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Fishing help?!

Hello all! I'm new here,just had a few questions for anyone that can help.I live in Tampa,Florida and I've been fishing my whole life,mostly lakes and small ponds and plenty of saltwater,but lately I've been getting into some small river fishing and creek fishing,and the problem is...I'm just not to sure what kind of tackle/gear I need? Also I want to start bringing a small pole and tackle with me on my hiking and backpacking trips,I'll be hiking in florida and Georgia and the carolinas. Any help on gear,tackle and how to fish these areas would be great!!

Bump, I too am in a similar situation having fish saltwater for years but never fresh, lakes, rivers, ponds.  So I look forward to the responses you get.

I can help-but...the question is so broad. I need you to be more specific. For example, some rivers have fast moving currents-which means fly fishing. Or, bass fishing (my expertise) and trout fishing require different techniques and lure/bait. I really like to fish in rivers because the fish are required to move more. Lake fish are lazy. The meat is better with the river fish. This is my opinion though. Please tell me the fish and water source....  

I can help with mountain streams & trout.

Are you thinking of fly fishing or spin fishing? (Both work well for trout regardless of what you've heard)

Well I'll be fishing with a spinning rod,I don't have the slightest clue how to fly fish. And I'm not to sure on the fish that are in the rivers in georgia and the carolinas,but the rivers in Florida have bass,crappie and other panfish. Thanks for all of your help!

You could always go Bear Grylls and build a dam, corral the fish into one spot and beat them with a stick... Or noodling can be fun(walk around the river and stick your hand in tree roots/holes and grab catfish.) Don't worry, if ya grab a snapping turtle they usually only take one finger so you will ok with 4 for your next trip. Down side to that method is if ya lose a finger a trip you are only good for 10 trips. Unless you are good with your feet. :)

Buy a couple of rooster tails lures one with a gold spoon and one with a silver. River fish will go after flashy things.


Well if you are going for catfish lure wise chicken liver is the way to go. Spoons work well. Bass hit em here. Jigs, spinners, doughball..... There are all kinds of options. Colors play a big role as far as water clarity/conditions. Also river temps play a big part as far as far as what depth the fish are going to be at in the river.

Thank you everybody for your suggestions. Just was wondering will the same fish that hit a fly rod also hit a spinning rod and reel?

Thanks for the suggestion on noodling (Rick-Pittsburgh) but I like having all 10 digits...haha

As far as trout go(they will hit on a spinning set-up or a fly) fireballs, salmon eggs, millworms, maggots..... they all work. I like to throw a lil humor into things at times. I have a buddy that does the noodling thing. I think he is nuts because I know what turtles can do.

You don't catch bottom feeders with a fly rig. Catfish, carp, are bottom feeders and trout, perch, bass will hit a fly. It doesn't happen often but you can get a catfish on a roster tail. I have only seen it once that cat must have been hungry.

The basic types of pole fishing are bait, spinning, fly and sea.

I am great at bait fishing, good a spinning, lucky at sea, and I need to get a fly setup.


I always have success with worm shaped lures when bass fishing. White for murky water and brownish-red for clearer water. Bass are hogs. They will eat something big so they do not have to waste much energy on constantly feeding. So, the bigger the better. I once hooked a very young bass with a frog lure, and it could only fit it's mouth on the back of the frog. Lures are less messy and easier for carrying around in backpack. With crappie I always have success with large earthworm (bait).

For bottom feeders (especially carp) I use corn chez cereal, wet it and put a bunch on the hook. Drop into water and read your kindle for a few hours-zzzzzz

Be careful when buying any fishing poles that fold into itself, some are badly made. If you are a minimalist then consider carrying a pole made for smaller fish, plus it is more of a challenge. A lot of pro bass fishermen do this. I am not going to get into which brand of fishing gear I use, because everyone has a preference.

Enjoy my two favorite hobbies-fishing and hiking. Good Luck!!!


