Stream Trout

Under this heading come brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout and more.

Most trout streams are heavily fished and the trout are spooky and incredibly sensitive. You should use an ultralight spinning outfit equipped with a 4 lb. test line. (Tip: When using a light line such as 4 lb., check it often for abrasions.) Your choice of Panther Martins should be the smallest, No.'s 1 and 2. For best results, lures should be tied directly to the line without the encumbrance of a snap swivel. All the standard PM models and colors in these sizes are excellent. However, as in all fishing, a wide variety of color and finish allows for experimentation which can save the day when fish are especially choosy.

Make downstream casts, dropping the Panther Martin® a bit to one side and then allowing it to swing until it is straight downstream. Retrieve straight upstream with steady reeling. Don't attempt rod manipulation; the steady pulsation of the PM blades is the come-on, so just keep it churning and purring against the current. Where the latter is swift, reel very, very slowly. Reel faster in slower or slack water to keep the blade buzzing.

Prepare for hard, sudden strikes by setting the reel's drag very lightly! Play fish gently, for they are seldom deeply hooked. Most trout hooked on Panther Martins can be released unharmed if care is taken in freeing the tiny, fine-wire hooks.

To make a play for large trout, try running a No. 8 streamer behind a No. 2 PM blade. This time, do twitch the rod slightly during the retrieve to give the streamer a darting motion. During high, roily water, try a No. 4 PM spinner ahead of a nightcrawler on a three-hook worm gang. Sink it as deeply as possible, probe the backwaters and "easy" lies and work it very slowly. If a twenty-inch brown pounces on the crawler, pray for luck and divine guidance!

To make a bid for lunkers in times of normal water levels, fish a two or three-inch minnow behind the same spinner on a two-hook gang of small, closely spaced hooks. Make cross-stream casts in tossing runs and retrieve at a good clip. Rainbows are especially likely to rip into this combination.

In lakes and ponds, a combination of fly and PM spinner will often take fish when nothing else seems to. For pond brookies, a No. 12 wet fly behind a No. 2 blade make a deadly combination. Always remember that trout like cold water. In fishing for them in lakes and ponds during hot weather, work your lures as deeply as possible. To locate spring holes where trout collect, troll a small Panther Martin. Use a long leader of light monofilament. Use enough line to keep the PM throbbing just above the bottom.

In all trout fishing, keep offerings relatively small and use terminal tackle that is as light as practical. Always approach as cautiously as possible and strive continually for delicate presentation.