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Mepps Aglia Spinners

by Jim Martinsen

The Mepps Aglia is the classic Mepps spinner. When you hear someone say, “I caught it on a Mepps,” chances are they were fishing with a Mepps Aglia.

Mepps Aglia spinners come in 6 sizes, from the tiny #00 1/18th oz. Ultra Lite Aglia to the hefty ½ oz. #5 Aglia. All plain Aglias can be purchased with either a treble or single hook. Squirrel tail dressed Aglias are available only with a treble hook, but hackle dressed single hook Aglias are available as #00 Ultra Lite or #0 Spin Fly Wooly Worms. Spin Flies are also available with a standard hackle-dressed single hook.

Rigging a Mepps Aglia Spinner
id-411-bluegillWhen rigging a Mepps Aglia it is best to tie the spinner directly to your line. An improved clinch knot works well and is very strong. If you are fishing for northern pike or musky, your Aglia should be attached to a 6” ball-bearing steel leader. This is very important as these are the only two fresh water fish that can cut your line with their teeth.

Many spinner fishermen prefer fishing with a snap swivel. The only advantage to this is it allows them to change lures quickly. We do not recommend attaching a spinner directly to a swivel. Most fishermen use a swivel that is way too big and this can interfere with the action of the lure. If you are set on using a swivel, we recommend you tie a very small top quality ball bearing snap swivel to the end of your main line. Then take a piece of lighter line about 18” long and tie it to the other end of the barrel swivel. For example, if your main line is 12-pound-test, make an 18” leader from 8-pound-test. The lighter leader will allow the full action of the lure, and – should you break off – you will be leaving no more than 18” on line in the water.   

Trout Fishing with a Mepps Aglia
Spinners and trout go together like peanut butter and jelly. A good rule of thumb is to match the size of the spinner to the size of the trout. #00, #0 & #1 Mepps Aglias are perfect for small stream brook trout, rainbow trout or brown trout. Larger trout may prefer a #2 or #3 Aglia.

Brook Trout Fishing with a Mepps Aglia
In areas where Brookies are found they are usually the favorite of the trout fisherman. They are truly beautiful with bright red spots and blue aureoles on their sides and dark wavy lines on greenish brown backs and dorsal fin. The lower fins are pink or reddish with white on the leading edge and the males get a bright orange belly at spawning time. They are not only beautiful but hit hard, fight gamely and taste great. Because they are without scales, they are the easiest of the trout to prepare for the frying pan and when you bite into one cooked to a golden brown, it is a taste you will never forget. Brooks are wilderness trout. They are found only in cool streams or spring-fed lakes and are among the first to retreat from pollution. The absolute upper temperature limit of Brook Trout is 75 degrees and even then there must be places in the area that are not above sixtyfive degrees. They like to lie close to the bottom in eddies, pools or undercut banks, behind rocks and under logs.

id-411-brookieBrook trout are native to Northeast America from Georgia to the Artic Circle but have been introduced to the rest of the United States wherever there is suitable habitat. They grow largest in the big streams of Northern Quebec and Labrador where they sometimes live to be ten years old. In most areas they are short lived. Four years is about the age limit and a five pounder is truly exceptional. The average size is about eight to ten inches and less than onehalf pound. They are fall spawners, starting in September in the northern part of their range to December in the South. Eggs spawned may run from about a hundred in a six inch female to a couple thousand in a sixteen incher.

Nothing can beat the thrill of fishing brook trout. Part of it comes from the beauty and solitude of the area in which they are usually found, part of it comes from the trout themselves. Seems like they are almost always hungry, like kids when they get home from school and start looking for something to eat. Their strike is quick and hard and they don't give up without a good struggle. Because they are most always looking for something to eat, they can be caught consistently and they are not too fussy about how the lure is presented, upstream, downstream or across. If they are hungry it is “bang” and you've got one on. We recommend #0 and #1 Mepps Aglias. For brookies larger than 10-inches we recommend a #2 or #3 Aglia. Apply Mepps color technology to all of your fishing, making sure to select lure colors that will contrast with the water color and background the lure will be seen against.
Rainbow Trout Fishing with a Mepps Aglia
      “Wow, look at it jump.”
      “Over to the left.”
      “I don't see it.”
      “Look to the right now.”
      “Where did you say?”
      “Right straight ahead.”

id-411-rainbowThat's the way it is when you hook into a nice rainbow or steelhead. It has been said the rainbow trout can come out of the water in two places at one time, and each time those silvery sides with their beautiful pink stripe glint in the sunlight.

