Spring is the time for trout and one of the best tactics for catching spring trout is the spinner.

Fun, easy and effective, spinners will take trout consistently, no matter what species of stream trout you are pursuing.

Here are some key tips that will help you catch more stream trout with spinners this spring.


One of the most important tips for fishing spinners is to cast upstream. Trout naturally face upstream to wait for food that the current is bringing toward them. If you are retrieving your spinner downstream, toward the direction the trout are facing, you increase the odds of the fish seeing your spinner.

Casting upstream also keeps your bait deeper. When you cast downstream and retrieve it upstream the natural tendency of the bait is to rise upward, so it does not stay down where the trout are located.


When casting your spinner, do not begin retrieving it as soon as it hits the water. The better tactic is to let the spinner sink towards the bottom. Trout often hold on the stream bottom, so you want your spinner to get down to the level of the trout.

As you retrieve your spinner, vary the retrieve to entice bites. You can try stopping and starting the retrieve, giving the spinner an occasional jerk, reeling faster or slower. Anything that abruptly changes the action of the spinner can cause a fish to strike.


Systematically covering all areas of a stream section will significantly increase your odds of catching a fish. Think of the water around you as a fan. You want to start casting at one edge of the fan and systematically cast your way around the fan to the other edge. This ensures that you cover all the water around you.

If there is a particularly attractive area of cover, such as a fallen tree or tree roots, make sure to thoroughly fish that structure at various depths and angles.

Color and Size

Spring rains and melting snow can often make stream water dark or muddy. In this situation it’s a good idea to use brighter colors and larger size spinner to improve the odds of the fish seeing your bait. A shinier blade on the spinner also makes the bait more visible to the fish.

Some anglers prefer bright neon colors when trout fishing, but under normal conditions you may have to experiment with colors to find the best choice for a given day. On especially bright days, with clear water, a darker or more muted color with a painted spinner blade may work better.  If one spinner does not work, try another and another, until you find one that does.

It is also a good idea to carry a variety of spinners when you are fishing trout. Although they look very similar, some varieties may offer a slightly different movement, flash or vibration, which may work particularly well under certain conditions. The more options you have, the better your chances of catching trout.

Photo credit: Dreamstime