Having the best trout lure or bait makes a big difference when trout fishing. Some people only fish opening day of trout and either get lucky or skunked. Everyone is fishing the same steam and yet some people are catching more trout than others.
In this guide, I will show you the best lures, baits, and tactics that will allow for a more productive time when trout fishing. Some people think you need to be a pro fisherman with a fly rod to catch lots of trout. That is actually not the case. In most cases, basic trout baits and lures will outfish fly fishermen. Fly fishing is more for the challenge and the fun experience of tracking down and sight-casting fish.
Trout fishing is one of the most enjoyable activities imaginable. Fishing, hiking, and camping can all be done on the same weekend. These are all great outdoor activities! There are not many things more exciting than sportfishing a trout that won’t bite and then bam the fish strikes and those few seconds of excitement are worth all the time and effort put into the trip.
Fishing for trout does not need to be labor-intensive, you can cast a hook and bobber out there and relax while waiting for a trout to find the bait. The first Saturday after Easter in mid-April is the opening day of trout in Pennsylvania where I grew up. This was always a big event and something fun to do with family and friends. Many people camp out and get to the streams before light to get a good fishing spot for the day.
Trout fishing in streams is done with similar techniques to steelhead, salmon, and grayling fishing. For steelhead and salmon fishing in the great lakes, the season starts in the fall around labor day. Heavy rain will typically increase the number of salmon and steelhead in the streams. The peak season for salmon stream fishing in the Pacific Northwest is typically in the middle of summer. In these streams, there are often wild trout that concentrate in certain areas of streams to eat salmon eggs during the salmon spawn. Having the proper egg imitation bait works great in these situations.
Trout fishing for wild trout and stocked trout can typically be fished the same way. Even though stocked trout mostly eat ground-fish pellets that look like rabbit food the trout still have the instinct to eat minnows and insect larva. In the tanks they are raised in the trout can often find bugs to eat. Some people claim that corn and cheese work well for stock trout but there are much better baits to use.
Typically stocked trout are released about two weeks before the season near bridges. Some trout are carried in 5-gallon buckets to different locations in the streams. It is usually smart to not wander too far away from stocking locations. It is also wise to check trout stocking locations and dates on state websites. Trout fishing is usually good throughout the spring but once the temperature in the streams rises in the summer the stocked trout die in many geographic locations.
Fishing for wild trout and stocked trout is fun and at times challenging. Below is a list of the best trout lures for many conditions. These are sound tactics and lures that have been proven to be effective on trout everywhere!
Here Are the Best Trout Lures
1. Trout Magnet
The trout magnet kit comes with 8 jig heads that weigh 1/64 ounce and have size 8 hooks. Also, the kit has 70 grub bodies in 7 color patterns. All the color patterns work well but a gold jig with a gold body is my favorite trout lure.
I first found out about the trout magnet when fishing a small fundraising event with tagged trout in Pennsylvania. After fishing most of the morning and only catching a few trout I switched to my friend Jason’s go-to lure, the gold trout magnet. Then next hour I caught about six trout and became a believer in the trout magnet. When someone who catches lots of trout says this is the lure he uses all day and there is no reason to switch, you know it is a good bait! Many people rave about the trout magnet!
I use to wonder if the gold trout magnet worked so well because it looked similar to the trout pellets that are fed at hatcheries. This was proven not to be the case though because these also work great on wild trout. If you have not used a trout magnet before it is definitely worth trying these jigs out for yourself.
Fishing the trout magnet can be done by suspending the jig just off the bottom with a float and letting the current take the bait. The jig can also be constantly twitched during a slow retrieve.
Trout Magnet Float
The E-Z tour float is a small slotted foam float in green and chartreuse. These come in a 4-pack or 36-pack. This float is a great way to suspend jigs and baits that are drifting down the stream. I include them only once in this article but work great with PowerBait, egg sacks, salmon eggs, minnows, worms, maggots, trout beads, etc. A float is not always needed but about half the time when fishing bait I use a float to suspend the bait and to act as a strike indicator. When fishing with young kids using a float with some type of bait is definitely the best way to go.
With these floats, the line depth can easily be adjusted to allow the bait to be suspended just off the bottom. The slot in the float makes it so it can easily be taken on and off the line without having to re-tie knots.
