Several Top Trout Fishing Rigs for All Seasons

By Andy Whitcomb

Oct 02, 2017

Trout fishing is tremendously popular. Because of the wide range of habitat and feeding preferences, it is helpful to know a variety of presentations for these fun fish. 

Trout are one of the most popular fish species. They are feisty fighters, commonly inhabiting some of our most beautiful waters. Catching trout can be very challenging at times so it is helpful to know a wide range of lures and trout fishing rigs.

Fly fishing with a dry fly is a great way to start. A “dry” fly is tiny lure that will float or ride high in the current to tempt surface feeding trout. Watching trout rise to smack a dainty lure is tremendous fun. If this isn’t what the trout want, by using this method first and remaining stealthy, the deeper feeding trout may not disturbed and you can switch to other techniques.

For trout feeding closer to the bottom, fly anglers use a wet fly, such as bottom bouncing beaded nymph.  And for everything in between, where allowed, tandem trout fishing rigs can be helpful. For example, a second higher-riding dry fly can be tied with a leader to that beaded nymph to give the trout twice the options during a drift. Or the trout rig can be reversed, with a dry fly being the initial lure, also even acting as a bobber for a wet fly tied several inches below. The effective distance between flies can vary greatly but a good length to start is about 18 inches.

Of course, fishing with bait for trout can be very productive. There are many types of packaged bait products in addition to live bait standards such as wax worms, night crawlers, and minnows.  By adjusting a piece of split shot weight on the line, this simple trout rig is hard to beat, especially when taking kids fishing.  Some trout fishing rigs even combine lure and bait. A local favorite trout rig combines a spinner with a dried, salted minnow.

A trout fishing rig can be simple or fairly complex, depending on the situation and the trout behavior. When renewing your fishing license, be sure to check the regulations as some areas may only allow single fly presentations. When trout fishing, if tandem fly rigs are permitted, they are a great way to present multiple selections to trout and discover just what they want.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.