Catchmefishing logo fishing tutorials and tips

How to Catch Trout in a River? A Simple Guide

Written by: Catchmefishing
Date:  December 1, 2022 

Trout fishing is a fantastic experience and is enjoyed by anglers all over the world. Not to mention, trout usually inhabit waters surrounded by stunning vistas. Nothing can beat a day of relaxed fishing in the great outdoors.

Trout are usually found in cold, clean, and well-oxygenated waters. Shallow streams with a lot of mini rapids are the best place to catch trout. Find an area that has submerged logs and rocks. Trout often congregate in the quiet spots near them.

The areas described do not have two-foot trout but you can catch plenty in the 12" to 18" range. Wild trout of this size often give a good fight and are fun to catch. As a bonus, you can enjoy the beauty and peace of such a setting as well. A large dirty river cannot give you all this.

How to Catch Trout in a River?

The below section will give you a simple guide on how to catch trout in a river. It will be useful for beginners or even experienced anglers wanting to refresh their trout fishing techniques.

How to catch Trout in a river

1. Equipment

It is a no-brainer but takes a valid fishing license before you go. Next don't forget to take a header. Your day's fishing will be ruined if you forget a header. The Best Baitcaster Combos work for trout, but many experienced anglers prefer fly-fishing setups. A decent fly-casting set up around $ 100 will cover most scenarios. Only ensure that the pole is at least 10' long.

Carry extra hooks, leader, weights, pliers, and other gear. A floating fly line on your reel along with about a six-foot leader of usually 6# to 8# weight will do the trick. A light will help you feel every nibble but they inevitably get snagged on the bottom of a fast-flowing stream. A slightly heavier leader will help you unsnag them. A #4 hook is usually the standard for trout.

A polarized sunglass is a must to avoid the glare from the water. It also allows you to look under the water surface. You could take artificial bug lures, but many trout fishermen swear by nightcrawlers. You can take both and see what works best for you.

2. Finding the trout

Finding trout while river fishing

Trout are active fish and like clean, well-oxygenated, and flowing water. They are powerful as they often have to swim against the current. This makes them good fighters. You can find trout in streams that have a depth between 2 to 6 feet. They often congregate in quiet areas near submerged rocks and logs.

3. Presenting the bait

Once you have zeroed in on their hidey-hole, naturally present the bait. You can control the line better if you fish downstream of where you are standing. Trout are extremely skittish. They will disappear if they sense something amiss. Allow the water current to carry the bait to the fish.

Carry different weights to use according to the speed and depth of water. The weight will take your worm to the correct depth and also give you more control. Tie the weight about 18" or 2 feet from the hook to control the location of the hook.

What is The Best River Fishing Bait to Use?

4. Setting the hook

Setting the hook

Fishing in moving water is different from fishing in a lake or a deep sluggish river. You should not let the hook touching the bottom. However, it is impossible to keep the hook and weights always up. They will often snag on rocks or other debris as the current carries them past. Pulling the line in the opposite direction from where it was going when the hook snagged will unsnag it most of the time.

Also, keep in mind that fish in moving water are often small. And when you fish out of a long, limber pole, the bites are like the bump you get when the hook or the weight scrapes on a rock or the bottom. Only some experience will let you distinguish between a bump or a bite.

Once you are sure you've got a bite, give a sharp tug upwards to set the hook. Don't yank too much as the hook will rip out through the fish- a bad scenario for both you and the trout. Once hooked, keep the trout from rushing to its hiding spot. Also, don't let it go too far downstream. It can become a long and tiring fight to get the fish to where you are.

Final thoughts

The best time to fish for trout is just before the sun hits the water and just after it leaves in the evening. Sometimes you can catch trout in the afternoon too. So, don't worry if you were not able to catch any in the morning. You can relax at your camp and try other times.

Be careful how you handle trout, don't lip big trout and keep your fingers away from their mouth. Big trout have teeth that can draw blood!

If you caught a trout in a hole (quiet areas near submerged rocks and logs) try fishing that spot again. Present the lure in different ways if one way doesn't work. Sometimes slowly raising the bait to the surface will do the trick.

Finally, enjoy! Enjoyment is the key to a relaxed day of fishing in serene environments. Bragging rights is for the braggarts. Refined fishermen don't brag. Use barbless hooks to make it more challenging. Practice catch and release if you don't plan on eating the fish. The joy of fishing is in the serene, contemplative process. Hooking one is just a bonus.


Newest Posts

Popular Articles

Bass Guides
River Guides