Pro-Cure Trout Scent
The pro-cure trophy trout scent comes in a two-ounce squeeze bottle. This super gel is made from real fresh bait and also had amino acids and bait stimulants.
There are many great scented baits on this list. However, the pro-cure gel allows jigs, spinners, and spoons to have scent added. Many trout see tons of lures a day and in order to stand out the lure needs to look, feel, and smell like real bait.
To be honest if a trout magnet is being twitched properly it is typically enough to get the trout to bite without scent. However, when float fishing with a bobber and when fishing with kids the scent can really help get more strikes. It definitely will not hurt the fishing. The gel is sticky so bringing q-tips to apply the gel to baits is a good idea. Using gulp alive minnows or power minnows found further down this list are great scented jig baits to use without having to deal with a gel scent.
In the picture is my brother Mark with a nice rainbow trout he caught in a Pennsylvania stream.
2. Berkley PowerBait
PowerBait comes in 1.75-ounce containers and is floating bait. This is one of the most popular trout baits on the market and comes in many color options including rainbow, Captain America, chartreuse, fluorescent orange, red, pink, white, and green sherbet. Pink extra scent glitter trout bait and rainbow extra scent glitter trout bait are my two favorite colors.
To use PowerBait a small round ball is made and pressed onto a small treble hook or J-hook to look like an egg. One reason PowerBait works well is that on a small hook the bait itself floats. When using this bait without a float a small split-shot is placed about 18-inches above the hook. Having the weight on the bottom allows the bait to float just off the bottom in a perfect location for trout to find the bait.
When using PoweBait with a float is good to place a smaller ball on a heavier hook so the bait sinks. The sinking bait can then be adjusted to sit about 1-foot off the bottom. This works really well in slow-moving water.
PowerBait is a great bait to use when the steam is crowded because does not disturb the fishing hole. Often when fishing for trout people will be fishing the same holes all day with lots of fishing pressure. Too many heavy lures splashing the same location over and over again is going to scare away more fish than it will catch. Spinners can cross lines and make it a less enjoyable experience for other people fishing nearby.
Spinners and lures work well in an undisturbed area and typically catch fish within the first few casts. If a fish is not caught give that spot a one-hour break and move to a different spot in the stream.
Trout Bait Treble Hooks
The small trout treble hooks come in sizes 14, 16, and 18 and work great for PoweBait. Size 14 is the larger hook size. With a size 14 hook, the bait will sink and this setup will work great with a bobber or float. If your goal is to have the bait weighted and float off the bottom a small size 18 treble hook would work well. The buoyancy of the rig also depends on how big of a piece of PowerBait is being used.
Some people say red hooks are invisible to the fish. In my experience, red, gold, and nickel hooks are all good colors for trout. These treble hooks work well with many other types of bait also including minnows. Trout have good eyesight and can be hook and line shy so make sure to hide the hooks within the bait as much as possible. A line weight of 2-6 pounds is typically used for trout. Try to avoid using a line over 6 pounds as it will definitely decrease the number of fish that bite. Using a fluorocarbon line or leader is also a good idea.
In the picture is a tiger trout that was caught with rainbow PowerBait in a Pennsylvania stream.
3. Original Rooster Tail
The Original Rooster Tail comes in size 1/32 ounce, 1/24 ounce, 1/16 ounce, 1/8 ounce, and 1/4 ounce. Size 1/16 ounce is the most common size to use for trout. These spinners come in over 100 color options with different blade finishes and different colors on the body and tails. Silver shad and flash white are both great color Rooster Tails for trout. These both have silver blades. The dark silver shad is good for low light and murky water. The light-colored flash is good for sunny skies and clear water.
Rooster Tails were designed for trout fishing and work so well that they are now used to target many other types of fish. These small spinners work well when casting downstream and retrieving the lure upstream. Casting lures such as Rooster Tails work best when streams are not crowded. If ten or so casts are made through a fishing hole and no fish are caught it is time to give the spot a one-hour break while trying other fishing spots. That said these work well when traveling up and down streams and these lures produce fish!
