Spring-run steelhead can be difficult to catch in rivers when flows run high and dirty.
Stream trout feed more selectively than many gamefish. Whatever big trout are feeding on, whether it's insect larvae or minnows, it's important to use a presentation that looks and moves like the real thing.
Steelhead make fall runs in certain tributaries to the Great Lakes. Their movement patterns and habitats change with river conditions.
On larger lakes like the Great Lakes, trout move shallow where shorecasters can target them with spoons and swimbaits. Good areas to fish include mouths of tributary rivers, points, and other access areas like piers.
Tailraces below reservoirs can provide some of the best fishing for lots of big trout. Big browns migrate upstream and concentrate below dams during their annual spawning run.
Nighttime can be one of the best times to target big browns in tailrace fisheries of the South. Big browns are less spooky at night, moving out of heavy cover into areas easily approached and fished.
Winter is a fantastic time to catch big lake trout through the ice. This type of fishing often requires mobility as it can take quite a bit of searching to find active lakers.
Trout, browns, brookies, and rainbows are coldwater species, so they like cold water and remain active under ice cover.
Tracking studies have verified that river largemouths make major spring migrations from wintering areas to shallow backwaters. Though miles may separate these habitat zones, fish unerringly arrive once ice has departed.