Springtime is the right time for trophy trout.

Having fished freshwater nearly all my life I've learned a thing or two. One is that the larger and older fish respond to weather changes more quickly than the little guys. As soon as the ice is gone things began to happen. A water temperature increase of just a degree or two can trigger fish movement. Also, the increasing length of days signals that spring is on the way. The larger fish react instinctively and are usually the first to move up to shallower more accessible water. A check of the records shows this to be true in Colorado. More trophy browns and rainbow trout, those over 30 inches and in the 10-pound range, are caught in the spring than any other time of year.

The shallower water isn't just warmer but contains higher oxygen levels. Also too, the warmer weather get insects moving and buzzing along the water's edge. Bait fish move up to snack on the bugs, larger game fish move in to feed on the bait fish. Rainbows are preparing for the upcoming spawn as well and if their food source is close to a spawning area, all the better. When the rainbows spawn, browns will follow to feed on their eggs. This spawning activity will peak in the next several weeks.

A variety of techniques work this time of year to catch these big trout. Spoons can either be cast or trolled. Be sure to experiment with various speeds and depths. Jigs and those tipped with Gulp Minnows, jerk baits, and bottom fishing with Powerbait or live bait will work too. Because the fish tend to be larger, go with larger presentations. It's been a long winter and the fish are looking for a larger meal. Fly fisherman, break out the Clouser minnows and other streamers. Don't own a boat? Because the fish are moving up you can be equally effective fishing from shore.

Don't forget your permit and always check the local fishing reports for the latest information. Good luck and enjoy this special trophy time of year.

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