If you have ever hooked into one, or even dreamt of it, then you already know that speckled trout are one of the most exciting game fish to head after. Unfortunately, there are not many anglers in the world who decide to seek out these exciting trout with their fly fishing gear. Whether it be skepticism or intimidation, there is a seemingly infinite amount of fishers that refuse to believe in the productivity of saltwater fly fishing.
The fact is that speckled trout offer some of the best fly fishing water experiences in the world. Their natural tendency to swim in shallow water, insatiable appetite, and sheer abundance in numbers makes them the perfect prey for expert and beginner fly anglers.
Equipment for Speckled Trout Fly Fishing
9 foot 5-weight and 9 foot 8-weight rods are the best choice when fly fishing for speckled trout. They both have the ability to bring in the biggest and best game fish out there, yet are not too overbearing in the water. If you are lucky enough to hook into a speckled trout on a 5-weight rod then you are almost guaranteed to have as much fun on the water as possible. On the other hand, if you find yourself fly fishing in windy conditions or even surf fishing, then the 8-weight rods are far better suited for speckled trout.
While reels are important when fishing for speckled trout, you won’t need to go overboard. A single-action reel that can carry 150 yards of backing and comes along with a disc drag has everything that you need. You will not require all the bells and whistles but you will be fishing in salt water so corrosion and rust-resistant pieces are essential.
In terms of fly fishing line, normal weighted floating lines will work well in most situations. However, if you are going to be fishing in the surf then a slow sinking line will perform quite a bit better.
Moving onto speckled trout flies, there are a number of food sources that specks go after, and thus a number of flies that can prove to be effective. Shrimp, pinfish, and crabs are the most common prey for these fish and these can all be mimicked quite easily with a variety of fly patterns. One of the best and most popular patterns is the Clouser Minnow which comes in a number of colours and can impersonate all kinds of marine life that speckled trout drool over.
When speaking in terms of saltwater fly fishing, subsurface patterns will usually account for a higher catch rate at the end of the day, but surface flies offer the most excitement by far. Poppers and top-water patterns can work wonders at the times of year when specks are trying to attack schools of fish or shrimp, but also have been effective when no action is noticeable.
Best Times for Speckled Trout Fishing
There is an abundance of new equipment that allows anglers to fish for specks the entire year through, but the true speckled trout season starts in April and May and is fast and furious right up until early summer time. While fall and early winter do offer opportunities as well, there is nothing quite like the time when trout start to move swiftly into shallow water in order to spawn.
What you want to do during these times is fish in between 2 and 12 feet depending upon the weather. Search for trout that are lurking around lit areas at night, within shallow bays or grass flats, or near a beach.
Surf Fishing and other Locations for Speckled Trout
Fishing for speckled trout in the surf is one of the best ways for wading anglers to get used to these monsters. What you need to realize is that water along the beach can change often as there are drop offs, sandbars, cuts, and all kinds of environmental obstructions to get adjusted to. This means that you will want to choose a fly that fits well in its surroundings and begin casting right near the area you are targeting.After you have fished all around the targeted area then you can move into the prime location.
Ensure that your flies are weighted heavily and let them sink as quickly as possible. This means that you should wait a few seconds before beginning your retrieval and then begin retrieving with long, fast strips which will mock a struggling baitfish. Fish may differ on how fast they want flies to be moving on any given day so be sure to experiment on how long or short you allow the fly to sink and how quickly you retrieve until your strike success.
When fishing in grass flats, the same presentation and style should be used. Search for light areas on the bottom of the water which are flat sand bottoms or fish near dark water that is located near the edge of a flat, which is a drop off. Use the same style and fish around the target area first, and then move into the prime location afterwards.
If night fishing is your thing, and you don’t miss sleep, then lit up docks are one of the best places to be for fly fishers. Insects are easily attracted to these areas and thus so are speckled trout looking for easy to find food. Just do not cast right into the light or you may spook the specks before you get a chance to even see them.
Tides and Speckled Trout
Paying close attention to tides is very important when fishing for speckled trout. The main rule to focus in on is to fish during any movement of the tide, whether it is coming in or coming out. These moving tides can swish around all sorts of baitfish which leaves them vulnerable and tempts monster speckled trout to come out and hunt.
Speckled trout offer some of the best fishing opportunities available and ignoring your fly fishing equipment when it comes to specks is a mistake you will regret making. Arm yourself with a few basic flies, your rod, and a decent reel and you will come across quite a few opportunities and locations where speckled trout will hit your line.
Saltwater really can be a ton of fun.