The Angle: Fishing Spoons for Trout
November 1, 2023
By Lucas Holmgren
Trout are a year-round species in Oregon. Whether you fish creeks, rivers or lakes, there is always a place to fish for Rainbows, Cutthroat & Brown Trout. Spoons are essentially a metal lure that is bent in a way that causes the lure to “wobble” or “flutter” without fully turning over. It is not the same as a spinner which has a rotating blade.
I have used spoons like Kastmasters, Little Cleo’s and my personal favorite, the Al’s Goldfish Neon Blue. Areas where I fish them are in tidewater, small “field” creeks, large dam-controlled rivers, small natural rivers and standard “stocker” lakes. There are certain rivers where a spoon doesn’t always get it done, but in my semi-coastal region of Oregon and Washington, I have found consummate success fishing spoons.
“The swing” is a proven method for spoon fishing. Cast across the river from yourself, draw the line tight and point your rod tip where your line is heading, and as it gets farther downstream, let it “swing” through the target water. Once it’s below you, reel up. I also “drift” spoons. Essentially, be aware of the flow and depth of the run, then cast a bit upstream of yourself, and do ultra-slow reeling with some ever-so-slight twitches of the rod tip, until you start getting downstream of yourself. At that point, go for the “swing” – but the money is in the tumbling drift you get when the lure is just in front of you. Your line will draw out in front of the lure, causing it to wobble with an enticing flash, not quite hitting the bottom, but getting into the strike zone.
A small spoon produces the best action when fished with a light leader. The small diameter of 6lb test is my chosen favorite. When it comes to the mainline, I prefer to fish with nothing but 6lb, so I don’t need a uni-knot or a swivel to connect a leader. An ultra-light rod with 6lb test tied directly to the spoon with a palomar knot is so organic.
Keep in Mind
When you are tying a light line to a lure, pull with one hand as far away from the knot as possible, while guiding the knot with your other. This ensures that no harmful stretch is imparted to the line near the knot.
A spoon is a “cover water” lure. Don’t spend all day making the same cast over and over. Move from hole to hole. In lakes, I will cast out as far as I can and vary speed and location. Every day is different. Sometimes it’s a slow retrieve close to the bottom, other days I’m cranking it in fast to where it’s inches below the surface. You simply need to vary your retrieve until you figure out the day’s pattern.
Many fish species love to bite spoons, and Trout are no exception. Give it a shot!