stocker trout

have been trying to catch these things in my tube lately in a hike in lake and just normal lakes and cant buy a fish. been using wooley buggers in olive and black and carey specials, basically flies I read you guys talk about using. been letting it sink and slowly retrieve it with zero luck. 0-3

what retrieve and depth and pattern do you guys use in pressured lakes full of gear chuckers trolling wedding rings? been catching perch thou fishing for trout

saltwater flyfishing in the northwest is a science as well as an art

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Last two mornings went up to a local lake that fits the discription and trolled wooly buggers in my canoe.

Yesterday in the rain, used a #8 olive body/black tail on a clear intermediate 13' sinktip. Caught about 10, and had tons of hits. Last was a 15 1/2", the biggest and not a bad fight. I released all the stockers that were easily unhooked and went home with 5. (Did same today, now getting ready to fix a dinner that will probably taste like liver. Also brining and smoking some tonight).

Repaired the chewed up fly last nite and lost it on a viscious strike first thing this morning. Put on an all black #8 bugger and lost a few, then started bringing more to about 7, the biggest 13", only a couple under 11". Slower action today, but not bad. All were "put 'n take" bows, except for one fiesty little 6" cutt.

I cast and did a slow erratic retrieve once and hooked up, but bein a semi-old lazy dog, I trolled my fly in a large "S" with about 50' of line out and 10' of leader using slowest MinnKota endura 30 speed.

Yesterday saw one other guy flyfishing, using a large indicator and hand-twist retrieve, but he seemed to want to fish in solitude, so I didn't bug him. I could see that he was hooking into alot of fish, though.


Old Man

Just an Old Man
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

I'm having the same problem at a put and take lake by Marysville. Getting tons of hits but no takers. Fished it two days in a row had about 40 hit and only brought 10 to hand. But my fishing is improving,last year it sucked.I'm using a floating line 12' leader, with a thin mint bead head leech pattern. Many colors will get hits,but no fish to hand. I even sharpened my hooks and still no hook ups. I must be holding my mouth wrong.



Active Member
The trick that has improved my take on fish has been using anywhere from a 1 to 4 inch repeated strips while trolling in my floattube. Larger the fly, longer the strip. What is most important is allowing the fly line (thus the fly) to fully slide back out of the guides. I know that sounds obvious, but it's important to entice the fish with the short hard strip and to allow the fly to stall long enough for the fish to strike. Last year at Pine Lake, a few days after the opener, I cleaned up big time while trolling around the bait and hardware chuckers. I reveled in the dirty looks! The same method worked at Lone Lake last weekend.


New Member
You may be fishing too deep if you are allowing it to sink. Freshly planted fish will usually stay in the top 6ft of water for the first few weeks. I mainly use a type 3 full sinker and begin retriving or trolling as soon as it hits the water. I have also noticed that when using wooley buggers and careys they tend to like a faster retrieve. A slow retrive should be ok though as long as you have a floating or slow sinking line.

Just using buggers and leeches near the surface this year on a local put/take lake, I have outfished all the power bait chuckers and chain trollers around me. If anything their presence will just shy the fish away from shiney lures and noisy boat motors, making it easier to get them on a fly.
These tank fish will be getting very hungry about now and they are probably less spooked so things should turn for you. Try a tiny dry fly (black is best) and about two feet below that tie on a chironomid, size twenty. Let this float for awhile because it's easy to tangle up. Avoid this rig in a wind. Throw an open loop so the flies stay clear of the top of your leader. It's hell to fish at times but it can be deadly. That and bobbers and leaches is about all I do now.
stocker trout for the Old Man

Hey Jim:
Sorry I didn't get down to see your antics at Sun Lakes, what I heard sounds a little like some of our outings over here on the DrySide. Always has to be one or two!! Seriously, if lots of hits with few takers is your problem you might try a little sparser tie with shorter tail. I think you're getting short strikes, those stockers are used to pellets and not working for food. The carryovers are a little more agressive IMO.
Yeah, stockers are weird. Last year I got stumped and I thought, "Dude, they don't even know what a hatch is." When I realized that, I decided not to match the hatch, but to attract their attention. So I pulled a bluegill fly out and tore it up:

Hook: Size 8-10
(no tail)
Body: Fl. pink chenille
Collar/legs: White rubber extending in 4 60 degree angles from the eye.


