Fishing

In general: travel light, you don’t need a lot of tackle. I carry a small backpack just big enough to carry some gear, the fish I keep, and a thermos of coffee. Trout will usually bite after 1 or 2 casts and lose interest in any lure quickly, so move around a lot. When fishing a creek, I will cover about 6 km in a day. If you catch fish in a particular place and know that there are more fish there, come back later in the day and catch some more.

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Creeks: always fish upstream. Trout will strike occasionally if you cast downstream, but since they face the current, they will see you. Retrieve slightly faster than the current – allow the spinner to get as deep as possible in pools and troughs. Fish across and along the seams where fast water meets slow water and deep water meets shallow water, riffles and swirls, in front of, back of and between rocks and boulders, along the bank, close to fallen trees/logs. Fishing fast and shallow water can be effective too. Fish each section of a creek/pool starting at the bottom and then from the side – sometimes trout will strike when you cast and retrieve at a 45° angle up and across the creek rather than straight up.

Stillwater: Fan casting works best. Trout tend to stay deep, so let the spinner sink to the bottom. Give it a short jerk to get the blade spinning. Vary the speed, but slow tends to work best. You can give the spinner short jerks during retrieve and also stop and let it flutter back down to the bottom. If a trout strikes, but doesn’t get hooked, cast towards it again. Most likely it will strike again – I have caught many fish this way. If you see a fish break the surface, cast towards it. If you catch a fish, cast to the same spot again – there may be more trout that will strike. Cast along banks, especially if there is shade from overhanging trees or bushes and/or cover in the water (tree branches, plants, grass). If a creek empties into the lake or pond, there are likely fish waiting there for bait being washed in with the current.

Technique: set your drag so that strong fighting and/or bigger fish can can take line. Keep rod tip low when retrieving, except when the water is shallow – in this case keep the rod tip higher to keep it from snagging on the bottom. Also keep rod tip low when fighting fish to avoid have them jump and throw the hook.

Keeping fish: brain spike to stun, cut throat latch and gills to bleed out, gut, rinse thoroughly, dry, and store in a plastic bag.

Catch and Release: trout are sensitive fish, so be very gentle and release them as gently as possible. Use a single barbless hook, land fish as quickly as possible, do not lift from water, touch as little as possible, gently unhook, do not squeeze or touch gills. Landing fish as quickly as possible is especially important in warm weather as water oxygen levels are low and trout can easily die if they are too exhausted.