I'm wondering about your observations fishing for newly stocked fish. One of my go to lakes in NEO is stocked three times a year with 1,000 "trophies". It sits at high elevation so is a good quick summer fishing fix, close to home. Most of the other waters I fish are stocked with fry, so by the time the fish are big enough to catch they are all about the lakes ecosystem, but the stockers seem to work on their own schedule. My observations:
- Casting and stripping or trolling seems to work better for these fish than indicator fishing.
- When first stocked they sometimes seem to be circling the shoreline in shallow water. Maybe this is a left-over from swimming around the concrete pond. They also tend to be in groups. One of the first times I fished this lake after they started dropping in the trophies we caught them in an area the size of a typical suburban lot close to where they were stocked the day before. That day (in June) was also the largest carpenter ant hatch I had ever seen. The small brookies that inhabit the lake were going nuts, but not a rise from the rainbows.
- Olive Careys about size 8 work great (may look like a pellet), but so do most other flies, including buggers.
- I've caught these fish all through the water column, so I don't think they are as bottom" oriented as "wild" fish.
- The "bite" from these guys tends to be inconsistent. Some days it's great all the day and others they seem turn on at a certain time and then it's fish after fish.
- If there are any rises or swirls I do well casting to them and stripping back. These fish will also hit a fly several times on a retrieve.
- I catch these fish the next Spring too, before they are stocked again. They hold over, but often lose some weight. I assume they get onto the food sources in the lake, but are oversized for the amount of habitat available. The brookies in the lake seem to do fine.