When it comes to fly fishing for brook trout, anglers are either fishing to catch or fishing to release. Here at Lakewood Camps, we pride ourselves in contributing to the restoration of the brook trout population. With this in mind, we practice a catch and release policy that we inform our guests of. Knowing this, we often tell our guests to purchase lures and artificial bait as natural bait tends to get swallowed deeply so it is difficult to retrieve your hook without injuring the fish. However, this won’t stop us from informing you of the best natural bait to get when looking to fish to catch trout.
Your tackle box should have an assortment of both natural and artificial bait and lures to conquer any terrain and weather condition. Natural baits are important when you are fishing in periods of high, muddy water as trout cannot see lures in these conditions but can easily detect the odor of natural bait. Another area to use natural bait is when you are fishing in heavily fished streams, like our Rapid River, where wary trout inspect any potential food item. In highly fished areas, the trout will likely recognize the fake bait from past experience but anglers can attract the trout if properly placed.
6 Great Natural Bait For Fly Fishing
- Worms – When in comes to fishing in general, the staple bait to use are worms. From folk tales, to cartoons and movies you have seen worms being associated with fishing. This is especially true with trout and fly fishing as they are easy to obtain, keep and rig to your fishing line. When equipping worms to your line, be sure to use a bait holder hooks so that the worm does not fall off.
- Waxworms – This type of natural bait is a must have if you are exclusively fishing for trout as they are a trout favorite. Waxworms are larvae from bee moths and grow from eggs moths lay in beehives that feed on the wax in the hives. Just like worms, you will want to set up a slip-sinker rig so the worms to not fall off. But with waxworms you do not need to have a bait holder hook as you can use regular hooks but add a marshmallow about the bait. The marshmallow acts as a float to make sure the bait does not hit the bottom of the river. Plus its another incentive for the trout to pick your line!
- Crickets & Grasshoppers – These creatures are easily obtainable and highly effective trout baits. To securely attach this bait, secure them with a thin wire hook pushed under the collar behind the head and push the point of hook through the middle. This bait can be used on top or below the surface of the water, but you will find the most effective fishing method is using them as surface lures.
- Baitfish – This natural bait is one that is over looked by many anglers but can be an effective year-round trout bait. You will want to use this bait when if you are looking to hook giant browns or other jumbo fish. The bigger trophy sized trout love to eat smaller fish when available so baitfish are great to use for this purpose.
- Crayfish – Another overlooked natural bait, Crayfish are a great bait to use for trout that you need to collect on your own. Just like with bait fish, crayfish are great for catching jumbo fish but stocker trout also enjoy the smaller crayfish as well. Anglers have preferences of how they like to use the bait as some use the whole crayfish, while others prefer to remove the pincers. By removing the pincers you are avoiding the risk of the crayfish grabbing onto objects on the bottom of the river.
- Aquatic Nymphs & Larvae – Nymphs and larvae such as hellgrammites, caddisfly, mayfly, stonefly, dragonfly and damselfly can all be found in the water down stream, under rocks and while you retrieve them use a small-mesh net to collect them as the water take them.
If you have any more information on bait or anything fly fishing in Maine, contact Lakewood Camps today!