As most of you have noticed, spring trout stockings are still going on all over the state. A few rivers still need fish (the Niss!!!), but most have some freshly stocked trout in ’em!
Now a lot of people don’t like fishing for stocked trout. That’s cool. I personally do fish for them, because I think it’s fun catching them, despite how dumb they are. If you get more pleasure out of catching a 7 inch native brookie (which I do too), nothing wrong with that. But there also isn’t anything wrong with fishing for stocked trout.
The trout in most rivers adapt pretty quickly making them far harder to catch. A prime example of this is Jo’s last 2 posts about the Swift. One day they were hammering flies, the next they were living up to their reputation of being the spookiest trout in the state. But if you fish for them the next few weeks, you can potentially have 20+ fish days. So here’s a few things to keep in mind when fishing for these freshly stocked trout…
Stocked trout are a great way to get kids on fish, so even if you don’t fish for them yourself, keep these tips in mind and take a kid out fishing for them!
- Stealth is not that important – These fish are dumb. Period. You can often spot them in a pool, and poke them with your rod, and they won’t move. Then you cast at them and they hit your fly on it’s first drift. You can leave the ghillie suits at home folks.
- Look for bridges – The stocking trucks pull over near bridges, and the workers get out and throw buckets of fish off the bridges into the rivers. So find the bridges and you’ll find the trout.
- Be prepared for competition – The thing is, everyone knows where the trout are stocked. So that said, be prepared for some shoulder-to-shoulder fishing. Also be prepared to do some bushwhacking downstream to find a quiet spot.
- Blink and you miss it – This goes along with the previous point. Since everyone knows where the trout are, the catch & cook crowd can clean out a section of a river in a week. So try and get to the river sooner rather than later.
- Think subsurface – These trout will probably not be smacking dries. Your best bet is a basic nymph or small streamer. Or…
- The greatest stocked trout fly of all time – Drum-roll please… It’s the green weenie! This inch worm fly owns stocked trout. They just cannot stay away from it. Just drift it and let it naturally sink and you should have no problems hooking into a few. There are not many inch worms out now, so what the trout think it is is beyond me (as much as I hate to say it, they probably mistake it for Powerbait quite a few times).