How to Fish for Trout: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Fishing is fun and an incredible pastime. It may seem not very easy for novice anglers. But once you have some basic fishing skills, including how to tie basic fishing knots, you may consider trout fishing. Of course, fishing for trout gives you a sense of freedom, an incredible way to enjoy nature, and a challenge.

Besides, trout fishing is a source of natural food and a remarkable way to bond with friends.

This article is for you if you are a beginner interested in learning how to fish for trout. Ideally, trout fishing is simple if you understand the basics. We will take you through trout fishing tips and tricks as well as the requirements.

But first, let us learn more about trout!


Top 10 Facts About Trout

It is impossible to fish for trout successfully if you do not understand this unique fish species. So, these ten facts will enhance your fishing experience.

These facts include;

  • Although there are various variations and adaptations of brown trout, they all belong to a single species. Many people want to divide them into different species based on variations and adaptations.
  • Trout feed on other fish, mice, insects, crayfish, planktons, and small birds.
  • Brown trout has a lifespan of up to 20 years.
  • You will commonly find trout in freshwater. The waters must be clear and calm.
  • Trout change color based on level of activity. They become darker when aggressive and lighter when submissive.
  • Trout can grow even after you catch them.
  • The four primary types of trout include brown trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout.
  • While many people think that brown trout do not grow big, they can grow large. The largest all tackle trout caught in 2030 weighed 42 lb. 1 oz.
  • It is more challenging to catch brown trout than any other type of trout.
  • The best moment to catch trout is immediately before a storm. Trout can sense an imminent change of atmosphere and begin to feed heavily.


Getting Started: How to Fish for Trout Successfully

With the above facts, we believe that you know everything about trout, and you are now ready to try your luck and skills in the waters. We now outline some of the essential steps you will need to follow if you want to fish for trout.


Step 1- Get A Fishing License

You will undoubtedly require a fishing license if you want to fish in the US and Canada. Many countries across Europe will also require you to have a fishing license.

Different states and countries have different rules and regulations for fishing for trout. Sometimes, a trout permit may be necessary. However, if you intend to fish in a trout park, a trout tag or trout card will do.

Notably, the type of license you acquire will depend on the kind of fishing you intend to carry out. For example, you cannot fish in freshwater lakes or streams with a saltwater license. The reverse is also applicable. You can choose to have single permission or multiple licenses.

Ideally, trout is easier to catch in freshwaters. Therefore, if you want to start with a single license, go for a freshwater license.

Getting a relevant fishing license is not a challenging undertaking. Many countries and states will have online portals for acquiring appropriate fishing licenses. In these portals, you will also find the specific fishing laws and regulations that you will need to follow.


Step 2- Finding the Right Trout Fishing Equipment

Among the trout fishing tips, choosing the right trout fishing equipment is a vital consideration. You will not get it right without the excellent trout fishing equipment. Choosing your gear can be difficult. It even gets more tasking if you are a beginner. You can decide to hire your gear or buy pocket-friendly options if you are new to trout fishing.

Your trout fishing gear should include the following;

  1. A fishing rod- Fishing rods are often the easiest to purchase. While your choice may often depend on the type of reel you have, many rods are compatible with most reel types. You can get a rod online or from sporting shops and stores.
  2. A fishing reel- There are several types of fishing reels. The type of reel you go for will depend on your skill level and personal preference. You can make your work easier by going for a reel and rod combination.
  3. An assortment of fishing lines- Fishing lines are also worth your consideration. Although a complete combination of fishing lines and rod will also come with a string, that is usually not enough. You will also need other lines in your tackle box. Extra lines will come in handy when your primary line snaps. Also, different fishing conditions require different fishing lines. Include braided lines and other different kinds of lines since you may find an unexpected type of fishing environment.
  4. A complete tackle box- Include everything you need into your tackle box. You can also include your extra lines as well as a first-aid box. Do your homework well, and ensure that you have everything you need in your tackle box. We will handle this in the later steps.
  5. Trout fishing baits- Is it possible to go trout fishing without fishing baits? You will also need the proper baits for trout. Interestingly, a variety of baits are ideal for catching trout. Notable, baits you can use for trout fishing include minnows, eggs, leeches, crayfish, frogs, insects, grasshoppers, and worms. You can also use lures or artificial baits. An excellent example of artificial bait is the famous power bait.
  6. Trout Fishing Lures- When you decide to go for lures, a good lure is a must-have if you want to learn how to fish for trout. Some of the most effective lures include spinners, hard body lures, spoons, and soft body lures.


Step 3- Find the Right Trout Fishing Points

Where and when are you most likely going to find a good catch for trout? Ideally, your trout fishing spot is as essential as your tackle and the rest of your fishing gear. Although you can find trout in nearly every waterway, you need to be careful about the exact trout location.

