Flies are probably the most popular lure for trout. They come in a number of different varieties--dry, wet, emergers, nymphs and streamers. These all work by imitating one form or another of trout prey. Dry and wet flies, for example, are usually little hairy things that are meant to resemble insects that are either floating on the surface of the water, just above it, or have become submerged. A streamer is meant to resemble a wavy, shiny object in the water akin to a small fish, like a minnow.
Jigs are the choice lure for deep pools in a river, such as might be formed by a beaver dam, a big boulder or just downriver from a very old waterfall. They also try to mimic the look and appearance of minnows or other small fish. They are small lures with bodies made of hair, feathers or tiny bits of plastic. Some trout anglers swear off jigs altogether, however, as they are prone to getting caught in rocky creek beds.
These are shiny bits of metal that are meant to imitate the darting creek chubs that are prey for the prized rainbow trout. They are the choice lure for cold water creeks fed by natural springs. The idea is to cast them upstream of deep, fast water. Reeling it in provides the movement that causes the tiny metal blades on the lure to spin, creating a flashy, shiny thing and attracting attention from trout.
Live bait can be anything from worms to nightcrawlers to bits of bread dough. Anglers who are after hatchery trout would do well to think about using a manufactured bait pellet, as these are often made to have the same scent of hatchery fish food.
Spoons are lures that are shaped to look like a fish, even to human eyes. They typically come with one or two hooks hanging off their bottom. They are at their best in streams of medium speed and depth, where they can be reeled in slowly and therefore not produce strange looking movement.