In the picture is a Dolly Varden trout that my friend caught fishing in Juneau Alaska. We were actually fishing for silver salmon but these trout are often found in the same streams. This trout was caught using a 1/4 ounce pink rooster tail spinner.
4. Berkley Powerbait Floating Mice Tails
Mice tails are three inches in length. The most popular color options are chartreuse-fluorescent orange and bubblegum-pink. Other color options include fluorescent red-chartreuse, fluorescent red-natural, glow, glow-orange silver, and natural-fluorescent orange.
This is a relatively new trout bait that has become very popular. It is known to outfish many other types of trout baits and lures. It is scented and stays on the hook good enough to often catch more than one fish on a single mice tail. These are larger baits then I would typically use for trout but fish frequently swallow the bait and get hooked deep which means the large size is not a problem.
The video below shows the basic technique to fish with mice tails. A split shot is added above the hook. Since the mice tail is large and floats it is sure to stay suspended off the bottom where trout can find the bait. I think this is the main reason this bait works so well. The fish are able to easily find the mice tail and the strong smell encourages them to try and eat the bait.
Single Egg Trout Hooks
The trout hooks are sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 with size 14 being the smallest. For most trout baits I would recommend using a size 10. Mice tail baits are a bit larger so a size 8 would be perfect. These hooks are offered in red or black. Either color option works well. Gamakatsu single egg hooks are very similar to this octopus style and are another good option for trout hooks.
5. Panther Martin Trout Spinner
Panther Martin trout spinners come in sizes 1/16 ounce, 1/8 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 3/8 ounce. Color options include silver, gold, copper-big belly, copper-yellow red dots, green fluorescent, white, black zebra, black, gold-red specks, and fire tiger-gold.
Silver and black zebra are my favorite color patterns. Black zebra works well in murky water and in low-light conditions. The silver color works well in clear water and on bright sunny days. I have had great success with Panther Martin spinners for trout. The shaft through blade design seems to spin around slower and create vibrations in the water that mimic an injured fish.
In this picture, I am fishing with a Panther Martin trout spinner in a lake at Glacier National Park. I did not have any luck in the lake itself but caught lots of trout in nearby streams. Taking a boat out on the lake I spotted many trout but they were deep in the lake. I really needed heavy trout jigs but did not have any.
6. Garlic PowerBait Power Eggs
Power eggs come in a glass jar with .5 ounces of bait. Scent options include original scent or garlic. Garlic seems to be the most popular flavor of power eggs. Color options include bubble gum, pink, chartreuse, fluorescent orange, fluorescent yellow, lemon-lime, rainbow, fluorescent white and salmon egg red. Bubble gum rainbow or salmon egg red is what I would pick.
This is very similar to standard PowerBait except the bait comes pre-shaped into a round ball. That bait is also a bit tougher and stays on a single hook better than standard PowerBait. This is especially true when trying to cast the bait far out and some baits tend to fly off the hook.
In the picture, my brother Mark has another nice rainbow trout caught in a Pennsylvania stream. As you can tell it was almost dark out when he caught it.
7. Rapala Countdown Trout Lure
The Rapala Countdown comes in size 01 which is 1-inch and weighs 1/16 ounce, size 03 is 1-1/2 inches and weighs 1/8 ounce, and size 05 which is 2-inches and weighs 3/16 ounce. Color options include brook trout, brown trout, fire minnow, hot mustard muddler, olive green muddler, rainbow trout, and silver. Brook trout in size o1 is a great small plug for trout. Rainbow trout and brook trout are also great color options.
The Rapala countdown is a classic trout lure that is found in many great trout angler’s tackle boxes. This is a sinking lure and has a running depth of about 1-3 feet. The plug works well in medium depth water and slow-moving currents. This lure excels when fish are suspended in the water column.
In the picture above my friend, Justin has a nice Palomino Rainbow Trout also called a Golden Rainbow. These are rainbow trout but have a very unique and distinguishable golden color.
8. Luhr Jensen Super Duper Spoon
This super-duper spoon trout lure comes in sizes of 1 inch, 1-1/8 inch, 1-1/2 inch, 1-3/4 inch sizes. The 1-1/4 is probably the most popular and weighs 1/10 of an ounce. Color options include chrome silver prism-light, copper red-head, and brass gold prism.
