Hunting...trout. With a spinning rod?


July 15, 2009, 04:54 PM
Okay, not exactly a firearms related thing, but I figure the good folks here at THR can give some advice.

I have a trip to Kalispell, MT coming up this Saturday and I'll be there a week. I understand there's some pretty good trout fishing to be had in that area, and inside Glacier National Park a fishing license isn't required. And the only thing I can shoot in the park is my fishing it is.

The problem I have is that I have ZERO experience fly fishing, or fishing trout...only typical southern game fish (small/largemouth, catfish, brim). I have no fly equipment, waders, etc.

I have a light spinning rod/reel that I can easily take with me; would this work for cutthroat and rainbows from the shore? If so, what kind of line and lures should be used? I could probably borrow a pair of hip waders if need be.

Thanks for any help!!!

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July 15, 2009, 05:18 PM
If you are not already an experienced flyfisher, you are wise to stick with the spinning rig you know. Any Light or Med/Light 6-6 1/2' spinning rod should do fine with 4-6 lb line, no heavier. Small in line spinners such as Mepps and Panther Martin in different colors would be good. My personal favorite are Roostertails. Also don't overlook smaller maribou jigs. For the really small ones that won't cast well with a spinning rig, try fishing them 1-2 ft behind a small float/bobber. It will give your rig enough weight to cast. You can also fish flies this way with a spinning rig although I would stick with nymphs if you try this and fish them dead slow or let them drift with the current.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 15, 2009, 05:48 PM
Of course, yes. That's what I use. Light light tackle for trout. 2 lb or 4 lb line, and tiny hooks (#10 or #12). I've gotten some surprisingly big ones on that gear. They can see very well in that clear water, so you have to use small light tackle.

Yeah, rooster tail type spinners can work well. On farm-raised trout, so can power bait or corn, but I'm not sure these will work on wild trout. Are these stocked or wild? Ask some locals how to rig your line; you'll find someone who can help you.

July 15, 2009, 06:16 PM
Dr. Tad I agree that bait or corn can work on farm raised trout, but I have had Roostertails work on both stocked and wild trout. One of the largest rainbows I ever caught was wild redside on the Deschutes with a Roostertail. The bigger trout particularly are more susceptible to spinners as they have probably transitioned by that time from feeding primarily on insects to including minnows and other small fish in their diets.

On pen raised trout, you can throw just about anything in the water and they will hit it particularly after they have just been stocked.

July 15, 2009, 06:23 PM
There's excellent trout fishing up there. If you've never fished for trout, the best bet on a river is a ultralight spinning rod, 6 '- 7' long. Get the best UL open face reel you can afford.

I would get a variety of spinners, Mepps, Panther Martins, Blue Fox etc. Tie a 12-14 swivel on the end of your 4lb line and clip on a spinner. Fish upstream and cover as much of the river as possible. If it's especially hot out, fish the edges 1 -2' from the bank, 20 - 30' in front of you. Try a fast retrieve first, then experiment depending on the current.

Although I mainly flyfish now I've caught thousands of trout with this basic setup. You don't need waders this time of year if you can stand the cold water.

As for lakes I would try a water filled bobber with a Pistol Pete tied 5 - 6' behind and a real slow retrieve. I'm not much for lake fishing though, not enough patience.

July 15, 2009, 07:12 PM
I'd find an off-the-path stream and cast unweighted hook w/worm if you want to go after cutthroat. Drop it into holes and current breaks via handlining or ultralight, if that's your preference.

July 15, 2009, 07:30 PM
In Arkansas on a motorcycle/sidecar trip, I caught a MESS of 'em on whole kernel corn for bait. I guess they thought they were eggs or something. That's not legal everywhere, though. Tiny little hooks and floats, was real cute. :D

Down here our "trout" are caught regularly on artificial, but they're bigger than Montana trout, different family, too. Here's what they look like. This is a spec, can get to over 30" (a real hawg), and we have smaller sand trout. Those little minnows they call "rainbows" are good eatin', though. They'd make good sized bait for a speck. :neener:

