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What is Trout  Trout Full Detail   Baits   Equipment 
Fishing For Trout

a. Any of various freshwater or anadromous food and game fishes of the family Salmonidae, especially of the genera Salmo and Salvelinus, usually having a streamlined, speckled body with small scales.

Salmonidae is a family of ray-finned fish, the only living family of the order Salmoniformes. It includes the well-known salmons and trouts;

b. Any of various similar but unrelated fishes, such as the troutperch.

Trout today can be found in cold water streams, rivers, lakes and ponds throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Most are best in spring and fall, with Rainbows active in the summer as well. Golden Trout, found in the High Sierras at altitudes above 10,000 feet, are best in summer.

Spring and fall runs concentrate the most fish in pools, behind rocks and other obstructions or current breaks and beneath falls.
Deep cuts on the outside of a river/stream bend are also excellent. Lake and pond dwelling trout often roam in schools along drop offs (10’-40’) and move into the shallows during the spring.

In Detail

Trout have fins entirely without spines, and all of them have a small adipose (fatty) fin along the back, near the tail. There are many species, and even more populations that are isolated from each other and morphologically different. However, many of these distinct populations show no significant genetic differences, and therefore what may appear to be a large number of species is considered a much smaller number of distinct species by most ichthyologists (the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fish).

The trout found in the eastern United States are a good example of this. The brook trout, the aurora trout and the (extinct) silver trout all have physical characteristics and colourations that distinguish them, yet genetic analysis shows that they are one species, Salvelinus fontinalis.

Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), like brook trout, actually belong to the char genus. Lake trout inhabit many of the larger lakes in North America and live much longer than rainbow trout which have an average maximum life span of 7 years. Lake trout can live many decades and can grow to more than 30 kg (66 pounds).

Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

Trout generally feed on soft bodied aquatic invertebrates, such as flies, mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, and dragonflies. In lakes, various species of zooplankton often form large parts of the diet. In general, the larger specimens of trout (longer than about 30 cm) prey almost exclusively on small fish, if they are available.

As a group, trout are somewhat bony, but the flesh is generally considered to be tasty. Additionally, they provide a good fight when caught with a hook and line, and are sought after recreationally. Because of their popularity, trout are often raised on fish farms and planted into heavily fished waters in an effort to mask the effects of overfishing. While they can be caught with a normal rod and reel, fly fishing is a distinctive method developed primarily for trout and now extended to other species. Farmed trout and char are also sold commercially as food fish.

Trout that live in different environments can have dramatically different colorations and patterns. Mostly, these colors and patterns form as camouflage, based on the surroundings, and will change as the fish moves to different habitats. Trout in, or newly returned from the sea, can look very silvery, while the same "genetic" fish living in a small stream or in an alpine lake could have pronounced markings and more vivid coloration. It is virtually impossible to define a particular color pattern as belonging to a specific breed; however, in general, wild fish are claimed to have more vivid colors and patterns.

Golden trout, Oncorhynchus aguabonita

The cutthroat trout has 14 recognized subspecies, such as the Lahontan cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi, Bonneville cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki utah, Colorado River cutthroat trout, Yellowstone cutthroat trout.


In general, salmon eggs, spawn bags, worms, small minnows, wet or dry flies, 1-2" spinners, 1-2" crank baits, 1-2" spoons and bait rigs.

More specifically: 
Brook Trout: Spring and fall with worms, small minnows, spoons and small plugs. Most popular method is wet flies, dry flies and streamers. Brown Trout: Dry fly fishing, as these fish are active surface feeders. Wet flies and streamers are also good. Worms and minnows best in early spring.
Golden Trout: Best method is fly-fishing with wet flies, streamers and small spinners. In late summer, dry flies are best and the best natural bait is a small minnow.
Cutthroat Trout: Wet or dry fly fishing is best in streams or rivers. In lakes, bait casting, spinning or trolling with spoons, spinners or plugs is best with small minnows also being good.
Dolly Varden Trout: Best method is spinning or bait casting with spoons or spinners. Streamers and wet flies take smaller fish with the best bait being small, live fish.
Rainbow Trout: For streams and rivers, the best method is fly-fishing with wet or dry flies and streamers. Bait fishing with worms or salmon eggs is good with trolling with spoons or spinners are best in lakes. Lake Trout: Deep trolling with spoons and wire line. Early spring and fall fly fishing and spinning a possibility. They go deep in summer, 100 feet, and feed in the shallows during spring and fall.