Luhr Jensen Super Duper Spoon is a classic trout lure that can be difficult to find in stores. The lure is metal that is bent into a u-shape. This lure is fished very similarly to a spoon and has great action even at slow lure retrieve speeds. The depth of the lure varies based on the retrieve speed. If you like fishing for trout with spinners there is a very good chance you will also like the Super Duper Spoon.
In the picture is a cutthroat trout that was caught in Yellowstone National Park. This net with rubber mesh is the best type to use when catching and releasing trout. It is actually best if you can release then without netting them but often times this is not possible.
9. Minnows, Eggs Sacks and Worms Trout Bait
Atlas Mikes Eggs sacks are made with real salmon eggs and come with six egg sacks per jar. These come in regular and floating options. Each group of eggs is hand-tied into a nylon mesh bag.
Many trout fishermen know that salmon eggs are a good bait for trout but often overlook egg sacks. This is a bigger bait with a larger profile and more scent. Egg sacks are also a great bait for salmon and steelhead. To fish with egg sacks place a single hook through one of the eggs. I have also seen anglers just put the hook through the nylon sack itself but that seems like it would fall off the hook and would make the hook more noticeable to the fish.
In the picture above my friend, Justin has a nice Brown Trout. This was caught in a stream that flows into Lake Ontario in New York State.
10. Siberian Night Crawler Egg Trout Bait
Night Crawler Egg Trout Bait comes in a glass jar containing 1.1 ounces of bait. This bait had real bright red salmon eggs that are packed into nightcrawler worm oil. This makes the bait smell both like worms and salmon eggs.
Salmon eggs are one of the most common baits used by trout fishermen. A natural presentation of a salmon egg is often the most difficult part of fishing with salmon eggs. The eggs sink so when fishing them with a weight the egg is likely to rest on the bottom where it is difficult for the trout to find. This method with weight can work well in fast-flowing water as the bait is frequently getting carried by the current. In slow-moving waters, salmon eggs are best to suspend from a float just off the bottom. Having a jar of salmon eggs is always a good idea when trout fishing.
In the picture above is a rainbow trout that I caught fishing a stream in the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. It was October and streams in this area are known for having jumbo rainbow trout. This particular fish was caught on a trout bead that looks like a salmon egg. Using actual bait is illegal in many streams in Alaska.
11. Power Honey Worm Trout Bait
Power Honey Worms come with 55 baits that are 1-inch in length. Color options include red, yellow, and natural. These baits are made to look and smell like insect larva and natural is a very popular color.
Trout are commonly known to eat insects and minnows. Many people do not realize that insect larva is a large food source for trout. These baits also look like wax worms and mealworms which are also great trout baits. Most anglers agree that wax worms are better than mealworms but both will catch trout. The Power Honey Worm allows for a very similar style of bait as insect larva and wax worms to be used without having to deal with live bait.
12. Berkley Gulp Maggots
Berkley Gulp Maggots come in a 1-1/2 ounce jar and are available in 1-inch and 1.5-inch sizes. Color options include natural, white, pink, and chartreuse.
If you have ever used a gulp product you know that it often outfishes live bait. Maggots are a great trout bait and the gulp gulp version is even better. Even the one-inch size is larger than most normal maggots which are difficult to put on a hook. These gulp baits are also more durable and last longer on the hook than live maggots. This bait will sink on the hook and is great to use suspended from a bobber or float. Gulp is made of natural material and is 100 percent biodegradable.
In the picture are my nephews with their friends. The three rainbow trout were caught at Yellowstone national park. A spincast fishing reel is a good reel for young kids to use when fishing for trout.
13. Blue Fox Minnow Spin
The Blue Fox Minnow Spin comes in sizes of 1/8 ounce, 3/16 ounce, and 1/4 ounce. Color options include brown trout-gold, fire tiger-fire tiger, minnow-silver, rainbow trout-silver, and silver-plated silver.
This bait is a hybrid between a plug lure and a spinner. The blade on the lure acts as a spinner to create flash and vibrations in the water. Having a large profile and colorful body gives the lure a realistic appearance. The balsa wood body makes the lure semi-buoyant in the water. If you like fishing with spinners this is another great lure to use to target trout.
