I am fortunate to spend most of my days fishing in beautiful Western/Central Pennsylvania. After fishing plenty of other states for trout, I’ve gained experience and knowledge that I love sharing with folks who might eventually love trout fishing as much as I do.
It is flattering when I fish with people who jokingly refer to me as “the trout whisperer” – sometimes it probably seems like these trout just come to me. How can I be so blessed?
Of course, I can’t take all the credit.
In reality, it’s a combination of time, patience, and the right bait that allow for my success. And sure, sometimes it appears that I’m just getting lucky. But I can honestly tell you that it’s intensive research into the species, using the proper equipment, and having a positive attitude that has deepened my love for the sport.
I also credit my best catches to time spent giving back to my community. I pride myself on taking young kids and veterans fishing as often as I possibly can. This also allows me to get perspectives from people who may not necessarily have the experience I do when it comes to trout fishing.
Below, I will share the stories of some of the younger anglers I have taken fishing and let them explain some of their favorite baits, stories, and trout fishing tactics.
If nothing else, hopefully this article will show that you can catch quality fish at any age. It will take time and patience, but it absolutely can be done.
Trout Fishing Jerkbaits and Crankbaits (with Haydyn Horwat and Jason Baker)
It is such a joy spending time on the water with Haydyn. He has such a passion for fishing.
While on the water, Hadyn has achieved success using various crankbaits and jerkbaits from Dynamic Lures, an emerging brand known for high-quality swimming motion in any body of water.
The company offers twenty different bait fish patterns, so we try to choose the right lure and pattern when hitting the water. The options allow for some fun as we figure out which fish patterns work for the trout we’re targeting.
Here are a few of the most common jerkbaits and crankbaits we use when fishing for various species of trout:
- Dynamic Lures Jerkbaits and Crankbaits
- Z-Spec – 4″ Jerkbait – 3/8oz – Suspending Action
- J-Spec – 3″ Jerkbait – 5/16oz – Suspending Action
- HD Trout – 2.25″ Crankbait – 1/10oz – Slow Sinking
- Micro HD Trout – 1.5″ Crankbait – 1/16oz Floating Action
Brown Trout J-Spec
This is one of my favorites because it is great for catching brown trout. It is also Haydyn’s personal favorite.
When targeting a predatory fish, it is always a smart idea, biologically speaking, to throw the spawn-color of the fish you’re pursuing. This approach is known as “matching the hatch.” Haydyn’s favorite lure works as a lifelike replication of a 3-inch, natural brown trout.
Brown trout have cannibalistic tendencies, so they can’t resist following the lure.
How to Fish the Brown Trout J-Spec
You will want to use three basic techniques when using the J-Spec:
- Steady Retrieval
If you are in the right location and using good technique, you might be lucky enough to elicit a reaction strike.
As soon as the trout strikes, it might begin to roll or shake its head sideways. Have your net ready!
Ghost Perch HD Trout
Next, Jason Baker will share his experience using the Ghost Perch HD Trout.
“It is one of the many crank baits that Dynamic Lures has to offer. Colin has really gotten me into using jerk baits and crank baits to expand my arsenal of trout baits. I rarely use a different style of lure, no matter what kind of trout fishing I am doing due to the swimming motion and sinking action of the HD Trout.
The sinking action is considered “slow sinking,” which is great for larger and deep bodies of water. Letting your lure slowly sink while adding action can entice a bite. Also, after you reach a deeper depth than you’re comfortable with, you can start your retrieve to the water’s surface.
Everyone has at least one confidence lure, and the numerous different styles of the HD Trout could all be considered my confidence lure. I base my decision on which lure to use often by the water clarity.
Certain ones can be used no matter what the water clarity or conditions are. Bubblegum, Ghost White, Fire Craw, Gold/Orange and Silver/Black are the patterns for those high, murky conditions that anglers call “chocolate milk.”
In clear water, casting natural colors delivers the most results. The most natural patterns of the HD Trout are Brown, Brook, Chartreuse Shad, Ghost Perch, Ken’s Redfin Shiner, and Trout Natural.
