Getting Hooked

With hunting season winding down and ice fishing in the wings, what can we do in the meantime? How about taking your wife fishing?

I know what you are thinking but this is the season of giving. Taking your wife fishing is easier than you think. Here are some helpful tips.


Think comfort and pick a decent weather day. Good clothing not only makes for comfort but styling is important. The last thing you want is a wet, cold and unhappy woman.

My fishing plans are also close to home. The Gallatin River is nearby. so off we go. Take your time and keep it simple. The total plan starts and finishes at home. Make it fun.

Today we are going to have a wonderful fresh trout dinner together. I apologize to the fly fishing snobs, but a man has to eat. When you take your wife “meat” fishing, you need to use bait. Worms work great but usually require you to be the “bait boy”.

I like to spin fish with light line and ultra light gear. A 5 ft. light action rod with 2 or 4 lb. test line is perfect. Gold Stren or Solar Trilene lines allow you to see the bites. Use a small barrel swivel to transition to your clear fly tippet. I use fly tippet at the terminal end since it can be stronger but thinner. It is also clear. A size 10 gold salmon egg hook or bait holder hook is great. Sharpen your hooks out of the box. This will create 3 times more hookups. A small split shot is usually all you need. Remember you are fishing with light gear.

A dozen worms is a cheap date and they work great! I break the worm into a short 2 inch piece. Hook the worm so it hides the hook and hangs straight. Be sure to slide the top end over the hook eye. This helps to keep the worm in place so it looks natural.

A smaller bait allows the fish to completely mouth the bait and hook. This increases the odds of a more successful hook set. My 34 years of happy marriage is proof that this technique and plan works to perfection. Take a lot of pictures to remember the good times.

Short casts are all that is needed. Presentation is key. You want the worm to drift naturally through the pool. The bait needs to be on the bottom and moving with the current. I often cast slightly upstream to allow the bait to sink. Feeling the bottom is done by using your fingers to gently fondle your line. The light gear allows you to feel everything.

Bites will be obvious and often. This time of the year, trout are in bunches. If you are not getting action, move. When you feel the bite, wait a few moments before you set the hook. Have her say a phrase like, “thank you for taking me fishing. I love you very much!”…then set the hook sharply. Keep the rod up and let the drag do its job. A net is a must. Time is an issue. Your wife’s attention span is limited and fishing needs to be hot.

Once you have a limit of fresh trout in your creel, prepare them with your favorite recipe. A nice white wine, salad and candles help to make it all worthwhile. Maybe the husband will get lucky too!

Tight lines,

Montana Grant

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