In the picture is my brother and his kids with rainbow trout they caught at Yellowstone National Park.
14. Mepps Comet Mino Trout Spinner
The Mepps Comet Mino comes in sizes of 1/9 ounce, 1/6 ounce, and 1/4 ounce which are all good trout sizes. Lures as large as 1/2 ounce are available but those larger sizes are for pike and bass fishing. Color options include baby bass, perch, rainbow trout, and shad. I like the rainbow trout or shad colors for trout fishing. Gold blades are made with polished brass and silver blades are genuine silver plated.
This is another hybrid lure of an inline spinner with artificial bait. The spinner creates flash and vibration and the way the bait is connected to the spinner makes it swim erratically like an injured baitfish. Traditional Mepps spinners are one of my favorite lures to use when fishing. The Mepps Comet lure is something a bit different that can be very effective at catching fish.
In this picture is a cutthroat trout that my brother and nephew caught while fishing at Yellowstone National Park.
15. Minnows for Trout Bait
The PowerBait Power Minnow is a 1/32 ounce jig with a 2-inch scented bait attached. Black shad and fire tiger are the two color options. These baits come with two jig heads and 10 bodies. The power minnow jig also works well to catch crappie and walleye. The Bass Pro Shop version comes with 18 bodies but no jig heads.
Live minnows are one of the best baits for trout but are often difficult to find. The power minnow is a great alternative. It is a scented jig with enough weight to fish in deep holes with strong current and water flow. The baits can be fished like a jig or suspended in the water column using a bobber or float.
16. Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows
Berkley Gulp Alive Minnows are 1-inch in length. Color options include emerald shiner, chartreuse, luma glow, and smelt. With smelt probably being the best color option for trout.
These baits are 1-inch and are similar in size to the trout magnet baits which work awesome at catching trout. These baits actually have an advantage because the strong scent of gulp baits encourages nearby trout to strike the bait. Sometimes when trout fishing you can pass lures directly in front of trout and the fish will show no interest in the lure. Having a strongly scented bait increases the chance that a trout will strike the bait.
Trout Jig Heads
The trout magnet jig heads are painted silver or gold and weigh 1/64 of an ounce. These are great jig heads to use with the 1-inch Gulp Alive Minnow. With trout, a lightweight jig head is typically the best to use especially in shallow water and slow-moving currents. In really fast-moving currents jigs up to 1/8 ounce can be used.
17. Trout Magnet Trout Slayer Crayfish
The trout magnet trout slayer kit comes with 20 crawdad bodies in five different colors. These baits are made by the same company that makes trout magnets and crappie magnets. The jigs weigh 1/64 ounce and have size 8 long shank hooks.
Crayfish are a very common bait to find in streams. Large crayfish are probably not the best trout boat but small crayfish certainly are good baits. During the day crayfish are often found hiding under rocks or ledges. The hook should be slid through the body with the jig head being at the tail end of the bait. This is because crayfish swim backward. Crayfish can swim with fast bursts of speed so short jerky jerks that bring the bait off the bottom and flutter back down can be a great way to get trout to strike.
18. Rapala Ultra Light Minnow
The Rapala Ultra Light Minnow comes in size 04 which is 1-1/2 inches long has number 10 treble hooks and weighs 1/8 ounce, size 06 is 2-1/2 inches long has number 8 treble hooks, and weighs 1/8 ounce. Good color options for trout include chrome, gold, pink clown, rainbow trout, shad, and trout.
The ultra-light minnow is a slow sinking lure and typically swims 2-3 feet deep in the water. A unique lip design creates a wobbling and side-to-side rolling action. Each lure is tank tested and hand-tuned. The plug has a great appearance in the water with external scales and large 3D holographic eyes.
19. Acme Phoebe Trout Spoon
The Acme Phoebe trout spoon comes in size 1/12 ounce, 1/8 ounce, and 1/4 ounce. Color options include brown trout, copper, fire tiger, gold-nickel red, rainbow trout, silver, metallic perch chrome, silver neon blue, and silver neon green.
This is another classic trout lure. Having a unique bent shape the spoon has an erratic injured fish-like action at both fast and slow retrieve speeds. Allowing the lure to sink initially allows the bait to be fished deeper in the water. Fast reeling allows the spoon to be fished in shallow water. This is defiantly a great lure to have in the 1/12 ounce size when fishing in small streams. The 1/4 ounce size works well to cast far when fishing in a river or lake. Using a light fishing line gives this lure the best action.
