So, you are on a new trout stream, lake, beach, or fishing hole. What lure, bait, or fly do you start off with? You must pick something to begin with but what?
Go with your Confidence lure first! Pick a fly, bait, lure, or plug that you know how to fish and have had success with. Anglers tend to fish these confidence lures with more skill and effort.
Fishing is not rocket science. Most fishermen are anxious to share information and ideas about what works best for them. Do your homework and check out the locals. Look and see what the feeding behaviors of the fish are. How big, what time, where, and how. With technology, you can YouTube or connect with fishermen easily.
The Bite changes constantly. Seasonal changes, weather, spawning, predators, temperatures, pressure, are all factors to consider. Fish act and feed differently at each different time. You must be flexible.
Lefty Kreh always said that a well-presented fly, bait, or lure will always get a bite. He focused on a natural drift, the lightest line you can get away with, approach, casting accuracy, and knowledge. To prove this, I watched him tie a cigarette butt onto a streamer hook. We were fishing for smallmouth bass along the Potomac River in Maryland. He cast twice and smoked two great bass.
If I were to use a specific lure as a starter, here is where I would begin.
Walleye in a lake Use a black jig head with a crawler attached
Trout Dry Fly Begin with a size 12 attractor like a Royal Coachman
Smallmouth / Trout streamer Begin with a Clouser minnow in the size of the local baitfish
Trout on a nymph Use an attractor nymph like a Prince or Hare’s Ear in size 10
Crappie, Bluegill, Panfish Try a small jig with a minnow attached
To search for fish Use a spinner like a Panther Martin or Mepps. Silver in the clouds and gold in the sun. Match the size to the baitfish.
Bottom fishing A standard bottom rig baited with worms. Use 2 hooks and a dropper sinker. Match the size to the fish and bait.
In all cases, sharpen your hooks! You may only get a few strikes so make sure that your hooks will perform. Keep it simple and tie a proper knot!
Do not be afraid to talk with fishermen that are hooking up. You may make a new friend while you are at it.
Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!
For more Montana Grant, hook up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.