Trout is just the most popular species that I have caught, but the HD Trout is versatile and can be used to catch multiple different species of fish.”
Fly Fishing (With Willie Demosky)
Finally, Willie Demosky will share his experience with fly fishing. Below will be some amazing catches in public and private water caught by Willie on his fly rod!
Willie will also discuss his favorite flies and streamers for targeting different species of trout.
- Mop Fly: I like to fish mop flies in a size 12-14. Mop flies are one of my favorite flies for basically any conditions. They can be fished in clear and dirty water. I like a beige color in clearer, slower water. But I will stick to a chartreuse color in dirty water. This fly has been my recent favorite for trout of all species. Palominos seem to take a particular liking to this fly. I always fish a mop fly on a dead drift under an indicator.
- Wooly Bugger: Buggers have been a staple fly of mine ever since I started fly fishing. I fish Wooly Buggers in all colors of the rainbow. I tend to have great success with black, olive, and white varieties. I’ll fish smaller, more natural wooly buggers in sizes 8 to 10 when the water is clear and slow. I’ll switch to bigger buggers in size 6 to 8 when the water is dirty. I love a wooly bugger on a dead drift, as well as a swung and stripped retrieve. I find woolly buggers to be particularly effective for big brown and brook trout due to the action that the marabou provides in the water.
- Egg Flies: Egg patterns are my favorite fly to fish in the fall all the way through the wintertime and into the spring. I will fish glo bug patterns and sucker spawn patterns in any water conditions. I will typically fish egg patterns with a bit more flash when the water is dirtier. I love to fish eggs on a dead drift with lots of weight to get that slow-roll effect on the stream bottom. Eggs are incredibly effective for all trout species – particularly on trophy rainbows and browns. A properly presented egg pattern is near impossible for trout to resist.
Natural Nymphs: I will fish these bug patterns from size 12 to 22 in low, clear water, or when fish are particularly pressured in an area. I will fish Zebra Midges and Pheasant Tails on a tandem rig with about 18 to 24 inches of tippit in between the flies. I love to fish this set up on a dead drift with a swing at the end to create an emerging affect with the nymphs. Some of my biggest trout ever have been taken on size 20 midge patterns. So, don’t be afraid to downsize when the bite is slow and when bigger, brighter patterns aren’t getting the job done. Always experiment with different sizes and colors of natural nymphs in different styles such as caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies, midges, etc.
“I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember. It started with my dad taking me out to the local trout streams and teaching me the basic fundamentals of fishing and what it meant to be a good angler. My skills continued to grow as a fisherman into my early teens. I eventually decided that I wanted to give fly fishing a try after seeing many talented fly anglers on social media. My fly-fishing journey began in early spring of 2019, and I’ve continued to learn and grow as a fly angler ever since. Fly fishing is my true passion. Any fish that I see, I will figure out a way to catch it on a fly rod. So far, I’ve tussled with monster steelhead, salmon, and ferocious pike and musky that look like they could bite your head off. As well as many other species of fish. I’m always switching up my fly selection in any given day of fishing. I like to keep things natural at times with nymph and egg patterns from size 12-20. Other times I’ll fish big flashy patterns such as neon worm patterns or big articulated streamers. My continual passion for the sport and my constant pursuit for more knowledge and skill has led to experiences and opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. The main person I have to thank for this is Colin Greene and Tank Fishing Co., the company that I am sponsored by. Colin and I have been great friends for quite some time now. I have made so many new friends and learned more skills than ever before. Tank Fishing Company has given me opportunities such as sponsored trips and gifts, as well as giving me the opportunity to create unbreakable bonds with many talented anglers who are also a part of the company. The unity and positive energy of the company is something that I am so proud to be a part of. Everyone on Team Tank is always supporting each other and building on our common passion for fishing and chasing our dreams. I’ve experienced a lot with the company and everyone who is involved with the company. I am so excited to see where the team goes from here.”
by Willie Demosky