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  1. Default Stillwater Trout

    I live in Kentucky and the Department of Fish and Wildlife recently stocked a local lake with rainbow trout. I was wondering what is a good way to fish for these trout. Should I use streamers? Nymphs under an indicator?

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    I'm interested in the answer to this as well, there's a couple ponds about 30 min north of here the dnr stocks with rainbows as well. Would like to get up there and try to hook a few. Never fished still water for trout.

    Sent from my SM-S903VL using Tapatalk

  4. #3
    james w 3 3 Guest

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    Show a stocked trout anything that moves and looks like it might possibly fit in its mouth and he'll try to eat it.
    You need to catch his eye with visibility (i.e. something flashy) and movement.
    After he's been in the natural environment for some time he'll be more keyed in on bugs, but will still respond to flashy and moving.
    I'd recommend a gold bead black woolly bugger, retrieved with very short vigorous tugs.
    After he's been around for a year he's a very different fish and a real challenge to catch, not to mention bigger and stronger!

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    The key to catching trout in stillwater is finding them.
    Unlike on a stream where you can be reasonably sure that they're holding to feed in the most prime locations, stillwater trout move around looking for food.
    But stillwater trout still have the same requirements as their moving water brethren.

    Favorable water temperature and oxygen levels, cover from predators and access to food.

    So when reading the water, you still have to cover those same bases and baring any noticeable hatches, weedy areas are a good place to start.
    Weeds are where the bugs, and the baitfish that feed on bugs live and even stocked trout will figure that out real quick.
    Weed only grows down to the level where light penetrates, so once you hit that weed line you're in a transitional area and that's an attractive highway for trout on the hunt.
    And that drop-off area is where the "cover from predators" comes into play.
    Once you get down into deep water is where seasonal water temperatures and oxygen levels become important, and are most likely not an issue for you at this time.

    Contour maps will key you to prime water depths and drop-offs, but you'll still need to prospect around to locate actively feeding fish.
    And when you find one, there's usually a bunch.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    As stated above newly stocked trout can be easy to fool,but over time the survivors present a true flyfishing challenge. After about two weeks the fish that have not ended up in the frying pan will adapt to the environment and key in on the natural food available. They will often cruise the shoreline opportunistically feeding on insects such as damsel and dragon fly nymphs. Casting and retrieving streamers like olive or black wooly buggers on an intermediate or floating line from the bank, boat or float tube can be productive. Try not to move around too much if fishing from a floating device because it wiil spook them and they'll flee for cover in the depths of the pond.

    Chronomids (midges) are abundant in most Stillwater habitat across the country. In many lakes they are the trouts main food source. Eggs are laid in the bottom mud and pupae ascent vertically to hatch in the surface film. Fishing midge patterns takes patience at times but action can be fast during a hatch. Finding the depth of feeding fish and proper technique is the key to success.

    If no fish are seen rising a good idea is to determine the depth in the area you have chosen to fish and suspend a pupa pattern under a small strike indicator about a foot of the bottom. One can also fish two flies this way either another chronomid or a worm pattern. Worms are another important food source particularly in the spring after a rain.

    If fish are seen rising they are probably eating emergent midges just under the surface. This is my favorite Stillwater fishing. I usually fish a small Griffith's gnat with a dropper tied off the bend. Tie on about a foot of tippet and attach a midge emerges pattern.

    There is lots of Stillwater info available on the net. Google Denny Richards for streamer fishing info and Brian Chann is a gnat fishing guru. Go join the crowd after the stocking and toss a powerbait imitation or whatever. Then after the rush go back and enjoy the real flyfishing challenge in hopes of a hatch in a little solitude.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Central Kentucky

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    I fish in a few of the stocked lakes in my area and do pretty well with the rainbows.These stocked trout are usually feeding on surface bugs in my lakes so i try to see what it is they are eating and match a fly close to it.A black gnat fly does very well here as a surface fly.Watch for the caddis hatch and cast any fly close to a caddis pattern.They love streamers.I have caught them on rabbit zonkers and wooly buggers.I usually have black.white and olive colors and if one does not catch their eye the other one will.I have caught them on brassies.ptn's,prince nymphs,scuds.I like using nymph's as a dropper below a hopper or floating ant.Very slow retrieve.

    These stocked trout are from Wolf Creek and they are used to being fed pellets and living in an environment where the are surrounded only by only other trout.When they are stocked in our local lakes,they are stocked by the thousands into a lake with many other species of fish competing for the food so they are pretty aggressive when it comes to their food.They don't seem to be very picky.
    Last edited by kentuckysteve; 02-25-2018 at 10:59 AM.

    "There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm."-Patrick f. McManus

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    southern arizona

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    I like to use the countdown method with intermediate sink line. Then strip a woolly bugger with a fbpt dropper at different countdowns starting at 10. I try all kinds of fast strips and slow strips with this search pattern. Once I catch fish I try different droppers and strips until I key in on what the fish want.

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  15. #9

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    lots of still(?) waters in the UK

    I prefer a muddler or bushy dry fly on the dropper (whats a strike indicator? with a buzzer or PTN on the point

    try to fish the wind lanes

    1024 - -100_5173.jpg
    ...wade safe....John

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  17. #10

    Default Re: Stillwater Trout

    Recently stocked fish tend to stay shoaled up and follow the wind, the downwind shore usually is where they congregate. They also, being used to living in stews, stay close to shore. They will have a go at just about anything, it's how they learn.
    Once they have been in a while and been caught a few times they become much warier and start to spread out. As mentioned on another thread, fish the margins, 80% of my stillwater fish come from within 10 yards or the shore so no charging in until you've covered the water close in.
    The main thing in catching them then is location and depth, the latter being especially important at times.
    So to answer your question, lures, streamers, muddlers, whatever you call them, will catch, colours can trigger takes, orange or lime green being favoured in the UK. Fished fast or slow depending on which is most successful on the day, try different colours, speeds and depths until you hit on the magic formula.
    As they wise up a slower, more imitative approach will catch the bigger, better conditioned fish, in my experience, so that is the time for nymphs, dries and if your water holds them (and which water doesn't) buzzers(midge pupae).

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