There are certain truisms about fish. A couple of examples: Fish usually look up, or they face the current.

Similarly, there are certain truisms of fishermen. One is that if an angler thinks something will help them catch one more fish, they’ll buy it. I see it all the time on the open party boats that I fish on. I admit it, I have to fight the tendency to “over gear.”

It’s like a breath of fresh air to keep things simple. Trout fishing is no different. You’ve seen fly fisherman with elaborate setups and a deep collection of flies to match the hatch.  This article from McNett reps the “keep it simple” camp.

trout_simple_anglerSlide a bullet sinker up the line, tie on a swivel, cut 30 inches of leader, tie it on to the other side of the swivel, tie on a No. 16 treble or a No. 10 bait hook. Open the bait jar, cut a forked stick…

That is the typical beginner’s trout fishing setup as advised by the typical expert, but it requires a nodding acquaintance with proper weights, dexterity with knots, and rigging. No wonder it’s so hard to catch fish if you haven’t done it before.

I stopped at a 17-and-under youth fishing pond the other day to watch budding anglers in action. Aside from the fact a state trooper could have filled his ticket book with overage fishermen, it became clear what the inexperienced angler needs is better advice.

An angler with a few years behind him can set up a trout bait rig in under a minute. A novice might just go back to golf or pick up a pool cue or a fifth of Jack.

Photos: McNett

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Joe is an avid saltwater angler. He grew up in Washington State on the south end of Puget Sound where he first started fishing as a boy catching perch, flounder, rockfish, and occasionally salmon. Today, Joe lives in Southern California where he fishes off beaches and jetties, kayaks, and sportfishing boats. Joe writes about his saltwater adventures in the SoCal Salty blog, and for Western Outdoor News.