What is the best lures, hard and soft or best bait for

- Rainbow Trout

- Steelhead Trout

I have caught steelhead trout with night crawlers and other worms.

Rainbow trout is quite easy. Powerbait with the neon type colors. Also fish eggs. Both are sold in small glass containers, which is easy for storage. Their favorite though, like most trout, are worms. My dad use to catch trout with corn, but I never had luck with the stuff.

I honestly do not have much luck with lures or shiny type/spoon gadgets. But, I am not a pro trout fisherman. I guess trout are much smarter than your average fish-:l


Damn tricky fish

Gotta watch fishing with corn. I know in some states its illegal. Not sure if its a nation wide thing. Just make sure ya check the regulations for the state you are in.

Good call. It is not national though. Some laws says you can't bait fish to the area by throwing corn around the water. The corn will hurt their digestion. I am talking about putting some corn on a hook, which is still illegal in some states. I have seen some sites from various states suggest corn for fish like carp. Check the area like Rick-Pittsburgh. But, like I said, I do not use the corn anyways. Worms for trout, powerbait, and fish eggs is my style.

Thanks for the comments. I bought a 5'6,2 Piece pole,light action. It's meant for 4-8lb.I think that should do well,I'll buy a light spinning reel and probabley put 6lb line on it. Each piece is about 33in so...I was looking up some other fishing suggestions on trailspace and trouthunter had a good idea with the PVC pipe as a case,I can put that on the outside or inside of my pack. I'm still doing some research and shopping about the tackle/bait I will use. The rooster tails are something I will bring for sure,and some small lures as well. And those powerbaits sound really good,I have never used them. So(D-DOG) are the powerbaits good for trout and other fish? How do you rig that setup up? Thanks for everyones help!

Hey Vegabondryan, I am in Gainesville! Just thought I would say hi to a fellow resident of the sunshine state. :)

I would love to answer several of the questions in this thread, but I'm kinda tied up right now. I can post some answers tomorrow (Monday) evening.

In the mean time let me share an excellent site for learning about fishing for trout, this site focuses on fly fishing a bit more than spin fishing, but there is also a wealth of knowledge on rods & reels, types of lures or bait, fish behavior, feeding patterns, how to approach the water, how to read water, etc.

If you want to learn about catching trout I highly recommend this site:

(I edited this link to direct you to the home page)

The site breaks down everything you need to know into classes, just like taking a course in school there is beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. It is absolutely free, although they do sell DVD's and other things.

See ya tomorrow.




I'll be glad to share what I know, just understand that my experience is limited to the Southeast US and generally mountain trout.  I believe in keeping things simple since most of my fishing is done in the back country while backpacking. I don't know everything, and some things are just a matter of opinion. I am not a sport fisherman, and I usually fish for supper.

I mostly fish for rainbows or browns from the bank or by wade fishing. I both fly fish and spin fish, I enjoy both and have never been a fly rod elitist. Generally I don't fish for brookies because our brookie population is in a delicate state.

I am going to focus here on spin fishing because it is what the OP inquired about, it is more universal, requires little gear, and the technique is easy to describe.

For fly fishing you really need to visit a fly fishing website & forum relevant to your area, or seek instruction in your specific area. There are also many great DVD's or books. It is more involved, requires more expensive & specific gear. That gear, especially flies, will be somewhat unique to your area or time of year. You can catch everything from Bream to Blue Marlin on the right fly rod, you can fish top water, bottom water, or anywhere else in the water column, generally speaking.

Alright, first of all since corn has been mentioned as a bait:

Whole kernel corn makes a good bait for brook & rainbow trout where it is allowed, browns will take it but often they conserve their energy waiting for something bigger to come along. Corn is not a true natural bait although it meets the criteria, and works all the same.

