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How to Catch Trout in a River

Trout fishing in a river can be a very exciting experience as it keeps the recreational angler interested for long periods of time.  Generally trout will swim up and down the river throughout the course of a day which means that the potential targets are always changing when fishing a bend in a river.  The most important thing to know while trout fishing in rivers is that they are very easily frightened or “spooked”.  At the earliest sign of a predator they will dark down stream in a flash.  Keep this in mind while fishing for trout in a river. 

Always fish a river from the bottom up or walk upstream.  Trout will be facing upstream to try and snatch a meal that is floating or swimming downstream.  By walking upstream you can surprise them from behind.  Cast far ahead of you upstream and try to imitate a fly or minnow being swept downstream by the current.  The closer you can match the trouts natural prey the more luck you will have landing a Trout.   While casting upstream pay attention to overhanging tree branches and limbs to avoid loosing your lure or bait.  Around a popular fishing hole you generally see litters of fishing hooks, bobbers, etc handing from trees that have been lost by eager fisherman.  Using lighter tackleis helpful as you will be able to cast further and the fishing line with be harder to spot by the Trout. 

Pay close attention to the movement of the water.  Trout will congregate in areas called “Riffles” which are areas of fast moving shallow water.  These areas allow trout to easily pick of prey swimming downstream.  Their lightning fast reflexes allow them to quickly snatch a fly that has landed in the water or a shiner that is being swept downstream.  The riffle limits the preys ability to avoid the mouth of the trout by not being able to swim up or down the water column. 

Like many other sport fish Trout will also rest in “Eddys” formed by large rocks in the water.  These small refuges allow the trout to rest for a few moments while traveling upstream.  It can be exhausting for a Trout constantly swimming upstream against a current and they often times rely on these areas to rest and/or wait for prey coming downstream. 

Rainbow Trout Lure

Rainbow Trout Lure

A variety of lures can be used to catch Troutin rivers.  Spinner baits are a very effective choice as well as small crank-baits.  The challenging part of fishing upstream is to keep the fishing lure moving just fast enough to get the spinner to function properly, but not retrieving it too fast where it will be difficult for the Trout to spot.  Every river is different and it is a matter of trial and error until you start generating results. 

Dry or wet flies are effective as well while fly fishing for Trout in a river.  They can be fished parallel or adjacent to a river as long as you keep adequate distance away from your Trout of prey.  Again trout are easily spooked so the more distance you can keep from them the better.

Worms, Grubs, Shinners or any other natural fishing baits are also a good choice while fishing for Trout in a river.  I would recommend not using a bobber or sinker and just letting the bait float as natural as possible in the moving water.

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