It was stocking day on a small stream I occasionally fish. I usually avoid stocking day but I was in the neighborhood and stopped by.
I arrived around mid afternoon and the stocking truck had come and gone, leaving behind – according to the state game agency website – “1,000, 9 to 11 inch rainbow trout.”
I knew this because seven cars had crowded the small parking area and a couple more had squeezed onto a gravel bar flanking the small stream.
The highway bridge serves as the stocking site. On stocking day this is where you’ll find the fish and the fishermen. The trout that survive the stocking day angling onslaught eventually disperse and a couple of miles of the spring-fed creek, which winds through the heart of largemouth bass country, holds trout year round and is a surprisingly good fishery.
I walked toward the bridge. The creek became dark with trout, which were crowded into the deeper water that pools against the far bank. A guy dressed in tan shorts and a golf shirt, fly vest, wide-brimmed hat and oversized net was casting a chunk of shrimp into the pod of trout. He hooked three and landed one, adding it to the four he had clipped onto a metal stringer. Three other fishermen stood shoulder to shoulder. An older man was sitting on a step stool he’s positioned under the bridge. Two guys were on the downstream side of the stocking site but all were within casting distance of each other.
I walked back to the parking area. Two more cars had arrived. A red Jeep pulled in and parked beside me.
“Do any good?” the driver asked.
“Not fishing today.”
“They dump some fish?”
“I think so.”