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Early Season Trout Tactics

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It’s starting to warm up, the sun is out, and you’re chomping at the bit to go fishing. Yeah, we all get that feeling. But the water is high and murky, streams are blowing out, and water temperatures are in the 40’s…..what to do, what to do, and what to do…….

Streamer Fishing

My go to this time of year is streamer fishing. But the streamer fishing you do in the spring is not the same streamer fishing you did last summer. 

The water temperature last summer was in the 50s or 60s. The fish were active and aggressive. They’d chase your offering down 20 feet! Now, the water temps are in the 40s. The trout are still slow and sluggish. They might not move a foot to chase your streamer. You need to change your approach.


Drop the Streamer Right on Their Nose

Get rigged up with sink tip line, forget about the floating line. The fish are going to be in deep holding pools. The water is going to be off color. You have to drop that streamer right on their nose.

Muddler Minnow MarabouMarabou, Black OrangeMuddler Minnow Marabou Olive

Whether you fish a floating or a sink-tip line, an upstream mend will get your fly deeper. Keep your rod tip high as the fly drifts downstream. Not high sticking….just rod tip up. Keep the streamer in the same lane as it drifts, this will allow it to get depth. You don’t really have to work the streamer, an occasional strip is OK, but don’t overdo it. You’re looking to gain depth and to keep in contact with your fly.

A dead drift approach is fine too. Keep in contact, but don’t worry too much about missing takes. A streamer bite is a streamer bite. You’ll feel it.


Keep Some Semblance of Natural Movement

All flies have some semblance of natural movement in the water to them. You don’t really need to be too concerned about stripping. Flies that have rabbit run or marabou are exceptionally effective with this kind of fishing. In all likelihood, the water you’re going to be fishing is dirtied up a bit. 

You want to keep your colors darker.

Bunny Leech Purple, Cone HeadDredge, Lead Eye, Black-Chartruse

It still will be a while before we start getting some prolific mayfly and stonefly hatches. While the water is up there and on the rise, give the streamer game a go. You’re probably not going to have 40 fish days…..but you but isn’t on the couch either! 

Tight Lines....

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