BROOK TROUT FISHING
Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan means fishing for trout is a must. It may be on the Great Lakes, designated inland trout lakes or in the rivers, creeks and streams. Myself, I prefer to fish the rivers, streams and creeks for Brook Trout. My main reason is to walk the waterways and enjoy my surroundings. Not only is it great scenery, but it is great exercise. Plus, I can always find a stretch that has no one on it. The amount of fish I catch does not matter I prefer the whole experience.
I prefer my 5’ ultra-light rod and reel combo. I am not going to try and tell you which combo to use, because we all have our favorites. Mine happens to be a “Frankenstein” combo. Meaning they don’t match, I just pieced them together. I also prefer the spinning reel. 2lb. test line is the preferred choice. Again, no names, I just use what is available and not too pricy. Of course with this set-up, they all feel like monster fish. It is a lot of fun.
Spinner lures are my favorite choice. Obviously worms are also a must. Because Brook Trout are a smaller fish, I use a 1/64 oz. and a 1/12 oz. lure.
Here is the only time I will drop a name. Worden’s Rooster Tails and Mepps Lures are my favorite. It seems that many colors work for me. My favorite though is yellow, orange, pink, white, gold and frog. No particular order in preference, I will fish them all. When I catch a few Brook Trout on one color, I will then switch colors to see how it does. Since the lures are small, I use a size 14 snap swivel. No other weight is added, just the lure and snap swivel.
The favorite knot of choice is the “improved clinch knot”. I find it is easier to do in a pinch and it holds very nicely. Because you can expect to lose at least 1 or 2 lures on each trip, an easier knot is nice in the river. I know what your thinking, “use a better knot and you won’t lose a lure”. The knot isn’t the problem it is the environment. Rocks and logs in the river like to take their cut. Tag elders along the congested bank and trees also love your lures. It is the “nature of the beast” when you get into the backwoods on the rivers. Being prepared to lose lures means you won’t be surprised when it happens. I also carry a backpack of gear with me for this very reason.
When I get lucky enough to catch a beautiful Brook Trout, I do not use a net to land it.
I am not sure how weird this is, but I have my reasons. I also do not handle the fish much. Too many times people grab or handle the fish so much that they harm the Brook Trout. Then when they let it go, it just dies and is then wasted. I prefer to leave the fish in the water and use the pliers on a cheap multi-tool to unhook the fish. I participate in more catch and release then I do keep them. If I want to keep a fish for eating, I will secure it to the stringer while in the water before unhooking it. This way by barely touching the fish, they are more likely to be unharmed. Except for their pride of course and when they get cleaned for eating.
Above all else, I make sure I enjoy the scenery. Once you get down the river and into the woods, there is no telling what you will witness. I have a waterproof action camera I take with me just for video and pictures. I know I am supposed to concentrate on fishing, but some times I stop just to take in my surroundings. You know what they say, “A bad day of fishing beats a good day at work every time”!
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Enjoy the great outdoors,