Sunday, February 19, 2006

How do i catch these trout?

I found a small stream in Northwestern Connecticut that is stocked with rainbow and i think brown trout. On a straight a way, there is a large fallen white pine tree that crosses the stream and lays in the water maybe a couple inches. A bunch of debris has caught on this tree on the upstream side. The downstream side has a deep pool, maybe 7-8 feet. On the downstream side of the tree i can see a group of trout with huge lunker trout just swimming in place facing upstream. The water is super calm there. They hang out just past and underneath this tree. I've tried just about everything to catch these guys. Yard worms on a hook with and without sinker, Power/Trout bait, rooster tails, salmon eggs, tube bait, bass head jigs, minnows, lures of all kinds. It is frustrating because I can SEE them just below me when i fish off the tree. The big trout don't even check out my bait. I can catch small ones here and there, but i want a real keeper. Do these bigger trout just not bite? How do i catch them? I am using a closed face reel on a very light pole about 4 ft long, with 10 lb line.

Answer on How do i catch these trout?

It appears to me that you are doing at least two things wrong. First, you make it sound as if you are going out on the log and fishing directly down into the water below it. If so, the fish, particularly the older, wiser, and more experienced fish KNOW you are there and are a predator. They IMMEDIATELY go on the defensive and shut down their normal feeding behaviors as they watch you and try to figure out what you are going to do next. Second, you are fishing with 10# test line for fish that in all probability weigh less than half that much. Think about it. If YOU can see your line in the water, so can the fish. In fact, they can see it even easier than you can....especially if you have line with ANY kind of color to it like the common sky-blue varieties sold by a number of brands. Here's my best advice learned from experience chasing rainbows (and other trout) throughout the waters of the Western states and especially here in Alaska.

Use NO more than 6# test line and have your drag set rather lightly so rather than break the line, the fish can only peal off a few more feet if he decides to make a run for it. Make sure the line is fresh (new) and as clear as you can get it. Don't settle for some Dollar Store brand. Buy quality Berkley Trilene or Stren. Then put a CLEAR Cast-A-Bubble float on your line and pull about 2 or 3 feet of line through the float before twisting it off to lock it in place. Then use a small hook with a long shank on it and thread a whole nightcrawler onto the hook to completely conceal it inside the worm's mid section. If you can, make sure NONE of the hook is showing...not even the knot where the hook and line are joined. Also do NOT lump the worm up in clumps and globs, but keep it naturally straight and normal looking. (That's important.) In the last half hour of daylight or the first few minutes before daylight, be at the SIDE of the stream, but NOT on the log. Stay down stream from the log as far from it as you can accurately cast your float and bait. Then cast the setup as close to the log as you can without snagging anything. Let the UNWEIGHTED worm settle slowly to the bottom of the line. If the calm and quiet water will work it for you, let it float the bait around in a circle there in the eddy. Do NOT jerk it or move it until you get the bite you are after. Do NOT disturb the water surface anymore than you actually have to. Do NOT walk up to the very edge of the stream, and do NOT wade INTO the stream. Keep back and away from it as far as you can and yet still be able to fish it. Stay low and in the darker area away from the stream so the fish can't easily see you. It is even a good idea from time to time to wear camouflage and try to use brush and other habitat to conceal your approach to the fishing hole. Hunting and bagging TROPHY fish is much the same as hunting and bagging trophy big game animals. You have to be sneaky and stalk them almost like you would a big buck or bull. I have used this method numerous times on fish that were too wild or too experienced to approach otherwise. It works! Good luck.