Best Techniques

Cutthroat Trout


Casting is a very popular technique for cutthroat trout.  Many anglers will use spinning gear and even baitcasters when fishing lakes, rivers and streams for these fish.  Some of the common lures to cast are spinners, spoons and crankbaits.  Whether you are fishing in a lake, stream or river, plan on making a lot of casts throughout the day to catch some fish.


Drifting can be effective when fishing for cutthroat trout.  Some anglers drift down with the current in rivers and this works well as you present your baits to a lot of fish.  In lakes, it’s not as popular, but if you are in a good spot and you want to present your baits to a lot of fish, but you don’t want to fish as fast as you would if you were trolling, then drifting can be a nice way to fish.  Most anglers that drift in lakes will do so with live bait.

Drop Shotting

Just because most anglers don’t use a drop shot rig does not mean that it isn’t an awesome fishing rig for cutthroat trout.  Use it shallow, deep, in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.  It’s a great rig and you can use live baits and artificials with it.


Jigging isn’t very popular for cutthroat trout, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective.  If you find some deeper pools in rivers where trout congregate, these would be good spots to break out the vertical jigging technique.  You could work a jig along the river bottoms too, but you will probably get quite a few snags while using this technique.  Use your favorite hair jigs, curly tail grubs or a jighead and your favorite live bait.

Still Fishing

Still fishing can be productive.  If you find a good spot on the river with a deep pool or a mouth leading into or out of a stream or river, you may be able to just cast out some live or natural baits and just wait for the fish to find your bait.  It’s not how most anglers would target these fish, but there are situations where this can work well.  On some of the well stocked mountain lakes, you may be able to just set some baits out there and wait and with how many fish are in those lakes, there is a good chance that several of them will find your baits eventually.


Trolling is very popular for cutthroat trout.  Most anglers that troll for them will be trolling on the bigger lakes.  Because you may hook up with a bigger fish at any time, you are going to want to use heavier tackle.  Medium heavy to heavy action rods work great with the trolling tackle you are going to be using.  Spoons, crankbaits and the dodger and fly are the most popular lures used when trolling for cutthroat trout.