Anglers often find it hard to match the thrill of fishing for trout in a cold, swift mountain stream. Indeed, the experience is so rewarding and aesthetically satisfying that people have even composed music to celebrate it think of the famous piece called The Trout, by Schubert. When you think of fishing for pleasure and recreation, trout fishing is probably the first thing that comes to your mind.
But in spite of the traditional nature of this sport, you shouldn't expect trout to jump into your bucket as soon as you arrive at the water. Though we have a long cultural history of trout fishing, it still takes a lot of skill, energy and experience to actually catch them.
If you're fishing for trout in a stream that is narrow and fast-flowing (which is the best trout streams are like), you should take care to approach the water quietly, trying to make as little commotion as possible. A trout is rather alert to disturbance, and any unnecessary noise you make or jumpy shadow you cast on the water will make it retire into its deep underwater recesses, and you won't catch it again for a long time.
Your success in selecting the right spot for trout will depend on your knowledge of the trout's habits. Remember that the trout is a predator that lies in ambush, waiting for smaller fish and minnows to swim past. This means that you should look for brush and foliage in the water, or perhaps a bit of rock where there's an eddy in the water. It is there that you're most likely to hook something.
Once you've selected your 'sweet' spot, cast your hook with only enough weight at the end of it that it barely touches the bottom and then floats along. Then sit back and watch the waves for early signs of approach a small irregularity or perhaps a flash of a silver back.
Use bait that looks and smells like the trout's natural diet for that time of the year. Traditional wisdom has it that trouts like flies and worms. Every year hordes of salmon enter the rivers to lay their millions of eggs, but only a fraction of all those eggs are ever hatched. What happens to the rest? Well, it seems that even eggs have their natural predators. Trouts love to eat salmon eggs, an maintain the balance in nature by keeping down salmon numbers! So it doesn't take a genius to decide that salmon eggs are a good bait for trout.
One very good technique for catching trout is casting. In this, you cast out to the desired length and then slowly reel it back. Repeat till you can feel a bite, which is usually felt hard enough so that you won't need a further warning system in the shape of bells or whistles.
A somewhat more productive style (but not recommended for beginners), called flipping, involves casting the line upstream at a forty-five degree angle to your position, and letting the lure bounce its way down the flow of the water. You don't use the reel at all in this kind of fishing, but the line must retain its tension. To do this, you need to sweep your rod slowly in an arc along the bait's downstream path. It's important to keep the line down to the lure as straight as possible. When the lure completes its journey along the arc, pull it out with a little jerky movement towards the bank. This will ensure that any trout interested in your bait gets hooked before you finally pull the line in.