How To

How to Locate Trout

November 10, 2013

Notes to help you locate trout in still waters where trout may be feeding.

  • Near water plants and weed beds
  • Beneath overhanging trees or shrubs
  • Near submerged tree roots.
  • Near sunken rocks or boulders
  • In comparatively shallow areas of water where aquatic insects breed
  • In deep water bordering shallow areas where aquatic insects hatch and fish fry shoal
  • In bays and by promontories (where trout shelter and wait to seize insects blown into the water from the land; insects alighting on the water)
  • In deep, overshadowed (shaded) areas of water.
  • In streamy and fast water sweeping past rocky headlands on large still water lakes or lochs.
  • In channels around small islands, especially any deep holes or gullies and patches of water beneath island tree branches or bushy shrubs.
  • In heavy reed/weed areas, hollows, deep holes and channels near the shore – all examples of locations occupied by big trout waiting to ambush passing prey.
  • Where wind caused currents and cross-currents carry particles of food to queueing trout; cast into the current.
  • Where rippling wind-driven water meets calm stretches of water protected by bank or shore contours and/or vegetation – food is trapped and whirled to waiting trout. Cast to that point and continue casting methodically along the line of rippling water.
  • In deep water near newly collapsed chunks of bankside,.

Other Pointers

  • Scout for patches of bank or shore scoured or worn bare by anglers boots. Popular places may have much to recommend them, though not always.
  • Search for stretches of water hidden from view by trees, bushes and dense growth. These areas of water are seldom fished and often hide big trout.
  • Strong gusty winds or squalls drive trout deep in the water, or into sheltered bays. Look for quiet, wind protected spots, which may offer good sport.
  • On sunny summer days, trout feed in stretches of water shaded from strong sunlight. In the evening, the western side of the water will be favoured by trout because it is the first to fall into shadow.
  • On windy days fly fish with the wind blowing from behind you. Trout gather near shallows to feast on insects blown from land into the water. When the wind has ceased, try the opposite bank or shore for bonus catches.
  • During cold or changeable weather, expect trout to feed mostly beneath the water surface in deep water, away from the shoer. Freezing winter weather may force big trout well down from the water surface.
  • During warm weather, trout feed mostly in the upper water level; at the water’s surface, and water’s edge shallows.
  • Check if a detailed map of the water you intend fly fishing is marketed by the water company/owner, and buy one. The information marked shows obvious hotspots and the map is convenient for recording your own secret finds.
  • Although trout in still water rove widely in search of food, individual brown trout (Salmo trutta), and shoals of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri), still have favourite feeding spots, and sometimes become slaves to habit. Careful observation can suggest suitable timing for a shrewdly calculated catch.
  • Still water big trout generally like to have their main meals at dawn, dusk and into the night. At these times they feel safe and are therefore most vulnerable.

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