OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARiver fishing is a great way to seek out new fish species, new challenges, and try out new baits or techniques. Fishing a river is a little different than the lake, though, due mainly to the current, which can be quite quick at times. If a swift current is what you’re up against when seeking trout, here are a few popular lure options that will help your cause.

One popular tactic is live bait. If you’re permitted to use it, live bait can be productive. Worms or other big bodied bugs—grasshoppers, for example—work well. Using a small baitholder hook with some split shot weights will work well here. Which bug you should use will vary, though, depending on where you’re fishing, and the season.

Artificial lures can produce, too. Inline spinners have long been a great lure for rivers, and swift rivers are no exception. Panther Martin, Mepps, Blue Fox, Roostertail—they’re all deadly. Gold, silver, and copper are popular options for their ideal water conditions; silver for clear water, gold for stained. Small spoons are great on rivers, as well, especially when dragged through the riffle.

If you’re throwing flies, then you have a few options at your disposal. Floating an egg just below the surface is a solid bet. Garden hackle worms can do some damage where you have the opportunity to drift them in a fast water pool. Casting upstream with the right flies—a Royal Coachman or bugger—and letting them float downstream can yield big results. Where rapids are present, though, you’ll need to watch carefully for strikes, as rapids make subtle nibbles hard to see.

Swift current trout can be tricky to dial in, but the tips outlined above are just a sample of some of the more popular tactics that can be used to reel them in. Use them to your advantage the next time you hit your local river. 

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