If you are new to the world of trout fishing and are wondering what the best way to catch a rainbow trout is, you have landed in the right place. Below I will outline what I see as the best way to catch a rainbow trout based on my thirty or so years of experience fishing for these beautiful fish. While it is obviously true that there are many ways to catch rainbow trout, from throwing a small lure to fly fishing, I have found that this method outperforms many others when it comes to catching rainbow trout during many times of the year.
I believe that it’s also important to point out that I prefer to fish for rainbows while using a four to six foot ultralight rod with a reel that contains four pound test fishing line or lighter. Yea, I know there are a portion of fishermen that fish for rainbow trout while using fly fishing gear, but I am not one of those anglers. I prefer to fish for rainbow trout while utilizing ultralight spin fishing gear and tackle.
With all of that said, let’s get down to what I consider the best way to catch a rainbow trout, what do you say? The technique is performed in the flowing water of a river or stream (usually while wading). For some reason fishing for rainbows while wading in the water which is being fished has always “felt right” to me, and given the choice this is the type of water that I prefer to fish for these beautiful fish in. The specific technique is known as drift fishing and has been my “go to” rainbow trout technique ever since it was taught to me almost 3 decades ago.
Drift fishing can be done with a small crank bait or trout spinner, as well as with live trout bait such as a live worm. By far my favorite bait to use while drift fishing is a live fishing worm, preferably a red worm or mini night crawler, and in lieu of these a normal night crawler that I pinch in half can be used as well. The technique involves allowing your live trout bait or lure to drift naturally with the current of the river. In the case of live trout baits, it’s often a good idea to adjust your weight so that your offering bounces along the bottom of the river as it drifts. With crank baits and spinners, bouncing along the bottom isn’t as imperative and a slow and steady retrieve will usually do the trick just fine.
Although drift fishing takes a little practice to get used to, mainly because telling the difference between a bite and the bottom can be a challenge in the beginning in the case of live bait, as you gain experience you will learn just how effective a rainbow trout fishing technique that it is. With practice you will quickly learn why I believe that drift fishing is the answer to the question of what is the best way to catch a rainbow trout. Do yourself a favor and make sure that drift fishing becomes (or is) a part of your rainbow trout fishing arsenal.