Common Trout Fishing Errors Common Trout Fishing Errors Written by: Len Harris Photos by: Len Harris Trout fishing can be frustrating when the trout are not cooperating. Some of the time it is not the trout being willy. A trout has the brain the size of a pea. Trout are instinctive and react to situations that are out of the normal for their environments. More often than not it is angler error that caused the lose of a trout or not even getting that hook up. Before you even get out on the stream you have very important decisions to make. Your gear you use is the first common error an angler makes. They don't use the proper tool for the job. Just because your friend uses a 2 weight rod on trout doesn't mean you should. That 5 foot ultra light spinning rod is not the tool for the job along with the trendy 2 weight rod. The 4 pound test mono for your spinning rod is inadequate in tight quarters. That 6x leader on your fly rod is good for 10 inch trout but for most situations you will break off on the hook set. That fly rod may need to be left home because your back cast is restricted. A 2 weight fly rod or an ultra light spinning rod would NOT have been the correct tool for the job for this monster. More gear problems. That line needs to be maintained. Line needs to be kept clean and out of direct sunlight when stored. The reels you are using are very important. They need to be kept free of dirt. During the closed season they need to be cleaned and lubricated. Too much lube attracts dirt and too much is as bad as not enough. Sharpen those flies and hooks during the closed season. Your leaders won't last forever. Even if they are in an envelope you should test the leaders for strength. Dress for your surroundings. The colors you wear are very important. It is not necessary to wear camouflage. It is important to wear earth tones and match the time of the year you fish. If you are fishing early season the colors need to be more washed out and browns will be the the ticket. When the world turns green, the drab greens should be used. Leave that white tee shirt at home. It does NOT blend with the surrounding. Your cap is important also. Your cap will give you away right away. Red and bright yellow caps are a no go. A dark cap with white lettering is like a neon sign. Wear drab colors or go home without a life long memory. Scout your area before going out. Know the holes and the approaches to them. If the approaches are open in early season it does not mean it will be clear in mid summer. Your back cast could be seriously hindered when the foliage grows up. There is nothing wrong with clearing a casting lane in front and behind you like a bow hunter does. I have had many holes ruined by a stray twig that blocks your cast. Know what the trout are biting. Take stroll on a country road and see what is hopping or crawling on the road. Sit at your local bridge and see what floats by. If it rained buckets the day before the water should be dirty and a small fly on the surface may be futile. Don't limit your arsenal to flies only. There are very good spinner for muddy water and the trusty night crawlers is a sure fire bait after a big rain. A big flashy spinner was the ticket this day after a big rain. So you are getting out of your car and putting on your gear. Make sure you don't over or under dress. If you are fishing muddy slippery banks those felt boot waders or wading boots will turn in to skis . A lug sole is a must. Look in your vest before you head out. Make sure you have brought your entire arsenal. A good pair of hemostats are essential for unhooking trout. Make sure your net is big enough for the trout you have targeted and the attaching release is in functional order. You are approaching your first hole. Your shadow control is very important. If your shadow hits the water you might as well throw a big rock in the hole. You have spooked that hole. Your approach should be light of foot. Try to avoid stepping on twigs near your hole. The snapping sound rings through the ground and the smart bigger trout won't bite. Jumping down a bank within 20 yards of a hole is a bad move also. Stay out of the water unless it is absolutely necessary. You are there now. The hole is in front of you. Your early season scouting comes in to play now. You know where those fish are laying. You have to decide if you want quality or quantity now. If you are targeting the biggest trout in the hole the cast needs to be made accordingly. The smaller or subordinate trout will be in the not so good feed lanes. The big trout will have the best feed lane. You need to present your cast above the prime run. Fight the urge to cast too far or trying to drop the cast on the trout's head. Your choices before you hit the water are as important as the ones on the water. Don't assume your gear worked good last fall and it will be fine this spring. You know what assume means correct? Broke lines and a poor outing. Check your gear and tight lines to all.