Some people believe that if trout ingest corn it will kill them, according to studies done in fish hatcheries it does not. Corn is hard to digest, even for humans, and provides poor nutrition for trout, but it has not been shown to be harmful unless used as daily feed for trout in captivity. The same can be said for the exo-skeletons of insects trout feed upon, it is difficult or impossible to digest.

In the areas I fish corn is allowed anywhere natural bait is allowed.

Brookies & bows will also take fish eggs, smaller insects and their larva, smaller beetles, crickets, cheese, small marsh mellows, berkley power bait, cheerios, and so on. In fact sometimes sticks, rocks, or other objects have been found in trout.

I have found that worms work better for brown trout, but if you are fishing in a stream that holds both bows and browns you can put a worm on your hook followed with a piece of corn on the tip. This is called a 'smorgasbord' and works very well for me.

Larger browns will also take small crayfish, frogs, minnows, hellgramites (larva of the Dobsonfly), or any number of other bite size critters native to the stream or river you are fishing.

Non-insect baits work better during times when insect activity & hatches are slow. You can check insect hatch charts specific to your area for that info. (just Google it).

For artificial lures spinners like Mepps or Panther Martin work well in water that hold minnows or chubs. Spinners imitate these small fish, but you must use a swivel about a foot or two from the spinner in order to keep the line from twisting and creating a very unnatural appearance.

Trout jigs work well in deep pools, I prefer the ones with hair instead of the rubber or plastic type.

For deep pools holding large browns you can also use a Rapala Countdown. These sink at a steady rate, one foot per second, allowing the lure to sink to the desired level before you start retrieving (reeling in line). It is called a countdown because you can start retrieving. To fish deeper simply count longer.

Rapala countdowns are best fished around the edges of a pool or where the fish may be hiding amongst rocks or under logs. Actually the same goes for other baits.

Always know and follow the rules for your area, the specific stream, and section of stream, you are fishing.

I'll talk about rods, reels, approach, and casting technique tomorrow night.

Hope that helps.

Hello there latitude918, hmmm....gator fan? Anyway thank you trouthunter for that website you listed and also all the knowledge you shared! Thanks alot.

Hello there latitude918, hmmm....gator fan? Anyway thank you trouthunter for that website you listed and also all the knowledge you shared! Thanks alot.

No Problem.

Here's what I carry for spin fishing on backpacking trips.

Ultralight rod with a decent spinning reel. This does not have to be a $100 rod & reel, you do want a quiet reel and generally paying a little more means you get a better reel.

One of my favorites rods is the good old ultralight Ugly Stick. I have more expensive rods, but a cheaper rod will get you started just fine.


Ultralight rod & reel.

4 wt. mono filament in clear blue fluorescent. 

Several small line swivels.

An assortment of small earless split shot. If you can't find the earless kind you can cut the ears off with fingernail clippers or pliers. The ears make the shot easier to remove, but get hung up on rocks.

An assortment of small bait hooks ranging from 10 to 1. I either buy barb-less hooks or flatten the barbs with pliers.

Any artificial lures or natural bait I'm bringing.

A pocket size plastic tackle box & attach a lanyard to it!

Fingernail clippers with a small lanyard.

Needle nose pliers.

Polarized sunglasses & a wide brimmed hat.

Clothing that blends in with my surroundings.


That's really all you need to get started, but everyone has to experiment and decide for themselves what they like to carry.


The single biggest reason people go fishing in small streams and don't catch anything is because the fish there spook very, very, easily, they will hide and quit feeding, or even swim away.

You need to approach the stream like you are trying to hide from someone, do not cast a shadow over the water, talk, or kick any rocks around. This is also the reason you need a quiet reel.

In larger streams and rivers, and especially those with turbulent water it isn't as big a deal, but still important.

Fish are very sensitive to anything out of the normal. Part of this is due to their Lateral Line a sense organ.

The easiest and most effective casting technique using natural bait that I know of is called The Drift. It is very simple, requires a minimum of tackle, and easy to learn.

