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Starting out in trout fishing – what do I need?

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Trout

What would you recommend as the right bait and tackle for trout fishing?

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  1. JB on Dec 15, 2012 Reply

    It goes without saying that everyone is different, and you need to find what works best for you. But let me give you a basic idea of what I would recommend, to hopefully set you in the right direction:

    Line size:
    Fly fishing rods and reels are designed according to a ‘line size’. Flylines range from 1 to 15. (This number doesn’t represent the strength of the line, rather the diameter) They are also available in a variety of types such as floating, sinking, sinking tip etc. For a first time trout flyline, I would suggest a floating line, with a 5 or 6 weight in the double taper.

    Leader:
    The leader makes the link between the fly and the line invisible to the trout. I would suggest a strength of anything from 5x to 7x.

    Rod:
    I would suggest an 8.5 or 9 foot rod to start. Any of the major brands will do – and there’s nothing wrong with an entry level rod. Major brands include Fenwick, HMGs, Sage rods, Daiwa, G-Loomis and Scott and Powell.

    Flies:
    You will need a good assortment of drys, nymphs, streamers and even some wets. I suggest trying some Humpies, Royal Coachmen, spinners and midges. But your local shop will have some good advice for flies that will work well in your area.

    Good luck and good fishing.

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  2. Juan on Dec 16, 2012 Reply

    You’ve already got some good tackle advice here thanks to JB, so I’m going to say a few words about bait instead.

    What kind of bait you pick depends partly on whether you’re fishing catch-and-release or if you’re keeping the fish.

    LIVE BAIT
    Live bait works real well in some situations, but you don’t want to use it if you’re planning to catch-and-release. Since it’s actual food for the trout, they’ll gulp it down and you’ll likely gut hook them. So that’ll pretty much prevent you from releasing them. Or, even if you get the hook out somehow, they’ll probably be badly injured and die anyway.

    Live bait’s great early in spring, though, if you’re looking for a good catch. There isn’t much “competition” from natural food animals like bugs at that point in the season. So the trout are hungry and will go for anything edible, really. You can’t beat live bait for that, because it looks like food, it wiggles around like food, and it smells like food in the water, too. But again, you’re not going to do well catching and releasing with this method.

    You may also need live bait if there’s a lot of fishing going on in the stream, and the trout need something attention-getting to get them to take your hook.

    GROCERY BAIT
    Some people also swear by cheese as a lure for trout, and from what I’ve seen, it can work pretty well. I haven’t used it much myself, though, so I can’t honestly say too much about this method.

    ARTIFICIAL BAIT
    Artificial bait is good for catch-and-release because the trout aren’t as likely to gulp it down deep. With that said, you’re probably going to need to do a little experimentation to find the fly that’s best suited to your technique, the streams or lakes you’re fishing, etc. That’s part of the beauty of trout fishing, though — it’s never dull. You can always try something new, and you can never predict totally how the fish are going to react.

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  3. Liam on Dec 27, 2012 Reply

    Just to add to JB’s advice: if you’re planning on fishing mostly in smaller streams, not big rivers or lakes, go for an ultra-light rod between 4 and 5 feet long. Then match this with a line that’s in the 2 to 4 pound test weight category.

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