20. Mepps Ultra Lite Wooly Worm Spinner
The Mepps Aglia Ultra Lite Wooly Worm is a great trout spinner. This lure comes in size 00 which is an ultralight 1/18 ounce and size 0 which is 1/12 ounce. The tail of the bait is a Wolly Worm fly and the single blade is plated with genuine silver or brass. Small spinners with single hooks are also great lures to catch grayling.
This is a great lightweight spinner to use in small streams. Sometimes even a 1/8 ounce spinner creates too much noise and spooks fish. This lure is a spinner fly hybrid. The blade creates flashes and vibrations that attract fish and the tail resembles an aquatic insect. Mepps are top-quality spinnerbaits and this lightweight spinner can be used in small fishing holes.
21. Berkley Gulp Floating Trout Worm Bait
The floating trout worm is a 2-inch scented Gulp bait by Berkley. Color options include black, bubblegum, chartreuse, chunky cheese, natural, and nightcrawler. Red worms and live nightcrawlers do work for trout but this Gulp bait has an advantage because it floats.
This bait is very similar to the popular mice tail trout baits by Berkley. These baits are shorter and fatter than most worms. Also, the bait is more durable and stays on the hook better than worms. Jig heads can be used but the worm might need to be cut down in size to ensure the jig sinks. The best way to fish this bait is with a split shot above a hook to get the bait near the bottom. Having positive buoyancy the bait floats just off the bottom where it can easily be found by trout.
22. Trout Beads
Trout beads are hard plastic beads that look like salmon eggs. The bead is held in place above a fishing hook with a rubber band or the tip of a toothpick. The toothpick is wedged into the bead and is then broken off. In many streams in Alaska, the bead is required to be two inches above the hook. This helps to reduce the likely hood that a fish will swallow the bait and get hooked deep in the gut. It might seem like it would be difficult to hook fish with the hook far away from the bait but that is not the case. The line slides in the mouth of the fish allowing it to be hooked near the jaws.
Trout beads come in sizes of 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm. Some good color options include blush roe, cerise egg, hot pink, mandarin roe, and shrimp swirl.
The size and color variations are intended to allow the bait to match the size and color of the eggs that are currently present in the stream where trout or salmon are spawning. Often times you can see eggs in the water and know the best size and color to use.
One benefit of using trout beads is that they are often legal to use in fly-only streams even when using a spinning reel. In general, if real salmon eggs can be used I would say that is the better bait. The exception to that is once the eggs are further in development a cream color bead looks much more natural than a bright red salmon egg. It is always a good idea to try and match the hatch.
Hooks For Trout Beads
Typically hooks sizes for trout are size 12 – size 6 with size 6 being the largest. With trout beads, I typically use a size 8 hook. If you want hooks smaller than size 8, find the hooks previously shown in this article. Color options include black, nickel, blue, red, bronze, green and chartreuse. Having a hook color that matches the bait can reduce the visibility of the hook. Trout is one of the fish that have good eyesight and lightweight fishing line and small hooks can increase the number of trout that get caught.
Toothpicks to Hold Trout Bait
Each clear plastic container holds 500 toothpicks for a total of 1000 toothpicks. These are the easiest way I have found to keep trout beads in place. Even dry toothpicks hold the bead well and once they become wet they swell and hold the bead even tighter on the line.
In the video below I am fishing for trout and salmon in the Kenia Peninsula of Alaska. It was actually a several-mile hike in brown bear country to get to this location. The goal was to catch jumbo rainbow trout with trout beads. I also had single hooks spinners and large flies to catch silver and sockeye salmon. Usually, sockeye salmon do not bite flies and have to be caught by flossing them. To my surprise, I did get two of them to bite a large purple fly. I also caught a silver on a spinner and several nice trout using trout beads.