There are a wide variety of trout, sizes, wild and stocked. In general, spinning and fly fishing gear are best. Larger fish may require 6# to 10# line or leader. Smaller fish only require 2# to 4# line or leader. HOWEVER, 2# to 4# line/leader are almost always required in crystal clear water regardless of fish size. Lake Trout are much larger and require a deep trolling rig (bait casting) and wire leader. Common fish sizes: Brook Trout, ¼-2 lbs.: Brown Trout, ½-4 lbs.: Golden Trout, ½-1 lbs.: Cutthroat Trout, ½-3 lbs.: Dolly Varden Trout, 5-15 lbs.: Rainbow Trout, ½-8 lbs.: Lake Trout, 5-20 lbs.


The old axiom that says it's all in the approach is never truer than when applied to trout fishing in flowing waters.
It's critical that trout anglers exercise extreme caution when approaching the water they wish to fish. 

The water where trout are found is often clear and shallow. The fish regularly hold just off the bank. Such conditions make trout especially wary, because they know they're susceptible to predators. In the excitement of wanting to start fishing, you'll be tempted to march right up to the water, have a quick look around and then start casting. The problem is that one, or several, trout might have been holding just off the rock or in that submerged logjam near where you are now standing. In stomping up to the water with all the stealth of a hippopotamus, you spooked all the nearby trout, causing them to swim away in fear to better hiding places.

      Trout rely heavily on their eyes and to a lesser extent their senses of smell and hearing and their ability to pick up vibrations in the water. A trout holding in the bottom of an eight-foot-deep clear pool can easily see a tiny caddis fly land on the surface of the water above it. The same trout also can spot a stonefly nymph being carried by the current towards it. With such keen eyesight, there's no question that same trout also will see the shadow of an osprey hovering overhead, or the profile of an angler who has ventured too close.

      The key to successful trout fishing is seeing the fish before they see you. To start with, wear dull-colored clothing; a white shirt or hat will announce an angler's presence to a trout as readily as waving a flag. Next, invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses. They will allow you to see into the trout's underwater world, providing a heron's-eye view of hidden logs, boulders and other structure, perhaps even a holding trout. They also make it easier to wade safely and responsibly.

      The actual approach to the bank calls for a high level of sneakiness. Be on full alert, as if you were stalking a trophy whitetail buck in heavy cover. Stop several times en route to observe what is happening on or under the water. Take advantage of hiding places behind natural cover, such as a willow clump, tree or rock. If you see a trout, or a promising-looking holding spot, in the water in front of you, circle downstream well away from the water. In water that is extremely small, you might have to kneel well back from the water and flip out a cast at a trout you've spotted.

As you get closer to the water, move slowly with measured steps, carefully placing each foot down softly and avoiding kicking rocks, sticks or anything else in the water. Then you can start to cast.

      Trout generally hold facing upstream, watching for insects and other food floating downstream toward them. Anglers approaching from downstream, or behind the trout, are virtually hidden from view, making the downstream approach the best one under almost all conditions.

      If you plan to hike a fair distance downstream before beginning to fish your way back up, it's important to travel well away from the bank, to avoid being seen by any fish holding close to shore. Even allowing your body to cast a shadow over a pool or shallow run will spook any holding trout in any heavily fished piece of water. Depending on their level of fright, these trout might be impossible to catch for a period of time ranging anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

      When that happens, you might as well move on to the next spot because the game is up. The trout have won the round

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