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How To Fish Streams

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Well i go to West Virginia every summer. This year i got completely wrecked by the flowing water of the streams. I ended up losing about 5 jigs trying to catch trout. The worst part is, i didn't even catch any :( But next year i'm out for revenge. I've gotten some Roostertail Spinners and some spoons. My concern is though, i can't lose them in the rocks like i did the jigs! I learned pretty quickly not to cast upstream, but sometimes it doesn't matter. What do i do???

Also one more thing. I've heard that the Rebel Wee-Craw is a good lure for trout? Is this true? Because i happen to have it :)

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I would recommend a small beetle spin or spinnerbait. Retrieve your bait in line with the current, as that's the way food is naturally presented to the fish. Target any breaks in the current where fish can ambush.

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make sure you have light line, either 2 or 4lb. I use 2 because i can cast it a little further but i don't notice any increase or decrease in fish caught when switching between 2 and 4lb.

I mainly use spinners but I started using trout magnets and small tubes near the end of this past summer. My favorite spinners are Panther Martina though I also like rooster tails. I feel like Panther Martins spin better. Rooster tails fall slower so I use those when the water isn't as deep, when I want a slower retrieve or when I want a bigger hook but still want to fish at the same depth. My go to Panther martins are the gold blade, black body with yellow spots and the silver blade, yellow body with red spots. Silver blades are good when it's cloudy and gold when sunny but the difference is marginal. I mainly use the 1/32 size, big and small trout go for these and they fall slow enough for shallow streams. With trout fishing a bigger lure doesn't translate to bigger fish, it just means you won't catch small fish and probably won't catch big one either. I only up the size when I want to fish deeper. Trout magnets work well for bigger fish and around submerged trees. I normally use the white black or brown trout magnets with the black being my favorite.

Always fish up stream, the trout are looking up stream waiting for food to come to them. Present your lure like their natural food. In a creek the fish will be in shady spots, cover and the down stream sides of rocks. On the back side and sides of rocks you will see water that is either slowly turning or not moving, this is where the trout are. Cast up stream into the current and then guide your lure into these spots. You don't have to cast all that far, just make a short accurate cast right where the fish are. This way you can avoid getting caught on rocks and submerged sticks. Don't neglects the small puddles and streams that break off the main body of water. You will be surprised by the size of fish that can hide in these shallow spots and they will normally bite the first thing that hits the water. 

 

With spinners do a slow, but still fast enough to keep the blade spinning retrieve, keeping your lure off the bottom. If you have fish chasing but not biting sometimes flicking the rod tip so the lure pitches back for a second will trigger a strike. On really slow days you can try putting a salmon egg or a small pice of worm on your lure to add some scent. When setting the hook don't do a big hook set like on a bass, instead just do a quick reel and a small flick of your wrist should be enough. If you fail to set the hook the lure will be an inch or two in front of the trout and they will normally bite at it again. A strong hook set will just rip the hook out of their jaw.

The bigges tip I can give you is if the trout see you they won't bite. You can do everything else I mentioned perfectly but ignore this tip and you will only catch a handful of fish. Realizing this changed my fishing trips from five or six a day to so many I don't bother counting. If you ever have the fish chasing your lure and then suddenly they all dart away that means you were spotted, move on to another spot. Also when approaching  a fishing spot make a few casts ten or 15 feet from the water standing behind a bush or tall grass, this way you will catch the fish right at the edge of the water before you walk up to the edge and spook them.  When I'm fishing if I cast in a spot three or five times without a bite I'll walk up stream a bit and try another spot.

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make sure you have light line, either 2 or 4lb. I use 2 because i can cast it a little further but i don't notice any increase or decrease in fish caught when switching between 2 and 4lb.

I mainly use spinners but I started using trout magnets and small tubes near the end of this past summer. My favorite spinners are Panther Martina though I also like rooster tails. I feel like Panther Martins spin better. Rooster tails fall slower so I use those when the water isn't as deep, when I want a slower retrieve or when I want a bigger hook but still want to fish at the same depth. My go to Panther martins are the gold blade, black body with yellow spots and the silver blade, yellow body with red spots. Silver blades are good when it's cloudy and gold when sunny but the difference is marginal. I mainly use the 1/32 size, big and small trout go for these and they fall slow enough for shallow streams. With trout fishing a bigger lure doesn't translate to bigger fish, it just means you won't catch small fish and probably won't catch big one either. I only up the size when I want to fish deeper. Trout magnets work well for bigger fish and around submerged trees. I normally use the white black or brown trout magnets with the black being my favorite.

Always fish up stream, the trout are looking up stream waiting for food to come to them. Present your lure like their natural food. In a creek the fish will be in shady spots, cover and the down stream sides of rocks. On the back side and sides of rocks you will see water that is either slowly turning or not moving, this is where the trout are. Cast up stream into the current and then guide your lure into these spots. You don't have to cast all that far, just make a short accurate cast right where the fish are. This way you can avoid getting caught on rocks and submerged sticks. Don't neglects the small puddles and streams that break off the main body of water. You will be surprised by the size of fish that can hide in these shallow spots and they will normally bite the first thing that hits the water. 

