The 10 Best Trout Lures for Rivers in 2023

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Rapala Original 05 tops our list of the best trout lures for rivers in 2023. This lure is multifaceted, and you can use it when fishing in shallow running, topwater, diving, and bottom walking. It is also made with a natural minnow profile that emulates the natural movement of a wounded minnow. Moreover, this lure is weighted down with a split shot that can be utilized in multiple capacities depending on your needs. The Rapala lure also comes with dulled black nickel hooks and a wood flame, so it doesn’t give off reflection or glints. Our next pick is the Blue Fox Vibraxtrout lure, and it comes with a two-piece design that lets out a low-frequency vibration. Additionally, it has a stainless steel shaft wire and internal rattles that vibrate to draw trout. It also has a VMC treble hook that’s durable and of high quality. Lastly, this brass-bodied lure has an attached silver or copper plate that can withstand every strike and snag you hit. 

For you to have success fishing for trout, you need to have to carry the best lures. Here, we’ve compiled the ten best trout lures you can use when fishing for trout in rivers.

Best Trout Lures for Rivers

1. Rapala Original 05

Best All-around lure

Key features

  • Multifaceted for Topwater, shallow running, diving, and bottom walking
  • Emulates a wounded minnow in its movements
  • Balsa wood frame
  • Black Nickel hooks dulled so as not to give off reflection or glints

If you began your angling career as a bass fisherman, as most (myself included) did, then it should come as no surprise that the number one spot for the best trout lures for rivers falls to the Rapala Original Floater

This balsa wood lure has stood the test of time and is a major draw for both Trout and Bass and can be found in many tackle boxes across the nation. 

Weighted down with a split shot, this lure can be utilized in multiple capacities depending on the angler’s needs. The Rapala Original 05 is an excellent choice for a trout angler of all skill and experience levels.

2. Blue Fox Vibrax

Best Midlevel Diver

Key Features

  • Two-piece design that lets out a low-frequency vibration
  • Stainless steel shaft wire
  • Internal rattles that vibrate
  • VMC treble hook that’s both durable and high quality

The Blue Fox Vibrax is a high-quality lure that is a serial trout catcher in rivers and moving water. Coming in a multitude of sizes and colors, its two-piece design allows for rotations that prevent line twists while triggering vibrations that draw in the trout like a homing beacon.

Though flashy and fancy, this brass-bodied lure has a silver or copper plate attached that will withstand each and every strike and snag you hit. 

3. Panther Martin Holograph Trout

Best Unweighted Diver

Key Features

  • Blade attached to the shaft
  • Weighted body
  • Blades that are concave for sonic vibrations
  • High-quality treble hook

Rarely are the lures as beautiful as the trout they catch, but the same cannot be said for the Panther Martin Holograph Trout. The shaft through the concave blade is a feature unique to this lure that allows for rapid spinning action and attractive vibrations.

This lure’s weighted body allows it to reach depths that would require the addition of split shot or bullet weights on other brands and is perfect for reaching the depths of trophy bass.

Its bright and vibrant body pops even in the murkiest water making it a solid choice for anglers looking to tackle trout fishing in murky deeper water. 

4. Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner Lure

Best Pulsing Tail lure

Key Features

  • A spinning action unique to this lure
  • Weighted body
  • UV finish
  • Ability to create a larger profile in moving water.

With its wide rotation and pulsating tail, this lure is a staple for river fishing for trout. Coming in over several dozen color variations and multiple sizes, this tubular-bodied lure features a copper, silver, or brass Willow-style blade attached along with a hackle tail that shrouds its aggressive treble hook.

Effective across multiple fish species (from rainbow trout, and brown trout to brook trout), the Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spin Lure is a solid bet in drawing in big trout in moving water.

5. Hence Fishing Lure Spinner Bait

Best Simplistic Lure

Key Features

  • Simplistic yet incredibly effective
  • Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
  • Rainbow decal spinner that reflects specific prisms of light like fish scales
  • All brass components

Keep it simple stupid rings true in trout fishing as much as any facet of life. With its lifetime money-back guarantee, this 12-piece set from Henceto is cost-effective but doesn’t shave on quality.

Each lightweight simplistic lure features a unique blade with reflective capabilities, a brass hook, and varying accessories, making it a solid purchase for any angler looking to simplify their trout fishing trip.