The rainbow grows faster than any other trout. It is also the most migratory and even in the inland fresh water streams, it sometimes travels many miles. Rainbow trout in the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest migrate from their streams to one of the Great Lakes or the ocean back into the stream. Once they re-enter the stream they are referred to a steelhead.

The rainbow or steelhead spawns in the spring of the year with the exact months varying according to the area and water temperatures. Once they enter the ocean or a Great Lake, the rainbow trout grows rapidly so catching seven to ten pound Steelhead is not at all uncommon.

Because of their rapid growth and fighting abilities both rivers and suitable lakes are often stocked with rainbow trout. They provide a real thrill when taken with a spinning outfit. Although they will hit a spinner traveling either up, across or downstream, the most consistent producer is to cast across. The half tumbling action as your spinner swings downward with the current brings the strike.

When lake fishing, troll slowly, just fast enough to keep your spinner off the bottom and the blade turning.

With the exception of the rivers in the Great Lakes and Northwest in the winter time, we would recommend a #I or #2 Aglia. Apply Mepps color technology to all of your fishing, making sure to select lure colors that will contrast with the water color and background the lure will be seen against.

Steelhead fishing requires a little different approach. If you are after steelies, we recommend a 71/2 to 81/2 foot rod with 6 pound test line in the summer and 8 pound in the winter. The Sizes #3 and #4 in the Aglia and Aglia Long are right for winter time steelies. Because the rainbow or steelhead has so many acrobatics, you can usually plan on losing more of them than you catch. That's what makes it fun and the man who takes his limit has something to be proud of.

Brown Trout Fishing with a Mepps Aglia
The brown trout is the “sly fox” of the trout family. In some areas they are called German Browns or Lochs. Browns are natives of Europe and were introduced into the United States about 1883. Because they can live in water with quite a degree of variation in temperature, they are found in most areas of the U.S. and are known as the most adaptable of all trout. They are also the most difficult to catch and therefore the average size can be slightly larger than the other trout species. Their coloring is golden brown with numerous black spots that have light colored halos around them. There are a lesser number of red or orange spots on the sides of the fish. Its belly varies from dusky yellow to a creamy white.

id-411-brownAn average size brown trout weighs less than a pound and one that weighs more than ten pounds is a trophy. However, because they are difficult to catch, they can grow large and a seasoned brown trout fisherman can sometimes come home with a trophy. The larger they are the more difficult it is to fool them into striking. As a rule, the brown is most active at the crack of dawn or late evening. They spawn from October through February, depending on the area, and it is usually done in the shallow rips on the gravel stream bottoms.

Although they are found in lakes as well as rivers, they seek the streams to spawn. The number of eggs spawned runs from six hundred to three thousand depending on the size of the female and in their wild state they do not hatch until spring. Commercially raised in a hatchery, the incubation period is from 48 to 54 days in water with a temperature of about fifty degrees.

Brown trout are usually found in the slower stretches of water in eddies behind a rock or log where it is shady. They like water that is not too cold. The best water temperature for brown trout fishing is from 55 to 65 degrees. Although browns can be taken quite readily with a fly in the early morning or late evening fly fishermen find it extremely hard to catch one of any size during the middle of the day. With spinner fishermen it’s a different story. Many big browns have been taken between 8 am & 4 pm by fishermen casting Mepps spinners. This is because a spinner is an enticer, not an imitator. A spinner excites a fish, causing it to strike, whether it is hungry or not.

The #I Mepps Aglia is an excellent choice for brown trout up to a foot long. For bigger fish try a #2 or #3 Aglia. Larger brown usually are found in deeper water, so it’s good to keep in mind that larger Aglias weigh more and they can be fished slower to run deeper. Apply Mepps color technology to all of your fishing, making sure to select lure colors that will contrast with the water color and background the lure will be seen against.

Never fish a Brown Trout downstream. Always fish upstream or across. Your best bet is to face upstream, make your cast at an angle of about ten o'clock. Start with as slow a retrieve as you can without hanging up. This allows the spinner to come toward you and at the same time the current is sweeping it downstream. A big brown will usually hit. when the spinner starts to come directly toward you. As soon as it feels the hook, it almost always jumps. This will happen only  once or twice before it will run and dig for bottom.

Finally. . .
Fish see color, so lure color is important. Mepps Color Technology has proven this. After all, in order for a fish to strike a lure it has to see it first. So, fish with lures that contrast with the background they will be seen against. If you are fishing a pond with a dark mud bottom try a silver Aglia. Because it's silver plated, the Mepps Aglia blade provides a bright white flash that is easily visible against a dark background. If you are fishing a lake with a light sandy bottom, try a copper or brass Aglia with a black tail.

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