Outdoor Life Online Editor

1. Hit the Eddies
Eddies are among the best spots to fish in early spring. These back currents, which become fairly stagnant and unproductive later in the year, collect foodstuff on or near the bottom around this time. Trout can grub for it without expending much energy during the high flows of spring.

2. Stick Around
Klutzy, sloshy wading will frighten trout before they even see you. Should fish dart away from your cloddish stride, don’t assume that all is lost. If you’re willing to make like a heron and stand quietly for a while at a prime lie, chances are the fish will return. Trout memories are short, and the fish hate to leave good holding spots for long so stand your ground.

3. Pass the Salt
Salted plastic baits are favorites among bass fishermen, but many anglers seem to have forgotten the effectiveness of salted natural minnows for trout. Salting was originally intended to help preserve bait, but there’s another advantage. Trout seem to be as fond of salt as bass are-perhaps more so. This is especially true of browns.

4. Add Attraction
One of the more effective tandem rigs for flyfishing consists of a bushy, high-floating dry fly with a dropper (tippet) of several inches to about a foot long tied to its hook bend. A nymph or wet fly is tied to the end of the dropper. Instead of regular nylon monofilament, try using fluorocarbon material for the dropper. It will sink the nymph faster, which is especially important in swift current. Also, it’s wise to coat the main leader and tippet ahead of the dry fly with leader sink. This will cause the leader to submerge just below the surface film, where it won’t cast an off-putting shadow.

** 5. Mark Your Spots**
When the run you’re flyfishing lacks distinct rocks, logs and other points to gauge distance, repeating the cast that raised a fish can be tough. Try marking your fly line with a felt-tip pen (in a contrasting permanent color, of course). Mark the line at 30 feet with a single inch-long line, at 40 feet with a double line and at 50 feet with a triple line. The moment a fish swirls and misses, check those marks to see the amount of line that brought the action.

6.Cast This Cold-Water Killer
If you’re heading north this year to a really cold lake, here’s how to make one of the more effective rigs for all kinds of trout. Remove the treble hooks from a fairly large spoon, tie two circle-type bait hooks (to avoid gut-hooking) in tandem to a 12-inch piece of monofilament, and then tie that mono to the split ring where you removed the treble. String the hooks with a healthy night crawler and start slow-trolling. Use this method right after ice-out to snatch lakers that are near the surface soon after the spring melt.

7.Hold a Hopper
Keep grasshopper baits alive longer on the hook with a harness. First, space out two short (about ¾-inch) lengths of thin, ultrasoft wire crossways on your hook shank and glue them down using fast-drying waterproof glue. Then, rather than impaling the insect, wrap each wire around the hopper’s body.

** 8. Tie Knots That Last**
To tie stronger, more durable knots in fly leaders or tippets, try this: Keep a small bottle of a 50-50 mix of glycerin (available from druggists) and water with you. Use it to coat the material you’re tying just before you cinch the knots. Loon Outdoors’ Knot Sense (www.loonoutdoors.com) protects and strengthens knots, too. Coat the knots with the formula, which quickly cures in the sun. If you make leaders indoors, Loon can provide a tiny UV light that’ll do the curing job.

9. Fish Down and Across, Please
Whether you’re working a streamer or a light spinner, it pays to make your presentation across prime holding spots in a broadside manner rather than coming head or tail downriver first. CCast across and slightly upstream, then begin the retrieve. Let the current swing the streamer or spinner so it crosses in profile across the lie. With the fly, you’ll need to flip (mend) any line belly upstream, then give a moment of slack before beginning to strip again. When using spinners, try opening your spinning reel bail to spill line, giving slack so the lure wobbles downstream to the next trout lie. Just as it approaches the sweet spot, close the bail and tighten up; the bladed bait will swim in front of the trout.

10. Go for a Walk
“Walking” slip sinkers, typically used on walleye rigs, are deadly for presenting worms and minnows to trout. Cast well above likely lies and pools, then spill line to allow the bait to slip through the sinker eye and down to where trout are holding. To work a large area, cast above and to the far side and let out the bait. If no strikes occur, reel in the leader and move the sinker rig closer, then let the bait drift down again. Use a non-offset circle hook to avoid injuring fish that will be released.

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