23. Mosquito Dry Trout Fly
The mosquito fly set comes with six flies all in size-12. This is a dry fly meaning that it is meant to sit on the surface of the water. This is one of the most commonly used flies for trout fishing. Another highly used trout fly is the Black Gnat which is very similar to the mosquito fly but is black. Dry flies like the mosquito fly are also known for catching grayling
With dry flies adding gink fly dressing helps ensure the fly floats on the surface tension of the water. Without using a fly dressing the flies can become saturated and not look like a natural fresh insects on the surface.
24. Prince Nymph Bead Trout Fly
This BH Prince Nymph fly set comes with 12 flies. There are three flies in size 12, size 14, size 16, and size 18. This fly has a weighted bead head. This means that it is intended to sink in the water and look like an aquatic insect. Bead head flies allow fly fisherman to catch trout when there is no surface action on the stream or lake. The White River Fly Shops version sold by Bass Pro Shops comes in packs of 6.
Most people think of fly fishing as using a dry fly on the surface of the water. Dry fly fishing for trout is a great experience but the majority of the time trout are not actively feeding on the surface. Surface feeding is most common in the evenings in late summer when natural insects are found in high numbers. Most of the time using a weighted fly is going to catch the highest number of trout for fly fishermen.
In the picture is a golden trout that my friend Justin caught on a fly.
25. Woolly Bugger Trout Fly
The wooly bugger fly is another classic weighted trout fly. The Rainy’s version sold by Bass Pro Shops comes in an 18 pack with sizes varying from size 4 to size 12 with ten of them having a bead head. Colors include olive, brown, white, and black. This fly fishes well on light and heavyweight fly rods. These are professionally hand-tied flies that work to catch all species of trout.
In the picture is my brother Mark with a brook trout that he caught on a fly.
26. Streamer Trout Flies
A 120 piece fly kit with box. Types of flies include 15 streamer flies, 40 dry flies, 40 wet flies, 10 nymphs, and 5 emergers. Some of the specific flies included Adams, black woolly bugger, elk hair caddis, gnat, and stimulator fly. There are many different sizes of flies that range from large size 6 files to small size 14 flies.
This fly kit comes with a waterproof fly box which is great to keep a large number of flies organized. The range of styles colors and sizes of these flies ensures there is a fly that will match what the trout are naturally feeding on. Also, the variety of weighted flies allows for the proper fly to be selected based on different water flow speeds.
27. Barnsley Trout Flies
Barnsley trout flies come with 100 trout flies that range from size 18 to size 8. Half of the files are dry or parachute flies. The other 50 flies are nymph, bead-head, wet, scud, streamer, and worm flies.
Dry flies include blue wing olive, cinnamon sedge, dark Hendrickson, elk wing caddis, humpy red, light Cahill, light Hendrickson, march brown, olive dun pheasant tail, royal coachman stimulator orange, stimulator yellow, and Adams parachute.
Bead flies include brassie copper, brassie green, brassie red, copper john red, hares ear, mayfly, and prince.
Additional files include hares ear, hares ear flashback, mayfly, pheasant tail, stonefly black, blue wing olive wet, coachman wet, march brown wet, woolly bugger black, woolly bugger olive, and San Juan worm.
In the picture above is my friend Justin fly fishing for trout at Yellowstone National park.
How to Catch Trout
Trout can be caught in a variety of ways. Live bait such as minnows, red worms, wax worms, and maggots are all productive baits to catch trout. Scented artificial baits like Powerbait, Power Worms, Power Eggs, and salmon eggs can be equally as effective at catching trout. Jigs like the trout magnet and scented jig baits like the Berkley Gulp Alive minnow often outfish live baits.
Lures are also a great way to catch trout. Spinners made by Rooster Tail, Panther Martin, Blue Fox, and Mepps help cover lots of water and catch aggressive trout. Small spoons and plugs are also good ways to cover lots of water.
Last using fly fishing gear can be a fun and effective way to catch trout. Dry, wet, bead-head, parachute, nymph, scud, and streamer flies all offer a unique presentation that catches trout based on the water conditions.
Trout can be targeted in streams at the surface or suspended in the water. However, trout are most often found near the bottom. Water flowing over the gills of a trout provides the oxygen needed for the trout to survive. For this reason, trout are often found in deep holes where gently flowing water can bring them both oxygen and food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do trout like garlic?
