I used to fish for brook trout when I was younger. I caught and kept the limit for the frying pan no matter the size. I haven't wet a hook in more than twenty years but I want to trout fish again. The place I would like to fish is catch and release only which is all new to me. I have a spinning rod that I would like to use but I don't want small fish to swallow the hooks so I would appreciate any advise you have on what size hooks to use and any other tips anyone would care to share about this kind of fishing.
Hello - my brother and my nephew fly fish in north Georgia in some areas that are catch-&-release. They mash the barbs down on the hooks with hemostats that they also use to disgorge the hook. You can also use flies with a spinning reel. There is a clear plastic bobber that you fill with water and the fly with whatever amount of "leader" you want goes after the bobber. This gives you enough weight to cast the "rig" with your spinning rod-&-reel. I use this set-up with a "mini" rod-&-reel to fish for pan-fish on the Suwannee River in Florida. Best Regards - AQH
Hello - fly patterns that resemble insects probably will not work well in the winter in northern waters. They still work reasonably well in Florida during the winter months.
There are fly patterns that resemble minnows - many include "flash" materials that give a "sparkle" like the light reflecting off of scales. Perhaps these would still be good in northern waters during the winter months as trout still have to eat during the winter.
But then again you have to remember that I do my fishing in Florida and have no experience fishing in northern waters.
I have fished exclusively with barbless hooks for the last few seasons. You can buy them online from several sources. I rarely have a fish swallow a hook, but when I do I simply clip the line. I'm told by authorities that this is better than trying to dig the hook out.