6. Dynamic HD Trout

Best Shallow Diver

Key Features

  • Low Profile, Slender design
  • Brightly colored
  • Sturdy bodied
  • Aggressive plug for sharp, shallow dives

The zero to the two-foot range can be a sweet spot for trout that inhabit the waters near the river banks or shallow rock beds. The Dynamic Trout HD lure allows you to dip into their world with a tantalizing lure that few can resist.

Its durable build, sharp hooks, and bright colors mean that one bite is all it will take before an angler finds themselves doing battle with the river monster of their dreams.

7. Joes Flies

Best Fly/Spinner combo

Key Features

  • Wet Fly and Spinner Blade
  • Exchangeable system to switch patters
  • Trail Treble hook
  • Incredibly lightweight

If light as a feather came as a lure, this would be its incarnation. Joe’s flies are effective when it comes to letting your lure be drug along by the current, swept past hungry trout looking to ambush their next meal.

Well crafted, the fly/spinner combo is as deadly a pair a Cassidy and the Sundance kid when it comes to drawing out and hooking trout. The only downside comes in its lightweight build, as casting far can be difficult.

8. Marabou Jigs

Best Jighead lure

Key Features

  • Feathertail and thread body
  • Bright coloration 
  • 20 piece set
  • Weighted jighead

Jigs are a staple in freshwater trout fishing, and Marabou Feather Jig Heads are a mainstay among them. Simplistic and easy to use, these trout fishing lures can easily be seen in a variety of water conditions and utilized by most rookie anglers in a straight retrieval.

9. Crocodile Spoon

Best Spoon Bait

Key Features

  • Heavy-duty durability
  • Chrome-plated Silver Prism
  • Reflective material 
  • Narrow Minnow Shape

This quick-sinking aerodynamic trout lure is simple yet highly effective. Perfect for shallow fishing streams and clear water, this highly reflective lure has the ability to draw in both quality and quantity.

Though capable of use in salt water with the right size, it will be incredibly effective in transferring trout from the water and into the ice chest.

10. Mister Twister Curly-Tail Grub

Best Soft Plastic

Key Features

  • Versatile
  • Curly tail
  • Soft plastic
  • Ability to pull smallmouth when trout aren’t biting

An effective and versatile bait, the Mister Twister Curly-Tail Grub comes in multiple colors and sizes that can match both smallmouth and trout’s forage.

For anglers that prefer soft plastics, Mister Twister’s curly tail moves well in fast-moving water with rapid tail movement and life-like responses to current. 

best trout lures for rivers
Source: Canva Pro

Things to Consider When Buying Trout Lures for Rivers

There is a multitude of factors to consider when fishing for trout amidst a river. Should you use a bait fish, or will an artificial bait do? What kind of trout are you planning to fish? Are you targeting a rainbow trout, brook trout, or brown trout? Below are some of the factors you have to think of when fishing.


Trout will use this to get out of the current or as an ambush site. Dragging bait past rather than placing it directly on the X is a surefire way to catch their attention. 


Trout stereotypically prefer the thermocline (where warm and cold water meets), but like most fish, they prefer colder water in hotter weather and warmer water in colder weather. Use your trout fishing lures accordingly. 

Trout Fishing Conditions

Trout prefer gravel-bottomed cool small streams and will bite better during warmer weather.

Water Clarity

Trout prefer clean, clear, moving water that’s cool, so find a trout lure that suits the environment you are angling in. 

Fish Forage

Trout eat a variety of creatures, such as insects, fish, worms, leeches, and crustaceans. Find what is prevalent in your environment and base your bait fish accordingly.

With all these factors considered, choose the lure that works best for you as an angler and the environment you find yourself in.


Trout fishing in rivers can be an incredibly rewarding but challenging experience. Choosing the right tackle is a critical component of catching trout. To come home with a full stringer, pay attention to the surroundings and what the trout’s local forage is.

Utilize a bait that can be best observed in the water conditions and still make it to the proper depth the trout are lurking in.

Finally, use the current to your advantage as trout prefer moving water, so momentum against the current can draw attention to your trout’s lure. Find the trout lure that best suits you as an angler to be the one with stories when the day is done. 

Jacob Pelle
Fishing Expert
Jake Pelle is a third-generation outdoorsman and Eagle Scout. He grew up fishing ponds and rivers in South Louisiana and Mississippi and graduated to fishing brackish/marsh and coastal waters for redfish, drum, and speckled trout. When not on a flat range, he can be found with rod and reel in hand searching for the next greatest fishing hole in South Louisiana.
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