There are a variety of tactics employed to target the larger trout in a given body of water. It is well known that big fish feed on small fish, and most of my fishing is based on this simple concept. It is, however wise to be aware that insects and other small terrestrials still make up a fair percentage of most trout’s diet. There have been several times at Crane Prairie Res when huge rainbows and brookies were boiling and leaping out of the water gorging themselves on dragonfly emergers, but they would not touch the lures that are normally effective for me there. The ultimate angler would be knowleged and geared for all situations. That is a near lifetime achievement for those who can only fish so often. I will discuss the tactics that I have found useful in my fishing on this page.
Flatline or Topline Trolling
Flatlining (aka toplining) is one of the easiest and best ways to target trophy trout. Although quality gear is always a good idea when planning on doing battle with a large adversary, there is no specialized gear required to fish this method. It is as simple as putting a minnow imitating lure on your line and letting it go 100 yds or so behind the boat. Trolling speed can vary a lot from 1.3 to 4+ mph, and lure selection covers an even wider range from 2 inches up to 8 inches. I know of guys catching trout on 12 inch lures, but that’s a bit large for me. Most of my flat lining is done with 3-5 inch lures at speeds of 2 to 3 mph.