Before you can even begin, you will need a rod and reel (Although you could just as easily use something as simple as a stick with fishing line and a hook?). Ultra-light tackle is preferable, as it is smaller, lighter and more sensitive than its normal (or heavy duty) counter parts. Fishing line comes in many pound (lb.) test ratings, but 2 to 4 lbs. test is best for stream fishing as it is of a small diameter which makes it harder for the fishes to see underwater. This light line is also ok since most of the fish caught will be less than one pound. Many anglers find that a fly fishing rig works well too, but unless you have experience fly fishing it can be a daunting task on the small mountain streams.
The only other things we will need to begin are hooks, weights, and bait. For hooks, treble hooks in the 14 – 16 range work best for these smaller trout, and cheese baits stay on these best. There are also small salmon egg hooks if you chose to us salmon eggs as bait, but you can also just put 3 eggs on one hook and save from having 2 types of hooks. For weight, small lead ‘split-shot’ work best as you can add and remove them as needed. Split-shot come in many sizes, but it is sometimes easier to get the smaller and use what is needed than the larger and not be able to put the amount weight you want. Lastly we will need some sort of bait (although spinner bait and spoons can be used, bait is easier in these small streams). Bait can be commercially packaged salmon eggs, cheeses and other so called trout baits, but what I personally found to work best is plain old Velveeta cheese. You may also want to try corn, worms, live bugs or dry flies– the choice is yours.
Now for the fishing part, almost – but if you are 16 years of age or older, you will need to purchase a fishing license for a small fee (this helps to pay for the fish we are trying to catch). All that is left now is to find one of the many streams that are stocked, find a good fishin’ hole and catch a few trout for dinner.
In the next part, we will cover some actual techniques for fishing the streams of the mountains of Southern California.
By: Jonathan Parker
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Tags: Cheeses, Daunting Task, Elusive Fish, Fishes, Fishing Line, Fishing Rig, Fly Fishing, Hooks, Lb Test, Mountain Streams, Native Trout, Rod And Reel, Salmon Egg, Salmon Eggs, Southern California Mountain, Split Shot, Test Ratings, Treble, Trout Baits, Trout Fishing