July 15, 2009, 08:53 PM
Those little minnows they call "rainbows" are good eatin',
Xd 460's advice is spot on. I fished north central California in the mid 70's that way. I laugh at the today fishing shows they call a bobber a "strike indicator" A good ole "red wiggler" is a great trout bait, if allowed by law. Here in Texas below Canyon Lake I've seen fellows using 10 inch rainbows for 20 lb plus Striped Bass Bait. I'm not sure about the legality of that since the Rainbows are stocked in the winter and are not native and don't reproduce because of water temperatures. If you ask a "riverman" around Sattler,TX if Rainbows are good eating. He'll probably tell you " I don't know, but they sure are good bait". And for what it's worth, I consider "Fishing", underwater hunting. :)

July 15, 2009, 10:08 PM
Are you going to be fishing in streams or lakes? If you are going to be fishing stream use a #14 trable with 3 salmon eggs. I like Balls of Fire with green lid. No weight just pick spots you think will hold fish lighlty toss eggs up stream from that and leet them drift buy. I typically work with about 12' of line so just a lot of pitching rather than casting. Spinners in bearver ponds or natural pools work great too.

July 15, 2009, 10:24 PM
I consider "Fishing", underwater hunting.

Yep, I need to finish that bow shooting platform on the boat and head up the Navidad to the dam. Gar shootin's great up there. Who needs bait? :D

Tim the student
July 15, 2009, 11:02 PM
Don't disregard live bait if it's legal. I've caught trout on nightcrawlers, wax worms, even a small frog.

If live bait isn't legal, I'm also like one who likes spinners. Sometimes I'll take a really light one and put a small split shot about a foot or two in front of it to give it more weight to cast. The split shot doesn't seem to bother them too much. Casting upsteam usually works best for me.

I normally do better if I can get away from most people because there are less kids slammin their rigs into the water and they are pressured less.

July 17, 2009, 12:30 AM
I've trout fished the Kern and around Bishop/Big Pine/Lone Pine with a small spinner set. I like using treble hooks and Velvita - no weights or anything. The "cheese" (I think it's gasoline and yellow food coloring) never melts and the fish seem to go nuts - plus a block is super cheap compared to any of the "power bait" type of stuff.

Fun stuff - I really like stream fishing and would love to learn to fly fish someday.


jim in Anchorage
July 17, 2009, 12:56 AM
Any spawning salmon in that river? I have good luck on trout with a streamer fly called a egg sucking leech,on a spinning rod 3 feet ahead of just enough split shot to keep it bouncing on the bottom.

July 17, 2009, 05:52 AM
Lucky you.:D

I lived in Kalispell a couple years, went to Flathead Highschool then.

That was back in the 80's but fishing in the Flathead Lake for Lake Trout, or Foys Lake, and even Flathead river and the nearby Stillwater was productive. Spent a couple summers fishing and kegging at the Old Steel Bridge.
We used to shoot Whittails in those river bottoms as well......

Spent alot of time at Les Bauskas gunbarrel company too, and still have an M-1917 action'd Elk rifle he built for me.I always wondered what happend o those old fellas....

Wish I were there to see today.

July 17, 2009, 05:21 PM
Don't disregard live bait if it's legal. I've caught trout on nightcrawlers, wax worms, even a small frog.
Nothing beats live bait. I'd get some worms, small hooks, and some of the new super thin, super strong line.

July 17, 2009, 09:36 PM
Ive used live bait velvita,corn, and marshmellos as far as lures panther martin used to have one it had a black body with yellow spots and a gold spinner that used to work verry well. also a floating,sinking or susending rapala in any of the trout patterns will also work verry well you want the smaller ones 1 1/2 to 2 inch and use no more than 6 lb test..

Larry Ashcraft
July 17, 2009, 10:09 PM
I'm never too proud to use live bait if legal. A number 10 hook, 4 pound test, one or two small split shot two feet above the hook, and a piece of nightcrawler.

Let that rig bounce downstream through likely looking water, and any trout (wild or stocked) will hit it.

Better yet are grasshoppers in the spring. I remember hooking a 21" brown on a grasshopper a few years ago on an (unnamed) spot on an (unnamed) stream only about 40 miles from here.

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