Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Becoming a Well Rounded Angler

I’m going to miss catching these guys before work. Soon I’ll have to get 3 kids ready for school every day. Archery season is fast approaching, football practices with my son, and the list is growing of things that will limit my fishing time.

This year has been a great one for me. Learning to fish spinners has been exciting and rewarding. Learning to make them was also a blast. I’ll still always love fly fishing the most, but think it’s a good thing to be skilled at all kinds of angling.  Lifting the restrictions of “fly fishing only” really helped me enjoy the aspects of trout fishing. 

Each style of trout fishing has it own enjoyments for me. I love tying flies and coming up with new patterns to test. Fooling a trout on something you’ve created is awesome. This feeling will never get old to me, especially when the fly is tied from fur and feathers I’ve tied myself. I don’t really streamer fish or dry fly fish, so now that I’ve got a decent handle on fishing with spinners I think I may work on my streamer game this year. I imagine the strikes on streamers may be just as intense as spinners but haven’t fished them enough to know.

Spinner fishing is pretty action packed and you are constantly doing something. No dead drifting and to me it’s a bit more intense. The strikes I’ve felt this year on spinners have been awesome. They really wack a spinner. I’ve quickly learned though that the trout get wise to spinners pretty quick though. I don’t fish the same stretch of streams very often but when I did this summer I found the second trip was a lot less productive than the first. It was fun to step outside my comfort zone and learn a new skill. It was nothing short of embarrassing the first month or two that I started. My line would get hung up on the reel handle, line twist was killing me, you name it. Now that I’ve adjusted my spinners and my rod and reel things go very smooth. Just learning the correct way to install line on a spinning rod eliminated my line twist issues.

I was brought up bait fishing and was taught how to string minnows when I was 7 years old. My uncles got me set up with an automatic fly reel and an 8’ fly rod it so. I learned to read water from them and it was very enjoyable to get back to my roots of bait fishing on a fishing trip with my uncle this summer. It was neat to roll back to the 90s with my Uncle Pat coaching me while I was drifting my minnow. “Make sure you get in front of that stick”...”You gotta make that minnow dance a little”. Learning how to bait fish from my uncles and Dad was about the best thing for me. My uncles are on a different level of bait fishing in my opinion. The bait fishing I was brought up doing was much like how I euro nymph. They use a longer rod and keep constant contact with their bait. I can count on one hand the number of trout that swallowed the hook while I was fishing with them.

2019 has been an amazing year for me. I’ve caught a ton of fish using many different styles and grew as an angler. I’ve learned that the wild brown trout is filling a void left behind from the Native Brook Trout due to deforestation and farming in the lowlands. I’ve learned they are quite a valuable resource and offer some very awesome angling opportunities.

 I can say without a doubt this year has changed me as a trout fisherman for the better. I’m excited to see what else is in store for me in the future. I broke two personal bests this year with a tank golden rainbow around 24-26” or so and an amazing wild brown around 22”. Dropping restrictions on your fishing style can really help you grow as an angler. I’d like to challenge you to give a few different styles of fishing a try in 2020. You may just be surprised at how challenging yourself with a new fishing style, may just improve your current angling choice.

I’ve attached a little video I put together on my phone of one of my spinner fishing trips. Best of luck with your ventures I growing as an angler. It has been one of the best years of trout fishing for me and I hope this article can aide in your decision to step outside of your comfort zone and learn some new skills as well.


  1. Awesome article I always enjoy reading these stories.

  2. Hi Michael, Another great article for you and as usual, I couldn't agree more. I've been through all kinds of fishing phases with different kinds of tackle and now, in retrospect, I can look back and see that finding the perfect way to fish really wasn't what it was all about - it was all about trying them all, all about the variety! In fact, that's what I've always said makes fishing so great as compared to other pursuits. There's an incredible variety of ways to chase fish, species of fish to chase and places to chase them. I don't see how it could ever get boring. Speaking of places to fish, I've been meaning to try out near a town called Portage some time...

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