Category Archives: Techniques

Laurel Highlands Native Trout Fishing

Native Brook Trout Streams are often tight cover. Precise casting with a short rod is in order.
Native and Wild stream-born trout are some of the most incredible looking creations in nature.  What they lack in size they certainly make up for in color and willingness to take a well presented fly.

Being an El Nino year we have had an unseasonably warm winter that has kept the trout fishing productive.  After a recent snow melt my friend and I decided to head south of our home to some smaller highland watersheds holding native Brook Trout.

Using a short fly rod for fishing these small Mountain Laurel choked streams is imperative.  In most cases, a 6’6” 4 PC is a great option and very pack-able for the amount of ground you have to cover.  Nothing is more exciting then seeing a native rise to a dry fly with vengeance, big things truly do come in small packages.  My favorite

This colorful brook trout fell for a size 14 Royal Coachman
and top producing fly any time for these small brooks is no doubt the Royal Coachmen.  The white wing allows easy visibility and gives the small trout a reason to get off the stream bed to eat.

Although this particular stream we were fishing was a wild brook trout enhancement project, a bonus and nice sized wild brown was brought to hand on several occasions here as well.  The trouts ability to persevere and  show up in places they shouldn’t be always fascinated me.  A nice

A surprise Wild Brown trout in a Brook Trout enhancement stream
A surprise Wild Brown trout in a Brook Trout enhancement stream
surprise for a 60 degree day in February.

Berkley Power Minnow

If you follow any of us on Social Media you have no doubt seen us use these before.  The soft plastic has become a staple jig for us over the past decade.  Steelhead that are as pressured as those in PA waters see the same thing time and time again every minute of every day non-stop.  Why not try something different?

Berkley Power minnows come in a few variations, all viable options.  The Gulp! series, Power Minnow, Twitch Tail Minnow and the Sparkle Dropshot Minnow following the old style discontinued Realistix series are all offered from Berkley.  Some of the Best Colors have been Watermelon Pearl and Smelt.

A late spring steelhead that took a 3 IN Power Minnow fished under a float
A late spring steelhead that took a 3 IN Power Minnow fished under a float

The action you can impart with a 1/32 or 1/80 un-collared jig is irresistible.  In deep water setting a Styrofoam float and effectively jigging the float itself can also be very deadly to cruising or podded fish.  There are also instances in fishing Frog or Pocket water where a float can be employed.

Steelhead in Lake Erie feed on a variety of baitfish, emerald shiners being the most popular.  They won’t turn down a properly presented plastic minnow willingly.