Since it is getting late (for me) I will post a description of this technique tomorrow.


So trouthunter I guess that's why people us fly rods to fish in these sort of areas. I don't have any clue on how to fly fish but I guess I could learn. Do people have better success catching trout with a fly rod or a spinnng rod? That troutu website is awesome! Most everything on it is for fly fishing. I guess cachng trout with a donning rod is not as popular. Thanks for every ones help.

Don't worry about not being able to fly fish. You can catch just as many fish with a spinning rod, or in smaller streams even a cane pole can be very effective. There are situations where one rod type has an advantage over the other, but for what you want to do I really wouldn't worry about it.

Fly fishing is fun, challenging, and even considered an art form. It isn't really all that hard to learn a few basic casts and begin fishing, you can get a rod & reel combo for around $100 to get started with and practice in your own yard if you need to. There are also plenty of instructional DVD's you can buy, or videos on Youtube. You also may get lucky and find one at your local library.

The troutu site has a wealth of information that applies to any type of trout fishing, and even helpful when fishing for other species.

So let me tell you about using the Drift technique with a spinning rod. This was the first technique I was taught, and I still rely on it for it's simplicity and because it is very effective.

First you need to understand how mountain trout feed. Trout in streams and rivers with moderate to swift current almost always face upstream when in current. They are also trying to conserve their energy reserves by holding in areas that that shelter them from current, or have less current. They will sit behind rocks, logs, or stay along the inside bank of a bend where there is less current.

They also hold in the deeper pools of streams where the water is not as swift. Trout will hold in these areas waiting on the stream to bring them food, such as aquatic insect larva, worms, or flying insects that have come to the end of their life.

The Drift technique is a way to present your bait to the trout, taking advantage of one of the ways that they naturally feed.

Basically you cast into swift current and allow your line to flow downstream with the current into areas where you think trout will be holding.

To do this you need to tie a swivel onto the end of your line, then tie two feet of line onto the other side of the swivel, now tie on a hook. You will have to add some split shot to your line about a foot from the hook. Everyone does this a little differently, but this is a basic set up.

Before you cast you want to 'read the water'. That is, look for fast current that flows into pools or slower areas with rocks. This is called the Riffle, Run, Pool, configuration (Google it).

The idea is to stand on the side of the stream, or if wading  position yourself so you are off to the side 30 ft or so, but mid way of a section like this. In other words you want most of the fast current to be upstream of you, and the pool to be downstream of you.

Standing on the bank, facing the river, hold your arms out at the 10 o-clock and 2 o-clock positions, you want to cast and fish a section about that shape.

You always cast upstream at about a 45 degree angle allowing your line to travel downstream with fast current, and into a pool or other area with shelter for the trout. Ideally the pool will be about 45 degrees downstream from your position.

As your line, which is of course carrying the bait, enters a pool or other feeding zone holding trout, they will see and / or smell it and bite. You may need to reel in some line, or let some line out at times. The line needs to drift freely into the areas holding trout.

Cast several times, then work your way upstream to the next location that looks promising.



Thanks again trouthunter for all your help,your giving me great ideas and tips! This makes it alot easier getting some tips from a seasoned angler.

Many thanks trouthunter for the equipment list and we may need to hit you up on your experience with packing and hauling fishing gear for extended overnight trips.  Most stuff is probably straightforward enough, but it's always good to hear what experienced folks have learned about separating your gear, cookware and maintaining it. 


I Flyfish the Planet. I am currently located in the Ca Sierra's flyfishing for various species of trout. I do go up to Montana regularly , and up to Oregon to chase trout,,,,Locally ...Pyramid Lake Lahontan Cuttthroats, Eagle Lake Rainbows @ Eagle Lake, Davis Lake Rainbows on the Damsel, Callibaetis, Blood Midge hatches.

