Trout Fishing Tips

Trout Fishing Tips

by Tackle Village

Having looked at trout waters, types of trout and where trout are form, it’s on to the actual trout fishing tips including

  • Trout behaviour
  • Best times to fish for trout
  • Best lures for trout
  • Trout food
  • Preferred structure for trout
  • Rods, reelsline and other gear for trout fishing
Rick Wallace with a large brown in Tasmania’s Western Lakes Credit: Greg French

Trout behaviour

Best seasons to fish for trout

Spring, Summer and Fall are the best seasons to target trout. Although they can be caught throughout winter, their metabolism slows and they are more tricky to catch

Best times of day to fish for trout

Periods of low light – ie dawn and dusk – are the best times to target trout. This is a top trout fishing tip. Further to that, on last light the fabled evening rise occurs on many waters where the trout come to the surface to feed on hatching insects – it’s a dry fly fisher’s paradise. However, in blue-ribbon sight-fishing waters in New Zealand, Tasmania and other clearwater fishing destinations its vital to have the sun overhead to spot the trout.

Preferred food

Trout diets are very diverse ranging from aquatic invertebrates such as caddis flies, stone flies (which can be imitated with nymph fly patterns), damsel and dragonflies and mayflies right through to snails, worms, shrimp and other fish. Other prey items including terresterial insects (grasshoppers, ants, cicadas etc) right through to mice. They can feed very selectively at times honing in on one particular food. The key to success is giving them what they want at these times – whether that’s the natural bait or an imitation in the form of a fly or lure. That’s where the trout fishing tip “Match the Hatch” is a good one. It comes from fly fishermen having to precisely imitate the size and type of insect that is hatching from the water.

Preferred structure

Keys for a trout’s holding location are access to food, shelter (deeper water or structure), oxygenated water and a suitable water temperature.

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Gear for trout

As trout are not the largest nor the strongest species around, trout gear tends to be light tackle – small reels (usually spinning reels as opposed to baitcasting reels), shorter rods and light lines. It’s a finesse form of fishing. Fly fishing (my favourite form of trout fishing by far) is a very successful and popular way to target trout and utilises specialised fly fishing tackle.

how to catch trout
Fly fishing gear is specialised but it’s the most effective way to target trout

How to catch trout – trout fishing basics

Best lures for trout

A variety of purchased or homemade lures including spinnersspoonssoft baits and plugs, swimbaits, minnows and crankbaits and can be used to target trout, as well as topwater lures.

Walking the banks or wading is a very successful way to catch trout in both lakes and rivers. Always use your eyes and ears to detect the movement of trout you can target with a quick and accurate cast.

Sometimes in lake fishing a boat, kayakfloat tubepontoon boat or other type of aquacraft can be a real advantage to get you to the right spots, especially if you have an electric motor (sometimes called a trolling motor) for stealth. A fish finder can also be a help on larger waters.

While not the most exciting method of catching trout, trolling can be very effective.

trout lures
Suitable lures for trout

Fly fishing

The other main sport fishing technique for targeting trout, fly fishing is harder to learn by virtue of the casting motion and the complexity of it. But for those who persevere it is the most effective, diverse and enjoyable way to target trout by a big margin.

Fly fishers use artificial flies – usually constructed using feathers and natural and synthetic threads/yarns and other fly tying materials – to imitate particular aquatic creatures or insects that a trout is feeding on at that particular time.

These are divided into two types – wet flies and dry flies. Wet flies sink and are subsurface imitations. Dry flies float in the surface film and imitate insects that are hatching out of the water (mayflies, caddis etc) or have fallen in (grasshoppers, beetles, bugs etc).

Because these imitations typically weigh very little, fly fishers use a long graphite fly rod and a thick opaque fly line to cast their flies. The weight is contained in the line itself, to which is attached a transparent monofilament section known as the leader that prevents spooking fish in the immediate area where the fly lands.

Check out this video for the rhythmic form of casting required to deliver the fly to its target.

Regulations, licences and conservation

At Tackle Village we are all about encouraging sport fishing. That doesn’t always mean catch-and-release fishing, but in many waters it does.

It really means only taking what you need and only keeping fish in waters where there is either sufficient natural recruitment or stocking to maintain a stable trout population. And it means always following fishing regulations and obtaining the correct licence.

The team at Reserve America have a really handy web page where you can enter the state in which you are fishing and it will take you to page where you can buy a license and read the relevant fishing regulations.


So, welcome to the world of trout fishing. Hopefully this article has given you a run down of the trout fishing basics and some useful trout fishing tips. For many of you, I have no doubt your early beginnings in trout fishing will be the first step in a journey that takes you to some of the most beautiful places on earth, wherever you live.

To put it simply, trout only live in beautiful places and fooling them is rarely easy but always engrossing.


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