How to Fish for Summer Brook Trout

How to Fish for Summer Brook Trout

Hook into a Few for Dinner Tonight

During the summer, you have to change your technique a little bit.  Instead of fishing the schools, you have to find the spots where the trout love to hide.  Then using a bit of stealth, you can start reeling them in.

How to Fish for Brook Trout

While you can catch brook trout in the lakes, they generally stick to the streams.  Hence the name.  What is often surprising is how little water they like to live in.  The stream can be as small as just a few feet wide, and as long as there are some deeper pockets in which they can hide, then they ought to be there waiting for you.

Once you’ve found the right stream, you need just need your rod and reel, and on the end you attach a hook directly to the end.  Don’t use a swivel, since you want as little showing as possible.  About 12 to 24 inches up the line attach a split shot sinker or two.

Brookies aren’t too picky when it comes to food.  Some fish won’t bite on a worm that has been cut in half; these feisty buggers don’t seem to care.  Cut the worm in half, and thread the hook through so that the entire hook is covered by the worm.

Now you simply let out as much line as you can and still keep your hook off the ground while carrying it.  Walk along the banks of the creek staying far back so the fish can’t see you (or your shadow).  Once they see you or your shadow, it’s over; they won’t bite.  Drop the worm in a little upstream from you, and let it float past the deep spots where the creek has undercut the bank.  Toss it in a couple of times, and if you don’t get a bite, then move on upstream a little more.

Some of the best fishing spots, for brook trout at least, are where the water flows underneath a structure.  Under bridges or culverts, where the water moves slowly, is where you are likely to catch the biggest brookies.  Toss your worm as far under as possible, and then slowly reel it back.  If you’re in a good stream, you ought to have a fish on with every cast.

Catch Your Dinner… and Tomorrow’s as Well

Brook trout aren’t native to Montana.  They were imported years and years ago from the eastern part of the country.  They have thrived in our waters, and they actually tend to out compete our native cutthroat trout for food.  The fish are small, so you may need at least a couple to get enough for a meal.  But don’t worry, the bag limit is 20 of them (Eastern District it’s 10), so you can bring home a few days worth of food with one fishing trip.

Go Fish Something

Montana has some of the best fishing around.  The further you get from the road, usually the better the fishing.  But that’s not always true.  Find a nice little stream (where the water flows out of the Little Belt Mountains is often good), and plop a worm on in.  If brook trout are living in those waters, then there’s a good chance you’ll catch fish quickly.

by Scott Sery
Scott is a writer, outdoor enthusiast, beer snob, and woodworker. When he is not out exploring all of the wonders around Billings, he loves to sit down for a frosty brew at one of the many great breweries we have available to us. You can read about most of his adventures, and many of the fine brews he has sipped right here. Find out more about Scott at