Irrespective of the type of waterway, the water body must have the following attributes;

  • They must have calm and clean water.
  • The water masses must have adequate cover to protect the fish from predators.
  • The water bodies must be suitable habitats for natural trout food such as minnows, aquatic insects, and crawfish.

Generally, trout habitats fall under two basic categories. The fish location, fishing tactics, and fish behavior will vary from one habitat to another. The habitat categories include;

  • Still waters
  • Moving waters

Finding Trout in Still Waters

Firstly, it is essential to note that still-water habitats include lakes and ponds. While these waters do not move much, the opposite is the case for trout living in them. The fish is always on the move, and they cruise the water looking for food.

But predators are a common threat to the trout marauding lakes and ponds. Thus, as the fish move, they never want to stray too far from cover.

While you can still make a large catch in the summer, the best time for fishing or fly fishing for trout is during the fall and spring. Water is conveniently cooler during these seasons, and this comes with enhanced trout activity. Also, it is during these seasons that many lower elevation lakes have the highest stock of trout.

Interestingly, the change in seasons does not have a notable effect on high mountain lakes. These water bodies remain notably cooler all year round, and trout activity is generally the same. Irrespective of the season, you will always have options.

When fishing in lakes and ponds, you will most likely find trout in the following habitats;

  • Above or near aquatic vegetation
  • You will also find fish in areas with deeper waters. When fishing during warm summers, venture into deeper waters. During these seasons, trout tend to go deeper to find protection against overhead predators and cooler water underneath.
  • Look for trout around structures such as logs, rocks, and stumps located near inlets. Trout hang around these sections for cool freshwater. Also, many streams and rivers carry food into the lake, and the foodstuff will cling to the structures.

Finding Trout in Moving Waters

Trout habitats classified as moving waters include rivers and streams. These habitats are also rich in trout, and any angler can venture into these habitats for trout fishing.

But unlike in still waters where trout will move looking for food, they do not move much in still waters. Instead, they stay put in a single spot and wait for food moving along the flowing water. Notably, trout in moving waters depend on aquatic insects that come with the water current.

Trout will stay in particular spots to look for food and escape predators. Similarly, trout in moving waters also play hide and seek with the moving currents and remain in relatively still sections of the stream or rivers to rest from the raging current.

And like in still waters, the best time to hunt trout in moving waters is in the fall or spring when the water is relatively cooler. Also, you will be fishing for wild fish or naturally producing trout since most rivers are stocked during these seasons.

Look for trout in the following sections when fishing for trout in moving waters;

  • Near undercut or steep river banks
  • In slower moving sections, which are often deeper
  • Behind rocks, stumps, or other structures. If stones are not visible, you can always look over the water for areas with rifles or bumps. These sections are always a result of water flowing over boulders or rocks on the riverbed.


Step 4- Equip Your Tackle Appropriately

While we already mentioned this in the previous sections, we find it vital to handle it more elaborately. It deserves special attention. Without the right gear in your tackle, your trout fishing mission will be a flop.

Assembling the correct fishing equipment is not as complicated as most novice anglers think. It would be best if you had a fishing reel and a compatible fishing rod. You will also need an assortment of bait hooks, lures, artificial baits, and bobbers to get started.

Consider the following as your fundamental shopping list;

  1. A spin-casting or a simple spinning reel. You can also consider a fishing reel of your choice, depending on your preferred type of fishing reel.
  2. Ensure you have a lightweight spin-casting or spinning rod. Kindly ensure that the spinning rod you choose is compatible with your fishing reel.
  3. A 4-6-pound fishing line. Although a monofilament line work in most aquatic environments, always consider stocking other lines too. Mother Nature is unpredictable, and you will probably lose or break your line during your fishing expedition.
  4. A package of #8 bait hooks
  5. Several #5 lead split shots
  6. 3 or 4 red and white fishing bobbers
  7. A small jar of PowerEggs or PowerBait
  8. Fishing worms
  9. A handful of spinners


Top 5 Trout Fishing Tips for Beginners

These tips are ideal for any angler who intends to release the fish they catch back to the water. They are;

  1. When you make a catch, land the fish quickly before it tires during the push and pulls.
  2. Ensure that all your hooks are barbless
  3. Wet your hands before handling your catch, and do not remove the fish from the water for more than a couple of seconds. That should be enough for any photos with your camera already set.
  4. Use hemostats or needle-nosed pliers to get rid of the hook.
  5. Do not let the fish back into the water before reviving it in the current.


Key Takeaway

We believe that you now have all the information and knowledge you need fishing for trout with this. You can choose to try your luck and skills in moving or still waters. Also, depending on your license type, you can choose to venture into salty waters or freshwaters. With the proper steps, rest assured that you will increase your fishing success and improve your safety.

Still, we find it vital to warn you that trout fishing is incredibly addictive. If you make it a hobby, plan adequately to avoid missing out on other essential responsibilities.