Out of all the fish species in North America, rainbow trout remains the most common as well as the most effortless to capture. Stocked in a large number of rivers and lakes in some of the most scenic locations in the country, rainbow trout are also enticed with a wide variety of baits and lures. Making quite a trophy, the fish ranges from 0.5 to 3 pounds, with more of them going over that size to make a great catch. Rainbow trout caught in the wild has a fantastic taste far superior to that raised on pellets. It will make a terrific adversary on light tackle thanks to how the fish jumps when hooked.
Use the right fishing rod and reel.
Fish with the lightest line you can find on the market. A line that is too visible will spook the fish away, especially under heavy pressure.
You can perfectly use a standard spinning rod and reel. Ultra-light spinning reels and rods are guaranteed with greater flexibility and sensitivity and are more than adequate to land most trout. For castability, you will want a 6- to 6.5-foot long rod that makes it simpler to use a float. Keep in mind to match the rod and reel, preferably medium to slow action fly rods.
Use the right lures and hooks.
Rainbow trout will eat anything thrown at them. Anything from jigs, spinners, spoons and plugs are great for fuss-free rainbow trout fishing. Sometimes, anglers have been surprised at how trial-and-error can yield either a bite or no takers at all for this fish specie. Try out lures in the 1-inch to 3-inch range size. Trout do not seem to have a specific pattern when it comes to lures that entice them to bite, so one type can easily elicit bites one day and will not invite anything the next day. Or they might want the same kind of lure the whole day and ignore all the others you have in your tackle box.
The best rainbow trout fishing lures are those that also attract other game fish living in the same streams and lakes as your primary target fish. You want to get good casting from the lures that should also ideally provide good erratic action to go nicely with a steady retrieve. Do remember to use smaller-sized lures between 1/16 and 1/32 oz. angled upstream.
For worm fishing, one can use any of two kinds of hooks: a split-shank hook or a tandem hook. One can thread a worm through the sharp points of a split-shank hook. Two hooks connected via a length of leader are found in a tandem hook rig. The lower hook has a downward-oriented curve and the upper hook located one inch above it has an upward-pointing bend. You can use hooks ranging from 6 to 14 according to the size of the bait. Make sure to conceal the whole hook when setting up the bait as rainbow trout are especially cautious and engage in nibbling, making them quite difficult to capture if you use an uncovered hook point.
Have the right bait on hand.
The best all-around baits for trout are worms and nightcrawlers, which are perfect for use in the fall and spring, specifically after rain has fallen. Other most commonly used baits are crickets and grasshoppers, which can be more effective when drifted downstream into the usual trout cover.
One can also employ minnows, salmon fish eggs and diminutive soft-shell crayfish. For salmon eggs, use egg hooks. Insect larvae starting to emerge in large numbers in streams can also prove to be productive. Minnows should preferably be in hues that resemble those of small rainbow trout.
To incite the trout to hold on a bit longer to the jig, try using a mealworm as well as adding some fish attractant. You have a choice from among plenty of natural fish food including frogs allowed for bait use, grubs, corn, cheese and other diet substances free of any fish-injurious or fish-destructive properties. These can include mayflies, wax worms, fly larvae and other bug larvae. Paste-type or putty bait along with dough bait can also be used.
For artificial baits, you can use the same type as that employed to capture other game fish, only in smaller sizes. Typically used are leadheads and spinner-baits. One can also use synthetic grubs, worms or eggs and other soft, plastic or synthetic unscented lures. There are commercial brand lures that utilize fragrance attractants and come in various hues.
Location, location, location.
When angling on an unfamiliar lake, look for a stream flowing in at any end, a spot where fish usually congregate. When fishing on a river, check out slow moving pools as well as spots behind large rocks where there’s slower moving water. Trout won’t be attracted to congregate in the fastest areas of a current since this would get them all tired out. The fish simply wait outside the current and ambush things floating by. Look for the downstream section of boulders, where an eddy is created right behind that allows the fish to face upstream while being shielded from the principal current.
The fish even position themselves right at the spot where the current is split. Bank cover with at least 6 inches overhead shading and a depth no more than 1 foot is preferred by the fish thanks to the spot’s similarity to boulders as habitation. Cover from brush, tree roots and wood logs is even more enticing.
Fish at the right time using the proper angling technique.
Rainbow trout are active throughout the year, but certain periods during the seasons ensure more productive catches.
In the summer, bait fishing produces the best results. In addition, due to the large incidence and greater degree of natural insect hatching, summer is also excellent for fly fishing. In the winter, choose to fish during the day’s warmest period from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Drift fishing can be used whether it’s raining or the sun is shining. Float fishing, which employs a bobber/floater, pretty much resembles drift fishing. Tight lining, a type of bottom fishing, offers a carefree angling experience. Keep in mind to get some polarized glasses for easy visibility of the bottom of the river or lake.