Strip this thing around in the mid water column and have fun.

Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by.
(Sir Izaak Walton)


Active Member
"I must be holding my mouth wrong."

Im willing to bet thats not the only thing your doing wrong }(

I find that a slow troll with buggers of almost any color usually work, if you like to fish this way?? I dont usually go much more than 9 feet of leader/tippet and about 40-50 feet behind the boat. Good luck.:thumb

~Patrick ><>
I cleaned up on Pine Lake for about 2 hours this past Monday on hatchery clones and even a couple of browns (13" - 15") using a 10 foot sink tip with a pattern I tie specifically for planters. Kind of a cross between an olive woolley bugger and an olive "krystal flash" leech on a size 8 long shank hook (can't remember the model number but it's a mustad). It's got lots of flash with very little substance (kind of like the crowd I hang out with!). Body is wrapped with marabou, Krystal Flash and gold wire. Tail is more marabou and Krystal Flash. That's it. Takes about 30 seconds to tie.

If you're getting hits but not connecting, shorten the tail. Works every time!
I agree with BOBLAWLESS's earlier post--if you're not finding success on buggers, and you've got some dandy suggestions on patterns and technique, try switching to another method. I personally don't enjoy chironomid fishing much, but I've swallowed my pride more than once when guys around me were getting hammered by big fish on a #20 kelly green midge. You might even try attaching a midge to your bugger as a dropper and see if that brings some action--has worked for me on several occasions where a bugger alone failed.


Old Man

Just an Old Man
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

I don't see how I could be too deep as I said a floating line. But I'm not in a float tube I'm in a pontoon boat with oars. I tried to do it with fins but could get no takers. I'll cut down the tail some and see if that helps. It seems that with the fins I move too slow? This last sentence is a plea for help.:p



Active Member
No Oars Jim!!

The bad thing about oars obviously is the fact that you cant feel if you get a strike cause your rod is not in your hand, rather in the rod the tip of the rod is probably riding at a different heighth than it would be if it were in your hand :dunno :dunno ..Im sure you know all about this since you have been around before flyfishing was even invented :p

~Patrick ><>

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

I don't know if this helps but will offer it nevertheless. I was down in the Tucannnon lakes area last Friday fishing Big Four, which is a small, fly-fish only lake stocked (as I understand it) annually with smaller trout and a few brooders from the nearby hatchery. There's no bait/gear pressure but by the time I left there were a dozen flyfishermen.
My most consistent success - but smaller fish - was had using a floating line, a stimulator as a strike indicator, and a Teeny nymph about three feet below. Once the nymph had time to suspend, I used a slow retrieve and hooked five of eight takers - none exceeding 10". However, I got one 18' to come up and hit the stimulator who sulked her way along the bottom until I had her almost at hand.
That kind of action (if you want to call it that:dunno )
lasted for about an hour, when I switched to woooly buggers and got more responses, but found I also missed a lot of the takes, though one I did bring to hand was a nice 15".
I'm thinking another poster may be right there - the wooly buggers may be over-dressed and so I was getting a lot of short strikes. In bass fishing (which is where my roots are) some guys overcome that with a second hook buried near the tail of the lure - called a stinger. I've never tried it because I was too lazy and wanted to make other adjustments, but that's one thought - which maybe isn't even legal under selective gear rules, anyway.
If any of this helps, I'm glad to offer it. Good luck!

Mike :thumb

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
In retrospect, maybe the reason why I seemed to hook up a higher percentage of strikes as the morning wore on was due to the "short strikers" chewing off the trailing end of the marabou tail. By afternoon, the tail was chewed down to about half its original length.

I was also imparting a little jigging action at times as I trolled along, to make the marabou pulsate...I practiced with the bugger close to the boat until I had figured out the wrist motion that generated the fly motion I wanted.

A comment on Boblawless's comment that these stockers should be getting hungry by now: Over half the 'bows had empty stomachs. Maybe too many free lunches had left them a little retarded in the food-getting game. The others had caddis larvae/casings in their stomachs. One had a male alder cone in there as well, probably mistaken for a caddis casing.

A stinger hook, where legal, sounds like an effective approach, but the way I cast, it would probably just hook my line or leader while I was flailing out my wind-knot plagued cast and result in undesired "expletives."


"The true purpose of a flyrod is to prevent its bearer from being arrested for vagrancy." - Sparse Grey Hackle

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