I have Flyfished for a wide variety of species of Saltwaterfish, Marlin, Tuna, Dorado(Mahi-Mahi, Dolfinfish) Roosters, Tarpon, Bonefish, Sailfish, Shark etc etc etc.

I have also done the So Cal Big Bass fishing @ Lakes Like Casitas, Cachuma. That would be with Swim Baits, Live Crawdads, Plastic Worms, Crank Baits, etc.

Southern Cali Coastal and Long Range Stand Up Live Bait Fishing out of various landings for  with (Anchovies, Sardines, BrownBait/Herring, Mackaerel, fishing for Albacore, Yellowtail, Calico Bass, Halibut etc.

Nor Cal Salmon, rockfishing for lings, rockfish etc.

I have done a lot of Stripers and Bluefish off the east coast and in the CA Delta and Pacific Ocean out of SF Bay.

CA Deepwater Rockfishing for Calico Bass, Ling cod, Cow Cod red Snapper, Boccacio etc.

Soooooooo I would be HAPPY to help anyone out with what ever fishing they desire to do. NONE of the above is specific to your area and the type of fishing you may be doing but there is much carry over with which I can help you and to help you get DIALED IN.

As stated above you need to figure where you will be fishing and the types of species of fish you will likely be fishing for and where, lake, river, creek.

Spinning rod, Baitcasting rod, Flyrod is somewhat irrelevant as they are only delivery systems to place the appropriate fly, lure, bait in front of a fish. <<<< That is 99% of the Game with ANY FISHING> you can flyfish for Carp, Trout in Lakes are not Lazy, AND they taste GREAT....Nothing Better than an EAGLE LAKE RAINBOW>

Good Luck.

God Bless.




Thanks 1flyfisher,what would you recommend for a person that has never flyfished before and wants to start. I don't know anyone that flyfishes,so I will have to learn by myself. What are good books or DVDs to learn by,and what is a good beginner fly rod and reel? I would love to start! I don't live next to any lake trout,but I would like to learn on some bass and other lake fish in florida. Once I learn,I would like to get into saltwater flyfishing. Thanks for any help you have!

First of all I would have to say that you can find ALL SORTS OF FOLKS to help you get into any sort of Flyfishing or ANY Fishing you would like.


The BEST WAY to LEARN anything is to learn from folks with greater knowledge than you.


The best way to learn fishing is from folks in your area that are fishing the local waters. SEEK THEM OUT.




Your questions are so vague that it is difficult to answer.


A basic 5/6 weight flyrod reel combo will be great for trout.

A Basic 6/8 weight flyrod reel combo will be great for bass.


You need to be quite more specific as to where you are fishing and the species you are fishing for.


Sorry but fishing is that technical and specific.


I can give you a lot of generalities about trout fishing or bass fishing but that is really useless to your area.


Get it?




OK I reread your above post.

You can purchase a 6 Weight Scientific Anglers Trout Rod /Reel /Line Flyfishing Combo from Walmart for $49 and catch tons of trout with it.



This would be a 9 foot rod which is standard .... Now of course that is not a back packing rod.It is a 2 Piece rod. If you Are back packing a 4 Piece Flyrod combo would be much better.


I have the above mentioned Cheapo SA 6wt Trout Combo as when I float rivers in my pontoon boat I do not wish to lose a $600+ SAGE Flyrod and a $300+ Ross Gunnison Reel Combo.


The Above recommended SA flyrod combo's are ALL you need.


Thanks 1flyfisher,I think that's what I'm going to do, buy a cheap fly rod and reel. There's a outfitter about 30 minutes away from me so I'm going to check it out. And I'm also going to buy a some books,because I'm lost when it comes to the weight of the rods and pretty much all of the other stuff that goes along with fly fishing. Thanks for the help!

Here you go,All you need for trout. it is even now made in a 4 piece rod so you can use it for back packing into the backcountry and alpine lakes etc,. Just buy a 4 piece rod case.

You can also find it at Walmart.


