Trout fishing newbie


I fish about 50 days a year for white bass and crappie, but I know nothing about trout. I plan to fish the San Juan river near Pagosa Springs the first week of October. Any tips? Can I just bring a spinning reel to avoid investing in a fly rod? Do you use Flys, or fake or real salmon eggs? Barbed hooks? Etiquette? Thanks


As an experienced fisherman, most of the stuff in this flyer will probably be stuff you already know, but maybe there's something new here:

-Go barbless
-Spinning reel probably ok, but fly fishing is really fun. Maybe rent gear?
-check local regulations for allowable lures - many places only allow artificial
-Stay off spawning beds and don't cast to fish on a spawning bed
-Big thing with trout to keep in mind is water temp and handling - if the water temp gets too high, and the O2 in the water drops, bringing them in results in a lot of stress which increases mortality. Also, trout are covered with slime - make sure to wet your hands or net really well before handling. Don't handle a trout by the mouth like you might a bass. Bring the trout in as quickly as possible to minimize stress put on the fish.

I'm by no means an expert, but these are some things I've picked up learning to fish over the summer. Good luck and tight lines!
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Expedition Leader
The above is all good. Fly fishing is addictive - I started this year and love it. If you can I'd recommend giving it a try.

Some things that will help - always approach from downstream. The presentation of the fly or lure in the water is crucial, it has to look as natural as possible. These are not big aggressive bass that hit anything near them, they spook super easy and are very picky eaters.

Half the marvel in these mountain trout is just how gorgeous they are. It's not like landing a big 6lb bass where all the fun is in the hit and the fight. The fun in trout fishing is finding the fish, coercing them to take a fly, a usually small fight unless you find a real cow, and really just admiring it all.

Thats for me at least - hauling in big ugly bass never really appealed to me and I wasnt much in to fishing until I discovered how truly special the trout fly fishing experience can be.


Expedition Leader
Trout are very fragile. If you pick them up out the water they are almost as good as dead. I like power bait when legal. It's like play dough. Use a lighter line and pole than you think you need as in 4 lbs.