This article is part of a three part series. Click here to read about trout sight and here to read about trout hearing.

Knowing  how the fish you’re trying to catch interact with the world around them can mean the difference between going home empty handed or with your livewells overflowing. Read this article to get know the three main senses of the trout.

Smell

Trout have amazing powers of smell. For humans, trying to understand smell underwater is rather difficult since we can’t do it. However, trout have no difficulty smelling underwater, so it is worth an anglers time to make sure that they aren’t introducing foreign smells into a trout stream (which can warn a trout to a lurking danger such as a fisherman).

When fly fishing for trout, do your best to avoid any artificial smells that are completely foreign to a trout stream. Avoiding these smells is often easier said than done, as they can come from many sources. Fly line cleaners, fly floatants, epoxies and glue can all contribute alien smells to a trout stream. Other things such as aftershave, deodorant and even the smell of your clothing can all tip off a trout that an angler is near.

Obviously, you can’t get rid of all foreign smells you may introduce into a trout stream. However, there are a number of easy things a fisherman can do to reduce the likelihood of a trout getting wise due to smell. When using fly line cleaners and fly floatants, use the newer ones that are designed to “mask” the chemical smell. The cleaners and floatants are usually the same price as other “non-masking” chemicals, but can go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of a trout becoming alert to the fisherman due to smell.

Also, before hitting a challenging trout stream, it never hurts to leave the cologne and other fancy deodorants back in the hotel room. On a challenging trout stream, an angler needs every edge they can get and avoiding strange smells to finicky trout is a good way to do this.

Remember, trout have very powerful senses of smell. It is only logical that they will use this sense to identify flies presented their way to determine whether or not is something that is good to eat. A funny smelling fly, due either to chemical floatants or inadvertently smelling like Old Spice, is a good way to send a trout away from your fly and onto more “naturally” smelling food.


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