I started fishing for rainbow trout more than twenty five years ago when my best friends father would take him and I out fishing on the rivers and streams of Central Pennsylvania and many of the lessons that I learned from this man all of those years ago have stuck with me to this very day. This man was an ultralight fisherman, which meant that he used a very small, lightweight rod and reel and very light fishing line. This was a method of fishing that I was unfamiliar with at the time, but ultralight fishing was a technique that I quickly fell in love with and chose as my “go to” method of fishing (especially for trout) as well.
Rainbow trout, or more specifically rainbow trout fishing has been a passion of mine ever since those early days all those years ago on the waters of central Pennsylvania. Now I live in the Northwest part of a state that many anglers consider a ‘trout fishing mecca’ of sorts, Montana, where I spend quite a lot of time fishing for rainbow trout with ultralight spinning gear. In this article I will outline a few spinning techniques for the ultralight angler so that they can be added to your repertoire if you’re so inclined.
The first technique has to do with drifting live worms when fishing for rainbow trout and is a technique that was taught to me by the aforementioned friends’ father all those years ago. He was the first man I had seen employ the technique and in the subsequent years I rarely see it used by anyone other than those that I have taught it to, although I can’t understand why? The goal of the technique is to have your worm bounce or “roll” along the bottom the the riverbed as it flows naturally with the current of the river or stream that you are fishing. The key to the technique is to rig the worm that you are using in a natural and realistic way and to do this my mentor created what he referred to as a “set of gang hooks”.
A live worm (or half of a live worm in the case of large worms such as night crawlers) is rigged onto a set of gang hooks, which is attached to your line using a small barrel swivel. Split shot sinkers or tape lead is added to the line above the swivel for weight. The amount of weight is adjusted depending on the depth of the river and the current flow in the river at the time that you are fishing. As I said, the goal is to have your worm “roll” along the bottom of the river bed as is flows with the current. When a rainbow trout bites the worm a “tap, tap” or “steady pull” will usually be felt.
The next technique is basically the same technique, but rather than a live worm, a small inline spinner is used as bait and attached to a leader below a swivel. The spinner is drifted with the current in much the same manner with the difference being that the tip of your fishing rod is “snapped” every few seconds to provide ‘action’ to the spinner itself, hopefully catching the attention of any rainbow trout in the immediate area. The when the drift is complete the spinner is reeled in, which is often when an inquisitive rainbow trout will strike.
The bottom line is that when it comes to rainbow trout fishing with ultralight spin fishing gear these two techniques are amazingly effective and should be adopted by anyone interested in catching more rainbows. They both enable me to consistently catch rainbow trout and I know they will do the same for you.