Best Brook Trout Gear: Essentials from a Specialist


March 14, 2022


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brook trout fishing gear essentials

Expert Claude Bissonnette, SAIL’s Hunting and Fishing Category Manager, offers his recommendations on the best brook trout gear to own. Stack the odds in your favour with these essentials for your next fishing trips.

In this article, you will learn more about:

  1. Features of a brook trout and how to identify it
  2. What is the best brook trout gear to own?
  3. What are the best baits to use?
  4. What are the best baits to use for fishing brook trout?
  5. What other essentials shouldn't you forget?
  6. Expert Advice

Features of a brook trout and how to identify it

The brook trout, or speckled trout, is prized for its fighting spirit, the colour of its scales, its delicate orange flesh and unique taste.

Its presence is widespread in almost all regions of Quebec and Ontario, making it very accessible. Brook trout can be caught in a multitude of lakes and rivers in both the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

There are several regional parks, wildlife reserves and outfitters that offer cottage or cabin stays, day fishing packages and boat rentals for brook trout fishing.

In addition to its skin with red spots surrounded by blue halos, the speckled trout has small teeth, an orange belly, a small fin following its main dorsal fin and a very slightly forked tail fin. Do not confuse it with the Arctic char, a generally longer fish that has red spots without blue halos and a more forked tail fin.

Claude Bissonnette recommends that you refer to books, specialized fishing magazines and websites for photos and descriptions that will allow you to easily identify all types of freshwater fish.

What is the best brook trout gear to own?

The equipment required to fish for speckled trout varies according to the fishing technique used and consists of a rod and reel, fishing line, lures, hooks and live or artificial bait.

Rods and reels for trolling, spinning, and dead sticking

Look for a light spinning rod that is about 6.5 feet long with a moderate action and a reel that fits well with the rod and is a size 2000 to 2500. If you’re trolling, you’ll want a light spinning rod with a fast action, so that it’s stiffer.

You can also use a 5 to 5.5-foot (1.5 to 1.7 meters) ultra-light spinning rod and an ultra-light reel in the 500 to 1000 size range for a greater challenge and better feel, advises Claude Bissonnette.

Rods and reels for fly fishing for brook trout

Opt for a fly fishing combo including a rod that is 6-8 to 7-9 feet long with a reel made to hold 4-7 fly fishing line.

Types of fishing line

Claude Bisonnette recommends using braided line for trolling with a 8-20 lb resistance (from 3.5 to 9 kg), as this type of line does not stretch, is more resistant, and allows you to feel bites better.

You can also use monofilament with a 4 to 8 lb resistance (from 1.8 to 3.6 kg), convenient for rigging your leader.

Fluorocarbon line can also be used to mount your leader.

When it comes to fly line, select 4 to 7.

What are the best baits to use?

Fish for brook trout using fresh, live earthworms for trolling, spinning, or dead sticking. However, you will not be able to release your catch if you use live bait.

If you want to turn to artificial baits, look for small swimming fish, plastic larvae imitations or soft plastic worms, advises the expert. You can opt for nugget baits for trout.

3 artificial lures recommended for brook trout

What are the best baits to use for fishing brook trout?

Brook trout are generally attracted to the reflection of light and vibrations emitted by wobbling spoons and spinnerbait. The choice of colour depends on the water. The Clear Wobbler spoon was inspired by old-time fishermen who used real metal spoons and kettle cutouts to attract fish.

Dry flies are also great for catching brook trout when fly fishing. You should try to get as close as possible to the size and colour of the insects upon which brook trout feed.

Spoons for standard fishing

According to Claude Bissonnette, it is very important to adjust your lure depending on the depth of the water and the season.

Remember to bring a variety of spoons and lures in different colours to find the right combination.
It is also possible to mount two hooks on the bottom of your line, after setting your spoon, or to use a combo of a fly, a spoon, and a hook with a worm on the end if you want to try various combinations.

3 ripple spoons recommended for brook trout fishing

trout spoon

Fly fishing flies

Opt for dry flies such as March, Adam’s, Foam, or Royal Wulff.

You can also use small #4-6 streamer flies like Grey Ghost or Mickey Finn, or try 13-A, Hare’s Ear or Stone nymphs.

3 recommended flies for brook trout

Trout Wooly bugger

What other essentials shouldn’t you forget?

In addition to your fishing license to have with you at all times, your PFD and insect repellent, Claude Bissonnette suggests bringing a cooler and these other fishing essentials:

  • Sonar
  • Landing net
  • Hemostat long nose pliers
  • Lures, flies and spoons
  • Floater for dead sticking
  • Assembly accessories
  • Worms
  • Fishing knife
  • Towel
  • Portable motor, battery, and paddle

Expert Advice

  • After a catch, cut the line and replace your leader, as the line may break on the next catch and the hook is often bitten.
  • Buy double the amount of spoons to bring on your fishing trip. You don’t want to lose your favorite spoon in the water and come home empty handed, especially if it’s effective in bring in tons of fish.
  • Use crush barbs or barbless hooks so that you don’t injure the trout when removing the hook.

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