I've posted these tips many times on here. No secrets except stream names are rarely mentioned.
Many of my tips also apply to fly fishing.
SPIN FISHING FOR WILD TROUT
Tackle, Tips & Technique
A good choice for a rod is a one-piece, graphite, ultra-light, cork-handled, 5', spinning rod.
Your rod should have a fast (stiff) action to facilitate hook-setting.
A rod with two movable vinyl rings to attach the reel is best (so the reel can be seated two inches from the rod's butt).
Shimano makes several quality open-faced spinning reels in a range of prices. Get one that weighs 8 oz. or less and
has a fast gear-retrieve ratio. Don't use a reel with a gear ratio of less than 5.2 : 1 because it will be difficult to
retrieve your spinner fast enough down through a riffle to avoid getting hung-up.
Clear 4 lb. test Stren is a good choice for line. Put new line on your spool after every two or three outings.
Spinner color does not matter to the trout (as long as it's reasonable, such as gold, silver, copper, black or white);
however, a spinner decorated with a white bead or blade makes visually detecting strikes much easier for the angler.
Avoid size 0 spinners. Your spinner should weigh a minimum of 1/8 oz. to facilitate casting. Never use split-shot.
A small needle-nose pliers comes in handy for quickly unhooking trout. It doubles as a good tool for crimping
down barbs if you're fishing a stream where barbless hooks are required.
To avoid inopportune line breakages, cut off your spinner and a few inches of line with a fingernail clippers about
every twenty minutes and retie (improved clinch knot) your spinner directly to the undamaged line. Don't use swivels.
Use a water thermometer and learn its value. Avoid water that is 70-degrees or warmer.
A diamond hook-sharpener is ideal for occasionally sharpening treble hooks. Ensure that no point-tips are broken.
Tips & Technique
Always wade and fish upstream so that you approach trout from behind where they are less likely to see you.
Wear clothing that blends in with the surroundings, preferably camouflage.
Eliminate all shiny objects from the trout's view (e.g., wrist watch, clippers, plastic license holder).
Wear amber-tinted, polarized sunglasses (and a camo hat) to minimize the glare on the water's surface and to
protect your eyes from treble hooks. DO NOT FISH WITHOUT EYE PROTECTION.
Casting accuracy is critical; it can make the difference between catching two or twenty trout per hour.
The rod should be held so that the butt of the rod is inside your wrist. This improves casting.
Use an underhand, straight-ahead flip-cast. The forefinger of your non-rod hand should control the release of the
line during the cast. This cast is one-dimensional -- only distance needs practiced.
Cast upstream well ahead of yourself (at least 30 to 50 feet) to avoid spooking trout.
Use spinners of the same weight and you'll become an accurate caster quicker.
Make only one cast to each spot. If a trout is going to hit a spinner it will almost always do so on the first pass.
Your first cast to each spot must hit its mark and surprise the trout. Otherwise, the trout will likely be alerted (but
not alarmed) and only chase your spinner (i.e., not strike).
Retrieve your spinner downstream toward yourself with the current or diagonally downstream across the current.
Use a steady retrieve and keep your spinner close to the stream bottom during all seasons of the year.
Line twist can be minimized by retiring spinners that cause line twist and by cutting off twisted line.
Keep your rod tip close to the water's surface during the retrieve to minimize vertical line drag.
Maintain a 90-degree angle (roughly) between your rod and line during the retrieve to minimize horizontal line drag.
Since trout rarely hook themselves, it's critical to stay alert for strikes (visually and tactually) during the retrieve and
instantly set the hook hard when a trout strikes. Hooking trout is spin fishing's biggest challenge.
The strike from a large trout is usually softer than from a small trout and therefore more difficult to feel. (Big trout
often just close their mouth on the spinner without turning their head and body.)
On a small stream it's common to cover one-half mile of stream per hour. (The more unalerted trout you present
your spinner to the more trout you will catch.) If you want to minimize your walking, fish large streams.
To catch a lot of trout with spinners you must fish over an undisturbed population of trout. This is critically important.
Get a book or two about Pennsylvania's freestone and limestone trout streams and learn the differences.
Stream choice can make the difference between catching zero or 100 trout in a day.
It's wise to give a stream or stream-section a two-week rest between fishing trips because trout definitely get
accustomed to spinners and become spinner-shy.
Please practice catch and release because wild trout are too valuable to be caught only once.
Compiled by Frank R. Nale (P.O. Box 7, Tipton, PA 16684) E-mail: [email protected]