Whether you’re fishing familiar local water, or you’re trying your luck at a new stream, trout fishing – there are a few key measures that can help you read the water to reveal where monster size trout are hiding. Admittedly, if you’re sitting bank-side next to waters that you’ve fished time and time again, you’ve probably got a pretty good handle on the stream and where the fish are hiding. Holes, rocks and riffles of familiar streams are undoubtedly great places to look and test your mettle, especially if you’ve pulled trout from those areas of the stream on previous occasions.
But, if you’re fishing new streams or want to look at your local waters under a new light, keep in mind these measures when you approach your next stream, trout fishing. You could reveal monster-sized trout for the taking.
Approach A New Stream and Think Like a Trout
A new stream, trout fishing can present a unique and intimidating set of challenges. Fishing new trout waters can be pretty overwhelming. But, remember to think like a trout and the techniques needed to find trout can become clear. Trout the world over, no matter what stream you’re fishing in require key ingredients to stay alive and thrive. Protection, a plentiful source of food, healthy water flows, cool clear water and plenty of oxygen are the key inputs for a trophy trout to live and grow. Let’s dig into each of these points more deeply.
1. Stream Protection for Trout
Stream trout may be close to the top of the food chain in the waters they inhabit, but there are several outside factors and predators that keep trout that live in streams in constant pursuit of security and cover. Fish eating predators including birds of prey, ducks like mergansers drive stream trout to constantly look for protection. In addition, land-locked predators like bears and humans keep the need for these trout to stay consistently hidden from plain site.
When fishing a new stream, look for overhangs, submerged water features, rocks and other security where trout might hide.
2. Abundant food Sources in Streams for Trout
In the streams you fish for trout, look for seams in water flows where fast moving water meets the slow movement of deeper pools. Typically, this is what’s called a feeding lane for trout in streams. Insects and other food are forced through water flow from the faster moving current into the slower pools naturally. This is where trout hold in streams.
3. Stream Water Flow and Trout Habits
In the U.S., especially out West where I love to fish for trout in streams, water depth, speed, and general flows can change dramatically based on the time of year and the fact that many rivers, their tributaries and streams are regulated by dams.
What this means for you and the stream you’re fishing in can depend on several factors, but a couple of key points to remember are that fish living in these types of streams tend to move from shallower flows to deeper waters when the depth of the stream is reduced dramatically. Conversely, the opposite holds true when water from these dams are released and the depths of rivers and streams are increased dramatically.
4. Water and Oxygen Levels Play a Big Part In the Lives of Big Trout
The main point here is that good fisherman know where well oxygenated water is, and subsequently where big trout are in streams. Trout tend to congregate in cooler water or where water is well oxygenated by churning or exposure to aeration. These types of situations include in deeper pools where trout can lay low in the colder depths or in riffles and other water obstructions where churning waters capture oxygen.
5. Stream Trout Fishing and Obstructions
Trout in streams like to hide behind larger rocks and other obstructions where they have to put forth little to no effort to hang out near food sources. Think about it, why exert yourself if you don’t have to? Trout in streams have the same attitude.
6. Big Trout in Streams Sometimes Buck the Trend
Big trout have the strength and the power to move up and down a stream or river, many times at will, to capture food or get to desired shelter. In many cases it’s wise to cast your rod at the edge of turbulent waters in a feeding channel, or in strong running riffles. That’s where the big trout hang.
In summary, never be intimidated or overwhelmed when fishing new streams or unfamiliar waters for trout just keep in mind that when fish find protection and a steady food source, they are going to lay low in areas where they have to expend the least amount of effort to feed and stay in well oxygenated waters. Keep these points in mind and you can be catching trophy-sized trout in any stream you fish.