This article was initially going to be about 7 forgotten trout lures that deserve a second chance. But while preparing for the article, I realized that many lures were forgotten for a good reason. They have simply been replaced by newer, more efficient designs or maybe they were never that great to begin with. Secondly, many old lures are very difficult to source, or no longer in production.
So I decided to cut out the fluff and highlighted the two trout lures which I feel currently do not get the attention they deserve.
Yakima Worden’s Flatfish
Many anglers today will likely recognize the flatfish lure but too few still fish it. Flatfish lures are the ‘old’ lure grandad used to fish. The lack of use is a real shame because the Flatfish has some of the best action at a slow retrieve. This makes it an ideal lure to fish when water conditions are cold.
The story goes, the Flatfish was created by a Detroit auto-worker Charles Helin, he also had a passion for making lures. He has over 100 variations to his name. Quite likely, his biggest success was the original flatfish which he created in the early 1930s.
When designing the flatfish, Helin wanted to create a lightweight swimming plug that maintained its action even at the slowest of speeds. His creation, was the flatfish, a distinctive Banana shape lure. His design was a big success.
The Flatfish sold over 5 million copies between 1935 and 1949. It went on to become the biggest selling minnow plug in the world. Over the years, its popularity started to wane as more modern minnow imitating lures flooded the market but few of them perform anywhere near as well at a slow retrieval rate.
Even all these years later the Flatfish remains an excellent trout lure, I always like having at least one in my tackle box. Some cold mornings, the flatfish seems to be the only lure that will trigger a reaction out of reluctant trout.
The Al’s Goldfish is one of the oldest lures on this list, and any lure which has been in production for nearly 70 years must be doing something right. It was not always called Al’s Goldfish, it was originally called Stuart’s Goldfish and was patented as such in 1951.
This is another lure that use to be extremely popular, look in any old tackle box and chances are it will contain a Goldfish. Many older anglers will remember fishing them in their childhood. The goldfish declined in popularity after the founder’s death in the 70s, and the manufacturing company moved in a different direction.
Als Goldfish is a flat, solid brass lure that sinks rapidly. It is fairly streamlined, and dense making it easy to cast. If you are tired of the decline in quality of Kastmaster lures this is a great US-made alternative.
The Al’s Goldfish has been through several owners but is still made in America out of marine quality brass. The hook and included split ring are sharp and strong enough to handle any trout.
The Als Goldfish has a fairly tight side to side wobbles while it flutters through the water. Its design is like that of a flat spoon but bent… Probably best just to watch its action in the video below.
I advise fishing the Als goldfish with a quality swivel, like many traditional designs they do create quite a bit of line twist.
The newest owner has done a lot to revolutionize the brand. Sure all the old classic colors and patterns remain, but there are new patterns with photo realistic fish patterns marketed as the living lure line.