Many anglers including myself love the “total” fishing experience. This includes hiking through brush to explore smaller streams and headwater stretches of the Great Lakes tributaries in search of smaller trout that only a dedicated group of anglers are prepared to deal with mosquitos & poison ivy to find these beautiful, and spunky fish that most fishermen overlook.
The two top species in southern Ontario are the young Steelhead and the resident Brown Trout. Brook trout can be included, but in many areas they are the least caught since their habitat is marginal in many streams that warm up in the summer months. By the way, the trout images in this blog where provided by Wayne Sheridan and were caught in the Saugeen River, ON.
Here are my top artificial lure picks for both smaller steelhead that “hold-over” into summer and of course the pristine Brown Trout.
Among the top spinners are the selection of Blue Fox in size #1 & #2 and the Panther Martin spinners in the smaller size.
To fish these effectively you really need to have some casting room and be able to fish the spinners in deeper pools, along undercut banks and especially by log-jams and submerged tree roots. I have the most success fishing them either with the current or cross-current, not against the current.
Some of my favorite crankbaits to fish small trout are the Rapala Countdown series in sizes #1-#3, the Rapala Ultralight series that includes the Minnow and Shad and also the smaller Husky Jerk and X-Rap.
Bigger stream trout definitely develop an appetite for minnows, sculpins and even smaller trout! I also fish these the same way as I do with spinners.
While you can catch both species of trout fishing the main streams I find that hot-spots include fishing below where a stream has split and comes together again. Also, in the summer when water temps. tend to increase finding a cool spring that flows into the main stream can also produce trout in the first pool just below the spring. Sometimes I have caught my largest Brown trout fishing further down-stream where the water is warmer and there is more abundance of chub and minnows. I’ve ended up catching one chub after another and then “Wham”, I’ll hook a nice Brown trout. Hope you enjoy targeting and catching these amazing fish!