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Brook trout, a native form of trout, can be found in cold, clear, spring-fed streams rivers and lakes throughout the United States and Canada. A favorite with fly fisherman, brook trout are among the easiest of trout species to catch using fly-fishing gear. They can also be caught using lightweight spinning tackle and artificial lures or live or prepared baits. Wary and skittish, fishing for brook trout requires a certain amount of finesse and care in the presentation of bait.
Brook trout can be taken on a variety of live baits, including earthworms, mayflies, various fly larvae, wax worms, grasshoppers and crickets, minnows and fish eggs. These baits are best set on hooks ranging from size 6 through 14, depending on the type and size of live bait being used. Larger brown trout can be caught by casting leeches in cold water inlets where they spawn in fall.
Prepared trout baits can also be used to catch brook trout. These usually consist of a doughy material, either made it home or commercially packaged, that can be formed into small chunks or balls. These dates are often based on cheese, although homemade varieties may include a range of ingredients including corn, cereals and even marshmallows. Berkeley, for example, produces a good commercial trout bait.
Brook trout are not as picky as other trout species when it comes to artificial lures. Spoon lures, spinners and jigs can all be used to take brook trout, provided they are on light leaders and are presented well to the fish. Spoon lures should be relatively small in gold or silver. For spinner lures, try a Mepps, Blue Fox or Rooster Tail. Small jigs should be colorful to attract attention.
Among the most popular of game fish with fly fisherman, brook trout are easily taken on a variety of flies. When fly fishing for brook trout, it is best to use a floating line. Dry flies such as Adams, Royal Wullf, Stimulators and Ant flies are good choices for stream fishing, while Mayfly, Caddis Fly, Mosquito, Renegade, Black Ant and Griffiths Gnat and "Hopper" flies work well for lake fishing. When brook trout fail to feed on the surface, wet flies and nymphs, such as a Woolly Bugger, Prince or Hare's Ear nymph, may prove more successful. Brightly colored streamer flies with marabou feather or mylar tinsel can also be effective.
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.