Beginners guide to trout fishing — helpful tips for a successful day on the water

Trout fishing is a fun way to get kids, friends or the entire family hooked on an exciting spring-time outdoor activity. Pictured is a youth showing off a rainbow trout caught at Duck Lake near Ocean Shores. (Photo courtesy of Jack Meyers)
Anglers try their luck at Green Lake in North Seattle, a popular year-round fishing location, that was recently planted with trout. (Photo courtesy of Andy Walgamott)

How to catch trout

The type of fishing gear to use is a simple lightweight, limber rod in the 6- to 8-foot range, and a medium-sized spinning reel with 6- to 8-pound test monofilament fishing line.

A happy angler holds up a big trout. (Photo courtesy of James McCurry)
Thousands of rainbow trout are being planted by WDFW hatchery staff into hundreds of statewide lakes to boost spring and early summer fishing prospects. (Photo by WDFW)
These trout were all caught on a red glitter dough bait at a Skagit County lake. (Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa)

List of year-round lake trout plants

(Here is a statewide county-by-county list of year-round lakes receiving catchable-size rainbow trout. Many plants occur in spring on a weekly basis but the timing of when each lake receives fish varies month-to-month. Visit the WDFW website for a complete stocking schedule.)

Eastern Washington (Region 1)

Asotin County — Golf Course Pond, 15,500; Headgate Pond, 1,000; West Evans Pond, 15,500; and Silcott Pond, 1,000.

A smiling youth poses with a large rainbow trout. (Photo courtesy of Brian Dickison)

North Central Washington (Region 2)

Chelan County — Fish, 15,000; and Roses, 2,000.

This young girl holds up a rainbow trout she caught from the shoreline of a lake. (Photo courtesy of Brian Thompson)

South Central Washington (Region 3)

Benton County — Columbia Park Pond, 6,000.

North Puget Sound (Region 4)

Island County — Cranberry, 10,000; and Lone, 3,500.

A youth proudly holds up a big brown trout caught at Mineral Lake in Lewis County, which opens April 23 through Oct. 31. Mineral is being planted with 32,850 rainbow trout plus 5,000 brown trout in April to boost fishing. It was also planted with 100,000 fingerling trout in the fall of 2021. A private group and local fishing resort also spices it up with trout released from a net each year. (Photo courtesy of Damien Panich)

Southwest Washington (Region 5)

Clark County — Battleground, 26,633 plus 3,000 cutthroat; Klineline Pond, 31,600 plus 3,000 cutthroat; and Lacamas, 15,000.

Coastal Washington (Region 6)

Clallam County — Carrie Park Pond, 2,800; and Lincoln Park Pond, 1,500.

Spring is a special time to get out and try your luck at catching a trout plus you might even find some solitude along with good action. (Photo courtesy of Jason Wettstein)



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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.