Dunking Powerbait at Greenlake

What should I be doing

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Active Member
Confession time. I read that Greenlake had been stocked with thousands of uniform 11” clones and decided to investigate on Saturday and Sunday evenings. I live only a few blocks away, so for a weekend day otherwise filled with chores, errands and assorted lectures, I can sneak away for a couple of hours and float on one of the most urban, yet basically empty lakes in the area.

The theory seemed solid at least.

After settling in both days I witnessed crowded docks and one particular Asian family that looked at me with suspicion as I put out my float tube and laced up the fly rod. That’s about where the fishing excitement ended for me.

I watched the family reel in a fish every four to five minutes. While my rod tip lay silent, the dad methodically baited, cast and set the lines for his kids.

You know the type of dad. Picked up chain smoking professionally at 15. Squids four nights a week in the winter. Was last caught smiling in 1992. He's a professional and doesn't head home without a full stringer.

This is totally fine by me. I get that for a lot of folks trout fishing is a one weekend event in March or April where you fill your plastic bag with enough fish to fill your frying pan for three nights (or dog treats when it inevitably expires or you remember that your wife won't eat fish). The clones weren't exactly raised to solve world problems.

Then, why can't I catch any of them?

I spent a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday dunking and changing flies on an intermediate line with only one successful hookup with a uniform stocky. If I were the optimistic type I’d say: “At least it was my first trout out of Green Lake.”

But I’m not optimistic.

Meanwhile, the 'Pro' and his mad Eastern European friends - the ones that have fished Greenlake for the past seven months consecutively - reeled in a fish every five minutes. Dunk bait. Reel. Add to stringer.

It was a union job, but it paid.

This is longwinded way to get to a question.

There are few things possibly wrong with my presentation which I’d like to try to fix before trading all my gear on Craigslist for a spin rod.

I've read "low and slow" as both a streamer or Chironomid motto. Some have even said glacially slow for Chiros, but I’m splitting hairs. I've heard the countdown method to find the fish. I've heard about depthfinders and forceps on a hook.

More basic than that, if I’m fishing a 15' patch of water (or so), anintermediate line, and your standard 9' 5x leader, how much intermediate line do I let out? I've attached a picasso-like sketch of how I see the options.

Picasso drawing.jpg
Appreciate your input and thanks for reading.

And note, I'm not ruling out option 3. Be on the lookout Craigslist.

- Troy Greenlake clone wars.jpg
Option 4 go when the lake is crowded and fish a floating line and match the power bait hatch with a floating style glow ball fly. Flashy flies retrieved quickly will often get the job done as well. Option 3 looks fun too. Play x box lake side while dunking power bait and wearing fins.

Cool post by the way, out of the norm, funny and entertaining.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
If you have a floating line and 17' of flouro, set your indicator so your flies are a foot off the bottom. Wait, twitch and pop your way to a fun day on the lake.

Oh, great post and love the visual aid
Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 2
Strange. I fished our local stocker lake last weekend and out fished the powerbait folks by a wide margin.

Those fish seem to be high in the water column in the days after stocking, try fishing a little higher.
Try casting and stripping a six pack, olive Willy, or generic lake nymph on the intermediate line. Start high in the water column and work your way down by waiting longer before starting to strip again. I'll come fish green lake with you if you want and we can see what we can find.

Thomas Williams

Habitual Line Stepper
Secret weapon = Wooly Buggers stored in empty Powerbait Jars.

Great comic by the way. Reminds me of an asian guy who is always at Lake Wilderness powerbaiting M-F leaving with 4 times the legal limit everyday.
"Was last caught smiling in 1992". Hilarious post. Option #4, write more humorous stories!

As others have mentioned, stockers often stay close to the surface for the first few days and their behavior can be puzzling sometimes. I've found that flashy or gaudy flies stripped quickly near the surface often seems to get their attention. I've also had some success skittering and skating dries on the surface. Perhaps it is because all of their food for their entire lives has magically rained out of the sky, not sure.

Also, Green Lake puts out some nice browns and decent holdover bows on occasion so don't give up on the low and slow just yet. On unfamiliar waters I like to slow troll with varying amounts of intermediate line out until I find some fish and then I will cast and strip. For chironomid fishing, go with a floating line, long leader and fish them a foot off the bottom for a chance at some larger trout. Another great technique many of the guys on this forum use, is fishing streamers under an indicator. Don't be afraid to try this up in the shallower water, like 4 to 8 feet.

Oh, one more thing, I've noticed some of these professional power baiters fish their powerbait WAY off the bottom. Seeing how long their leader is after their sinker can clue you in to the depth the clones are hanging in.

Looking forward to your next post and picasso-like sketch.


Active Member
A very successful pattern on a fly rod for me when targeting fresh lake / pond stockers is a Chenille or Foam ball, brown in color, on a 14 or 16 hook. This works up until the point the stockers figure out natural feeding patterns, about a 2 week window.


That's funny.... especially the illustrations. :)

Oddly enough, we seem to out-catch the powerbait folks with flies at the put and take lakes. But we're using sinking lines and a fish finder to determine where the fish are holding so we can present the patterns at the correct depth.

When it comes to planters, usually a WB or a soft hackle works for us. We may need to try different colors to find one they like but otherwise, if the lake is heavily planted, we can catch the critters with flies.


Active Member
Try casting and stripping a six pack, olive Willy, or generic lake nymph on the intermediate line. Start high in the water column and work your way down by waiting longer before starting to strip again. I'll come fish green lake with you if you want and we can see what we can find.
Should do an early Saturday morning green lake float tube flotilla take over.