Good Luck,or.r_gc.r_pw.&q=scientific+anglers&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=4051411860241552143&sa=X&ei=e-adTfL5D8Sitgfbl-3UBA&ved=0CFUQ8gIwBQ#



These Combo's even come with a beginners DVD on Basics like Leader/Tippet connections and Knots, Likely some Casting basics on there, and it includes some basics On fishing for trout and bass.

Rod case.....mandatory for backpacking

I would strongly suggest buying the rod case even if you will not be using it for backpacking. You will break a tip or section quickly if you just chuck it in the car without one. You will break the tip sooner or later anyway by just using the rod. The rod case just delays that inevitability of a broken tip by at least protecting your rod when it is not in use. I break tips all the time but they are Sage rods and have a Lifetime Warranty and they just send me a new tip. You don't have that luxury with this inexpensive combo.

They make a Saltwater Combo. It is the exact same rod/reel combo as the Bass combo. DO not buy this for saltwater, it is fine for Freshwater bass and some light saltwater IF you happened to have already purchased it for BASS. But I would not recommend buying one IF you are exclusively going to be doing salt or leaning more to saltwater. The 8wt rod is perfectly fine for small snook, redfish but the reel is inadequate although you can palm it it is not suited for the salt. You need a high quality reel for saltwater species even smaller snook and redfish under 10 lbs. I hope that makes sense.


I would Recommend You check Walmart to get a better price or if you are interested in any of these combo's. There is nothing cheaper out there as far as a flyrod/reel combo. You can certainly spend vastly more $$$. But these 2 combos are just fine to get you into flyfishing for Trout or Bass. Once you get into flyfishing you can give it to a kid or if you are a cheap bastard just keep it for yourself as a back up or a lender for the girlfriend or boyfriend or what have you.


I would also suggest immediately going to your local Flyshop and renting a DVD on Fly Casting. You could also buy one online, or utilizing youtube. I suggest a hard copy in your hand over youtube but you can go that route. Local Library I bet would have some DVD's on Flycasting. If you do not sit down with a DVD from the get go you will be flailing away and developing poor casting techniques that are difficult to break and unlearn.

Any casting DVD's by Mel Krieger, Joann Wullf, Or Billy Pate all are excellent. IF you plan on doing ANY Saltwater or Lakes I suggest you immediately learn THE DOUBLE HAUL right from the get go. Mel Krieger has an excellent Video on Learning the Double does Billy Pate.


DO NOT watch ANY youtube casting videos from some schmuck on youtube....ONLY WATCH VIDEO FROM the above three folks. Or some other other highly competent pro flyfisherman. Like Left Kreh. IF you come across anything from these 4 folks go ahead and watch.

I would START with Mel Krieger. He explains the DOuble Haul very well. Then I would watch a Billy Pate video on the DH.

Try this but get the DVD in your hand. It will be much easier learning. You just have to trust me on that.


stand up....DO IT NOW...............haha use the Weight Forward Floater that comes with your combo in the beginning for a few weeks+ . You do not need to purchase a Shooting Head and Shooting Running Line. Initially the SH will make learning the Double Haul more difficult. A Shootinghead and shooting running line is a much much harder to handle line than a Weight Forward. Then AFTER you have gotten the DH down with the WF Floater you can go buy a shooting head and get that dialed in for maximum distance and soon you will be bombing a flyline 100+ feet.

You can learn the casting on your own with Mel. Actually you are way better off with MEL and Billy than any flyshop kid. BUT you need to find folks that flyfish in your area. They are there and they will be more than happy to get you dialed in with what flies to use and such.

There are FLY CLUBS all over the damn place. Join one. Your learning curve will be near vertical. You try to learn on your own you will wallow along and get frustrated and quit.

A person spending a summer flyfishing with me on davis lake damsel, Callibaetis, Blood Midge hatch would learn stuff in one season that would take them 10+years. That is what you will get from a fly club or experienced flyfisherman.

