Streams & Rivers

Flowing waters provide wonderful opportunities to catch all species of trout. Rivers and streams come in all shapes and sizes and all have their quirks. Some techniques and lures work in all situations. I’ve compiled a selection of lures that have served me well over my 25 years as a trout fisherman. I’ve used flies, spinners and spoons over the years but the trout lures listed below have served me the best.

Best lures for clear water conditions.

When fishing for trout in a small stream with extremely clear water it’s important to use a smaller lure. Clear water doesn’t mean that trout won’t bite, far from it in fact. You’ll just need to be a little more stealthy. Smaller spinners in more muted colors work well for Rainbow trout. Brighter colors will work just fine on more aggressive trout such as Cutthroat or Brook. Fingerling Brook trout will strike lures almost as big as they are. Cutthroat are known for being very aggressive biters. I’ve spent many hours of my life fishing for trout in streams no more than six feet across. The fish weren’t big but when you’re a kid that doesn’t matter as much. Bull trout, sometimes mistaken for Dolly Varden, are also very aggressive biters. Most areas are closed to fishing for them so please check your local fishing regulations before targeting Bull trout. Any of the lures shown below will catch Rainbow trout, Brook trout, Cutthroat trout(resident & searun), Brown trout, Bull trout & even Steelhead!

Best lures for cloudy water conditions.

Muddy or cloudy water requires brighter lures to attract a trout’s attention. I’ve listed a few lures below that have worked for me in the small streams and rivers of the Pacific Northwest.