Many Pennsylvania trout anglers are just about done fishing for the year. That would be their mistake.
What they don't know is that the best time for spinner fishing is right now. This observation is based on current water temperatures, stream levels, fishing pressure and decades of spinner-fishing experience. On the morning of May 11, I fished a mile-long section of a stocked central Pennsylvania trout stream and had my best outing of the year thus far. I landed 54 trout – a mixed catch of stocked and wild trout on this open, public water.
Thirty-two of the trout were stocked brook, brown, rainbow and even one tiger trout. Twenty-two of the trout were naturally-reproduced brown trout. All were caught on the same spinning lure, while fishing upstream.
And what about the fishing pressure? I encountered only one other angler, whom I found fishing near my pickup at the end of my outing.
While most any tackle will do for occasionally fishing spinners, the right tackle will help you to put more trout on the line. Casting upstream, and retrieving with the current, requires an open-faced spinning reel with a retrieve ratio of at least 5:1. This allows you to retrieve just slightly faster than the current without wearing out your arm.
I use a 4.5- to 5-foot-long spinning rod that is relatively stiff. The short rod helps me navigate thick areas, and it facilitates my under-hand casting technique. A longer rod also has its benefits, but I prefer to go short for the streams that I fish. While rod length is a matter of personal preference, having quality line guides on your rod is a must. The constant cast-retrieve fishing will wear out cheap guides within one or two outings.
Finally, I always use good quality 4-pound-test line. This weight of line allows for greater casting distance and still provides me with enough strength for most situations. It is a big mistake to fish with 8 or 10-lb-test. Frequently check the last foot of your monofilament for nicks and rough spots and re-tie your lure as necessary, clipping off the frayed line.
I could easily write another 20 installments to this fishing with spinners primer, but I think that it is best to move on to other topics and revisit spinner fishing again another time. I hope that you have enjoyed and benefited from this series of blog posts.