Fishing this afternoon on a small creek that the state game agency graciously stocks with trout. It’s a spring fed rivulet, really, barely the width of a single car garage, mostly wadable, postcard pretty and flowing across a gravel and rock bed. It supports a surprisingly good fishery.

The water quality is such that the state stocks both rainbow and browns.

The rainbow stockings are announced so when the stocking truck arrives it’s usually trailed by a small horde of fishermen intend on sacking a limit. They usually do and although these days I typically release my fish to fight another day I harbor no ill feelings toward anyone who creels fish so long as they stay within the legal limit, be it trout, bass, muskie or catfish. Who doesn’t enjoy fresh fish for dinner? I do.

With sunshine and 81 degrees, the day felt more like early June that April 1. There was no else on the stream – no other vehicles in the parking lot – so I was at least a day ahead or a day behind the stocking truck. Since the trout truck usually runs during the first week of the month I assume I was early.

This is not highly technical fishing but regardless of what you may have read in some of the glossy magazines, hatchery trout are not the idiots of the salmonid world. Once they escape the concrete raceways and adjust to wild surrounds they quickly lose their innocence. I’m not suggesting they become like wild, stream-bred fish. But they do develop some wildness about them.

I strung up an Orvis Helios 3-weight, tied on a No. 14 tellico nymph, and fished a strip of seam water that flanked a shallow scour hole that pooled against a dead fall that lined the bank.


A small piece of split shot solved the problem and within six casts I’d hooked three 10-inch rainbows. That was a decent size fish for this stream, as a 15-inch trout is a trophy.