Yes, trout-like garlic-flavored baits. Trout baits that have garlic flavoring added include some PowerBaits, Berkley Power Eggs, Mikes salmon eggs, and floating Gulp Pinch Crawler. Garlic is not a flavor that trout find in nature but has a strong scent that disperses in the water and encourages trout to bite.
Can you catch trout with lures?
Yes, trout can absolutely be caught with lures. Good lures for trout include small jigs, spinners, plugs, spoons, and flies. Some streams are actually fly only and using bait to catch trout is illegal.
What time of day is best for trout fishing?
The best time of day to catch trout is in the evening. The early morning is also a time trout more likely to feed and bite lures and baits. Trout can be caught in the middle of the day but the bite is less frequent. If you watch a stream full of fishermen the best action is in the morning and around sunset. If the stream has not been disturbed and has low fishing pressure trout will normally bite all day and night. When using dry flies to fish the best time is definitely in the evening in late summer on hot days when there are naturally lots of flying insects around.
Where do trout hang out in lakes?
Trout try to stay in water that has a temperature between 45 and 65 degrees. They also try and stay in oxygen-rich water. If all of these conditions are met look for them near structures like weeds, rocks, and ledges. In these locations, there is more likely to be food and it provides cover so the trout can ambush the prey.
Is corn a good bait for trout?
Corn can catch trout but is not particularly a good bait. Fresh sweet corn does not stay on a hook but caned yellow corn works alright. I was once told that cord is illegal to use because that is what they use at the hatchery to feed trout. This is not true, trout at the hatchery are typically fed ground-up fish that is pressed into pellets and looks similar to rabbit food or small brown balls of dog food. Using PoweBait, Power Worms, salmon eggs, or egg sacks are all typically better baits than corn. Corn is illegal to fish and chum with, in certain locations. Check the local fishing regulations before using corn as bait.
What color Power Bait is best for trout?
The best color PowerBait depends on the conditions. I like using the rainbow color in clear water and on sunny days. Chroma-glow is a great glow-in-the-dark color bait for low-light conditions and fishing at night. Fluorescent Red is a great color PowerBait to use in stained murky water or when salmon are spawning.
Can you catch trout with worms?
Yes, worms work well as trout bait. Red worms and wax worms are the best worm types and a piece of a nightcrawler would also work. The first trout I ever caught was drifting a worm down a stream in Colorado. Worms also catch other freshwater fish like bass and crappie.
Why do trout eat eggs?
Wild trout that live near locations where salmon spawn naturally frequently eats salmon eggs which makes them a good bait. In these areas using real salmon eggs is often illegal. Trout that are not used to eating salmon eggs eat them because they are small and similar in shape to many aquatic insects. More importantly, though is that they smell like fish. Some salmon eggs are even soaked in nightcrawler juice to add additional scent.
Are trout attracted to light?
Yes, but not directly to the light itself. The light attracts zooplankton, aquatic insects, and insects. Trout are attracted to the bait including minnows that might eat the smaller bait as well. Direct light can actually scare trout and baitfish. When fishing a light source fish in the shadows of the light not directly in bright light.
Do rainbow trout bite at night?
Most trout will bite at night with brown trout having a reputation as being the most aggressive feeder at night. Fish feed using the sense of sight, vibrations using their lateral line, and smell to find food. Too many vibrations and noise will defiantly spook trout at night. This means that a strongly scented bait is the best option for night fishing. Fishing with small floats to suspend the bait or floating bait with weight to suspend the bait is both good options. Be stealthy and quiet when approaching fishing holes at night.
Captain Cody has worked on charter fishing boats in the Florida Keys, Virgin Islands, and Alaska. Growing up in Pennsylvania Cody has also done extensive freshwater fishing including bass fishing tournaments. Cody strives to provide detailed information about the best fishing gear and tactics to help both novice and experienced anglers have a more productive and enjoyable time on the water. Cody also has a background in aerospace engineering and neuroscience but really only takes pride in being good at one thing and that is fishing!
1 thought on “27 Best Trout Fishing Lures”
The blue fox all silver and the blue fox blue and silver are the BEST! Whenever we’re having a bad day with other lures or baits we go with the blue fox lures! That almost always catches some nice fish! Most of all panther martens work great too! Personally, I prefer the black one though!