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THE POCKET-SIZED TROUT BOX

Compact tackle tote packed with a selection of small lures to effectively target local trout this season.
By Nick Pacelli
Tags: freshwater

If you look at all the things in a trout’s diet—flies, nymphs, small fish, etc.—they all have one thing in common: most everything that a trout eats is small. Even large trout eat relatively small food for their size. As a fisherman, think of all the lures you use to target trout. No one uses 10-inch rubber worms or 7-inch plugs. Everything used specifically to target trout is small. Even guys targeting monster steelhead on the Salmon River use flesh-colored flies, nymphs and spinners.

Probably because I am also a backpacker in addition to a fisherman, I like to keep my gear to an absolute minimum at all times. Hikers are almost brainwashed to carry only the essentials and leave everything else at home. For me this thinking has carried over to fishing. I like the freedom and mobility of not being burdened with a lot of equipment. There is nothing I used to hate more than to work a section of shoreline only to need to walk back to pick up my tackle box before moving on to the next spot.

For an ultra-light fisherman (gear not stomach size,) trout are the perfect quarry. I can fit everything I need to catch them into a 3 x 6-inch storage box. This box can easily fit into my wader pocket or a pocket in my shorts. Thanks to their diminutive size I can carry many types of trout lures in this small box. There are six compartments in the box and I try to keep one type of lure in each compartment. I may carry three or four spoons, but I try to keep them separate from the other lures as much as I can.

"One thing I am not a huge believer in is carrying a lot of colors."
One thing I am not a huge believer in is carrying a lot of colors. I have a couple colors of each lure but, for the most part, I am not a believer that trout or any gamefish will be “dead red” on any one specific color. I carry colors that I have had success with and save my money for gas. I kind of assume that if I use a couple different color spinners and don’t catch anything then they simply won’t hit spinners that day. I don’t get caught up on carrying 12 colors of the same lure cycling through to see which one they want on that day.

In my first compartment I keep a few spoons. I am partial to 1/8-ounce Kastmasters and always carry a gold one and a silver one. I have a couple 1/6-ounce Thomas spoons that I throw once in a while for variety, but Kastmsters fit the bill on most days.

Next up I carry in-line spinners. Any quality spinners work whether they are Mepps, Panther Martin or Roostertail, but most often I find myself throwing with the latter. I use the 1/8- and 1/16-ounce size Roostertail all the time. In years past I experimented with a lot of colors (making me draw my earlier conclusion to only carry my favorite colors.) Without question the best two colors I have found to be white coachdog and yellow coachdog. I have probably caught more trout over the years on the yellow coachdog Roostertail than all other spinners combined.


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