Fly Fishing Versus Spin Casting: Which Brook Trout Fishing Method Catches More TroutFly Fishing Versus Spin Casting: Which Brook Trout Fishing Method Catches More Trout

The Debate Rages On

It's an ages old argument. Right up there with "Tastes Great vs. Less Filling", Mac vs. PC and The Rolling Stones vs. The Beatles - fishermen have always matched wit and rods over the best method for catching brook trout: the spin-casting rig or fly fishing.

Beyond the basics of fishing, I'd like to dive more deeply into the best method for catching trophy brook trout to make your next trout fishing trip a successful one.

Brook Trout - Where to Find 'Em

You'll have the best luck brook trout fishing in the high, cold, alpine lakes and streams of the Rocky Mountain region. Where I live and fish brookies can be found anywhere in the Northwestern U.S., but mostly a bit off-the-beaten-path, in smaller streams and tributaries of main waterway arteries.

Brook trout are not native to many of the waters they inhabit today. However, due to planting, migration, and its ability to adapt and thrive, brook trout can be found in nearly any body of water where other trout can be found, that meet their need for high oxygen content and extremely low levels of pollution. Certain strains of brook trout spend time in ocean waters as well.

How to Prepare for Your Trip: Remember the Basics

Ok - it may seem obvious to many of you, but the beginners need to know this stuff. Before you head out in mountain country to fish, get your fishing license and know the local fishing regulations. Also, be sure you are fully prepared to deal with rapidly changing weather conditions and potential wildlife encounters. Let someone know where you'll be fishing and approximately what time you expect to return. Depending on whether you're using a spin-casting rig or fly fishing, you can plan to use spinners and other lures that have yellows, greens, or red and blue combinations to attract brook trout, or go natural with flies and grasshoppers. You can make your own bait or plan to capture some along the way to your fishing destination.

Since you may want and need to wade in the cold mountain streams you're brook trout fishing, be prepared with the right waders, high boots, and sturdy rod. See if there are circulating pools or nooks in the creek where trout may be lurking, hoping to catch flies or other bugs crawling and buzzing about the same area. You casting technique needs to try and mimic how a fly or insect would fall or land in the water. Don't worry if you aren't perfect with your casting right away. Just like any other fishing trip, keep a knife or clippers with you so you can cut your tangled fishing line from stream debris if you need to.

If you are brook trout fishing in waters that are higher than 60 degrees, you may not have much luck catching fish, especially close to the surface. Your chances of brook trout striking your line are much better when you are fishing cooler waters in an average depth range of 5 to 10 inches. Pay close attention to the mayflies, midges, and stoneflies in the area and try to match your flies to the size and type fish are biting on. Or, try a spinner bait or small spoon lure and see if that does the trick.

When Catching Brookies, Which Fishing Method is Most Successful?

In Gene Kugach's book: Freshwater Fishing Tips and Techniques, Gene attempts to answer this question about brook trout and other varieties of fish once and for all. Ultimately, it comes down to preference, personal tastes and pension to decide on which ever method a fisherman chooses when he rolls out of bed that morning.

However, when looking at straight-up numbers, and his own research over a three-year period, this is what Gene uncovered:

Spinning/Spincasting: 66%

Trolling: 2%

Baitcasting: 8%

Flyfishing: 8%

Icefishing: 2%

According to the Kugach book, the data represents surveys conducted over a three year period represented brook trout fishing methods that were the most productive for taking trout.

Brook Trout Beauties

Brook trout have some of the most unique and diverse coloration you'll find across all categories of trout. Although most brookies aren't going to take you to your rod backing or give you the fight of your life, many fisherman love catching brook trout specifically for their beauty.

Because of where brook trout can be found, in mountain streams and waterways, fishing for these beauties can be a perfect way to spend a day either by yourself, as a couple, or in a small group. You don't need a lot of equipment to have a good, effective time fishing. You can combine your fishing trip with some moderate exercise by planning to hike into your fishing location. Bring a picnic and other beverages to stay hydrated and enjoy one of the most peaceful, rewarding pastimes.
by Rex Daniels
References and Bibliography
Rex Daniels is a master trout angler and author, living and trout fishing in the Mountain West - the heart of trophy trout country. For more information about river trout fishing and a 12 part eCourse to become the envy of your fishing buddies visit:
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