do fly fish) find strange. I think this is because virtually every time you see a trout caught on television it's often being done by some holier than thou fly fisherman, but the truth of the matter is that there are many trout fishermen who prefer to use tradition spin fishing gear when they head out to catch a trout or two. I consider myself among these fishermen and prefer to fish for trout while employing ultralight spin fishing gear. With that being said, let's get down to business, what do you say?

While there are a variety of ways to catch a trout, what I will outline is the one method that has always performed the best for me. This technique was taught to me almost 30 years ago by a man renowned throughout the area of Pennsylvania that I grew up as being a "trout fishing master" of sorts, a man who just happened to be my best friends father. The technique is performed in the flowing water of any small to medium sized river. The size river that can be waded and fished easily and the kind of river that more than likely comes to mind when you think of the term 'trout fishing'.

I refer to the specific technique as drift fishing and it is in my opinion the most enjoyable and effective way to catch a trout whether you are talking about rainbow, brown, brook, or even cutthroat trout. I'm going to try not to embellish the fact that the technique is simple, because it is, but there are nuances that get learned through experience and repetition that make the technique very effective. I prefer to drift fish while using live worms as bait, but the technique can also be done with synthetic worms such as Powerbait floating trout worms or even small spinners and spoons.

To catch a trout while drift fishing the technique is this; you rig your bait and cast it into the flowing current, parallel to where you are standing in the river. When your bait hits the water, the bail of your fishing reel is closed and your offering is allowed to drift with the current of the river. As the bait tumbles downstream, hungry trout will nibble, bite, or sometimes inhale the bait, resulting in a caught trout. Weight should be added to your line in the form of split shot sinkers or tape lead so that your rig bounces along the bottom of the riverbed as it drifts.

This is where practice and repetition comes into play as trial, error, and experience are all needed to determine the perfect amount of weight for the stretch of river that you are attempting to catch trout in. Becoming snagged on the bottom is common when drift fishing (especially when you are new to the technique), but this it will happen less and less the more experience that you gain. This technique of casting followed by allowing your bait to drift with the current is repeated downstream for as long (or as far) as you want to try to catch trout on a particular day.

You will find that deep runs, pools, and undercut banks are all productive area's and are the type of water that you want to focus your fishing efforts on whenever possible. As I said, you will find that with experience, drift fishing is as effective a trout fishing technique as there is. Is it the best way to catch a trout? In my mind, absolutely. Now it's up to you to give the technique a shot and see if you feel the same?

JRW Fishing.com ~ Quality products for fishermen from Northwest Montana
432 East Idaho, Suite #C251 Kalispell, MT 59901
email: tkugler@jrwfishing.com