Also Hiring a Guide is well worth every dollar. For example let's say I go out to Montana and plan on fishing a new river. A guide will get me dialed in on the hatches, fly patterns, fly sizes, runs and riffles sooooo much faster that even a person flyfishing all their life such as myself would be able to do. I often will hire a guide for 1 day to milk his brain so that I am not spending my valuable time trying to figure things out.


IF you ENJOY LEARNING  you will love flyfishing for trout, learning about all the aquatic insects and hatches that trout eat is going to open your eyes to the world around you. Hucking some powerbait or an inflated nightcrawler will keep you blind and oblivious to what is going on and taking place in a stream or lake. If you are mentally lazy and avoid learning then flyfishing is not for you. If you like making things and arts and crafts you will love flytying. Plus the simple joy of making something and catching a fish with it. Flytying is an awesome hobby. I ( and so do others of course) tie patterns that you just can't buy. That alone catches me 3 times as many fish as the person relying on schwag from the fly bins @ Cabela's.

On an urban pond or planter lake you can catch fish with an inflated nightcrawler or some power bait. The fish will swallow the bait deep and more often than not you will be mangling and killing anything you try to release.

When trout are on a specific bug say the damsel hatch, or Trico's Or caddis often they will eat absolutely nothing else. They will also not eat the wrong size or color of the exact bug. On davis Lake as the damsel hatch progresses it becomes ever more difficult each and every day. In the end it is difficult to get hook ups as the fish have been caught and released and they have seen enough Real bugs that your fake bug will not work. Lol Your worms and rainbow powerbait are 1000X more useless. On any Blue Ribbon trout stream or lake where there are highly educated wild trout you will not be catching much with the inflated nightcrawler and rainbow power bait. It's just not going to happen. Even on a put and take fishery you will consistently catch way more trout if you use what they are specifically eating and locked on. Rainbow Powerbait and night crawlers are not part of a trouts diet although they will work well on stupid planter trout and occasionally on wild trout. Trolling for trout from a boat with a flasher and a needlefish tipped with a nightcrawler can account for high numbers of trout but the flyrod will still take more 9 out of 10 times. 

You go to Henry's Lake, You got to Hegben Lake, The Madison, Crane Prairie, Hosmer, The Yellowstone, Eagle Lake, Davis Lake, Big Hole, Green River, Truckee, Little Truckee, Silver Creek, Henry's Fork, Deschutes,etc etc etc etc.....the corn (LOL), biscuit dough, worms, powerbait just isn't going to cut it. Besides you may catch a rock if you are slinging the bait and killing fish. On any halfway decent trout stream or lake a reasonably competent flyfisherman will bring far more fish to hand than someone using any another method. You can certainly catch plenty on some urban put and take fishery with planters or an easy piece of non technical water with uneducated non wild trout. If you dig the spinner rod and that's your thing you can use spinners(they work well), rapala's for trout,... bait(I'd only advise for fish you plan on killing and not releasing and only on a put and take fishery)...Let me clarify far as using something other than a flyrod for trout.....A RAPALA on a river or even a lake(but more so a river) can get you MONSTER Rainbows or Browns. You may not bang the numbers you would with the bug but you can hook a toad. Flyrod with a Sculpin, Muddler pattern, or Crayfish or large attractor pattern will surpass the rapala but rapala's do account for some Big Bows and Browns on the Truckee and tons of other Blue Ribbon Trout streams. Any method can work and catch you some fish.  If you dig sitting on the bank of a lake with an umbrella, lounge chair, cooler of bud,,,,, fishin the redneck way, huckin out some bait GO FOR IT! Get out and fish! Just don't needlessly waste fish fish gut hooking them with bait. Stop when you reached your limit.