 

With spinners do a slow, but still fast enough to keep the blade spinning retrieve, keeping your lure off the bottom. If you have fish chasing but not biting sometimes flicking the rod tip so the lure pitches back for a second will trigger a strike. On really slow days you can try putting a salmon egg or a small pice of worm on your lure to add some scent. When setting the hook don't do a big hook set like on a bass, instead just do a quick reel and a small flick of your wrist should be enough. If you fail to set the hook the lure will be an inch or two in front of the trout and they will normally bite at it again. A strong hook set will just rip the hook out of their jaw.

The bigges tip I can give you is if the trout see you they won't bite. You can do everything else I mentioned perfectly but ignore this tip and you will only catch a handful of fish. Realizing this changed my fishing trips from five or six a day to so many I don't bother counting. If you ever have the fish chasing your lure and then suddenly they all dart away that means you were spotted, move on to another spot. Also when approaching  a fishing spot make a few casts ten or 15 feet from the water standing behind a bush or tall grass, this way you will catch the fish right at the edge of the water before you walk up to the edge and spook them.  When I'm fishing if I cast in a spot three or five times without a bite I'll walk up stream a bit and try another spot.

Thanks this helps a lot. I have a 1/16oz white roostertail. I also have 8lb line so i guess i should pick up some lighter line. I happen to also have a gold johnson spoon that is 2 inches long (idk weight). I guess i'll have to take risks if i want to catch trout... Luckily i'll also be going to Buffalo Fork Lake near Elkins this year. There i will feel more comfortable. I have heard that jerkbaits work well there, and i happen to have the rapala floating minnow.

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Use a fly rod and tie your own flies.

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Consider yourself lucky if you just lost a handful of jigs in a summer of fishing. It can be tough if you only have al limited tackle supply, but as you spend more time on the water you will learn that its just part of the game. I expect to lose some tackle overtime i go out. I just hope its soft plastics and not an expensive hard bait.

 

I still get ticked every time I lose a hard bait. If I lose a hard bait, I generally buy a replacement that very day. That way I keep the bait monkey at bay. 

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a lot of the time you can get away with straight 5 lb braid. smallmouth don't mind.  highly pressured trout might prefer 4 lb fluoro.

 

until you are more experienced stay away from treble hooks.  you can buy weedless spoons with a single hook facing upward. they snag far less.  also as suggested beetle spins work well and hang up far less b/c the single hook faces upward. the roadrunner is another variation that is just as effective.

 

if you snag/break off 2-3 jigs in a row it means you are using too heavy a weight. use just enough to stay on bottom...or bounce along the bottom. unless there is heavy current in deep water I would max out at 1/8 oz.

 

a 1/16 oz jig with a Bobby Garland Baby Shad are cheap, fairly snag free and deadly effective on pressured fish (or 1/16 marabou jig).

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I have friends who fish the Chattahoochee river here in Ga for trout, normally it's too hot for them but they are stockers so they live until the striper start coming up the river. they are always catching them on trout magnets. I wouldn't use the wee crayfish, it will get hung up before you know it. Trust me on that. if you have ever seen crappie stuff, which as a basser probably comes around a lot, you can use that for trout. Don't forget fly fishing!

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I catch more trout casting upstream than downstream. In fact I only cast downstream in the rain, or murky water. When casting upstream keep your line tight so as to keep out from hitting ir snagging the bottom, polarized glasses help you to see the action of your rooster tail.

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I would for sure use fly gear if i had it. I'm stuck with spinning gear however. What lures would catch trout as well as Smallmouth? Buffalo Lake has Smallmouth and i want to catch them since it is too warm here in FL for them.

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Well that is a time when you can use that wee crayfish of yours. I really don't know of anything else, but for smallmouth, remember! drop-shot, small jigs, and topwater. But now that I think about it, I have read an article that bigger Mepp's lures will work for smallmouth. 

 

One does not simply compare smallmouth to trout.

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I would for sure use fly gear if i had it. I'm stuck with spinning gear however. What lures would catch trout as well as Smallmouth? Buffalo Lake has Smallmouth and i want to catch them since it is too warm here in FL for them.

Im not sure what your water is like, but do you have a set of waders? I fly fish the rivers mostly now, but when I was fishing rivers with spinning gear I lost a ton of tackle. After I picked up a set of waders, I was able to wade out and dislodge/retrieve my stuck lures. If you look around for a used pair, you can usually score a good deal. My waders saved me quite a bit of money when I stopped losing rapalas...

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Im not sure what your water is like, but do you have a set of waders? I fly fish the rivers mostly now, but when I was fishing rivers with spinning gear I lost a ton of tackle. After I picked up a set of waders, I was able to wade out and dislodge/retrieve my stuck lures. If you look around for a used pair, you can usually score a good deal. My waders saved me quite a bit of money when I stopped losing rapalas...

Nope i'm stuck on land entirely. Good idea though...

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make sure you have light line, either 2 or 4lb. <SNIP>

 

 

Great first post... very helpful to the OP, I'm sure.  Welcome aboard!

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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