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Learn How To Fish Rivers With The Right Tackle

Learning how to fish rivers is a valuable skill in the outdoors.

Videos by Outdoors

A simple joy of the outdoor experience is walking up to a stream or small river, finding a comfortable spot on the bank or a boulder, casting out into the current, and catching a fish. Despite the kind of big water, competitive fishing you see everywhere on television these days, it can still happen that way. And best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of gear if you know how to fish rivers.

Start with a simple spinning rod and open-faced spinning reel. Many of these come already spooled with moderate weight line like 8-pound or 6-pound test. That’s what you’re looking for—it’s fine enough not to spook fish, heavy enough to give you a fair chance to pull free if you get hooked up in rocks or a snag.

After a little patience we started hooking them.

If you’re learning how to fish rivers, here is a list of the tackle you want in your box:

1. A small selection of sizes 6, 8 & 10 circle hooks. (Circle hooks are a great choice because they tend to hook fish in the mouth rather than real deep. And they set themselves rather than relying on you to set the hook.)
2. A selection of split shot sinkers of several sizes.
3. 2-3 small floats that will clip on the line (Stick style bobbers are the most sensitive and the least likely to make fish let go of the bait.)
4. A few small “in-line” spinners from about 2-4 inches long overall. You’ll find these in popular brand names like Mepps and Rooster Tail. They work great for all kinds of fish which is what you want.
5. A few round head jigs in 1/16, 1/8, ¼, ½ ounce sizes and some plastic curly tail grubs to go on them. The most famous brand of tails are Mister Twister. Best all-around colors are chartreuse, yellow, and white.

With this little bit of tackle, you’ll have a good chance of catching fish from any stream or small river you encounter.

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