As far as BASS go you are way better off with traditional bass gear and bass fishing tactics Like Drop Shotting Plastic worms, Throwing swimbaits or crank baits, Spinner baits, jig and pig etc as opposed to flyfishing. ALthough you can certainly catch BASS with the flyrod and plenty of folks pursue BASS with the will catch more BASS with the Baitcaster or spinner using standard bass tactics.


Do NOT be intimidated by Learning to Flyfish.... Flyfishing is easy if you go about it the right way as I have suggested.  If you are a person that likes a learning challenge and likes to be challenged intellectually then you will take right to it.



Good Luck.


Thanks 1flyfisher for your time and knowledge,that helps alot. I'm going to look into all of those links you posted. Thanks!

Mel Kreiger is probably the best casting instructor I have ever seen.

While the videos are a bit dated, and his roll cast is dated, his teaching ability was fantastic.

The Scientific Anglers rod kits are a good bang for the buck, but for the Southeast US I would stay with a 4 weight rod for almost all trout fishing except lake trout.

...and 1flyfisher is correct, you need a rod case regardless, even if you have to make one yourself.

I would also re-iterate the need for strictly adhering to the posted regulations on each section of stream if you are fishing the mountain streams in North Carolina. They write big tickets and don't except excuses. If the stream is posted as Catch and Release Artificial Lures Only make sure you are in compliance.

I also agree that what I call 'trout slaying' (deep hooking or mangling fish you plan to release) is boneheaded and needless. I generally only fish for supper anymore and clean my fish as I catch them releasing the innards back into the stream. Cleaning fish on the bank, or back near your camp is asking for trouble in bear country, even attracting raccoons, is a bad idea.

A lot of the stocked trout in the southeast will not live through the hot summers we have so you might as well eat a few. Most of the holdover trout (trout that live through the first and consecutive years) will be found deep in the mountains in the colder headwaters under heavy tree cover.

I would love to fish some of the excellent streams 1flyfisher listed, maybe someday I will be able to.

Hey trouthunter any suggestions on how you cook your fish if your in the backcountry?

Hey trouthunter any suggestions on how you cook your fish if your in the backcountry?


How I cook fish just depends on how much work I wish to put into it, or what items I brought along for that purpose.

One of the most popular ways is to cook the fish in heavy duty tin foil.

After cleaning the fish (you do not have to cut the head off or fillet the fish) place the fish in tin foil, add butter or margarine, add some lemon juice (sparingly), then wrap the fish up in the foil folding the ends over.

I also like to season mine with salt & pepper, basil, or cajun seasoning, just depending on what I'm hungry for at the time.

You can season the fish and pan fry them with a backpackers stove & skillet.

You can also grill them on a flat rock pre-heated above a hot fire. If you do this they cook much faster if you have something (tin foil, pan lid) to cover them with to hold in the heat.

You can also suspend the fish over a fire by skewering them with a long stick. This works well with a good coal bed and gives them a smokey flavor, it takes a little longer than frying or grilling, but works very well for primitive situations.

There are other more primitive methods such as wrapping the fish in wet grass or moss before placing then on a fire, or wrapping them in damp tree bark. I've tried these, and you can do it, but it is a lot easier to just carry some tin foil or a pan.

The biggest thing is to avoid overcooking the fish, a few minutes per side is plenty, and you can't place any fish wrapped in tin foil directly in a fire like you can potatoes, well, I wouldn't because it is very easy to ruin fish that way. You only need low to medium heat.

I love mine with a bed of hot Jasimine rice, or some Dirty Rice, or something like that.

You just want to be careful because trout have a lot of small bones, but with a little practice you can place the fish on your plate and lift the meat away from one side with a fork, lift out the entire bone structure, and then eat the meat on the bottom.

Look around online, or ask in the Camp Kitchen section here on Trailspace. Also look on YouTube, there are a few good videos there.

There are a lot of ways to cook fish in the back country and a lot more recipes than I know. Some of them are very, very, good. Usually I'm just glad to get a hot meal.

August 8, 2020
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