Archive for the ‘rainbow trout fishing’ Tag

PUT-N-TAKE TROUT   Leave a comment

Midwest trout

Put-and-take trout fishing requires more thought than most anglers believe.  Sure it is possible to catch them with little effort.  Consistently getting results after the first few days is a little more difficult.  Finding fish requires knowledge of their habits.

Rainbow trout are the prominent stocking fish.  That is because they are the easiest trout to grow.  They take to the food, the overcrowding and the polluted water a little bit better than other trout.

Trout fishermen in the classic sense typically throw very small flys to these sight feeders.  The reason they can do that is that the fish’s vision is very acute.  Conditions cause the fisherman to use certain flys.

Just because anglers prefer to use dry flys because it is more fun it is not the only way.  The trout’s eyes are mid-range.  They are comfortable looking up for food as well as down making them multi-directional feeders.

In the first few days away from the hatchery, trout seek their food on or near the surface like the food pellets they eat in the hatchery.  Gradually they revert to normal food sources in the water such as small minnows, crustaceans and insects.

Trout in the wild like cold moving water with a rocky bottom.  They can survive in pond water but on a more limited basis.  They prefer water in the 40 to 55-degree range.

On rivers where water levels change during the day, they survive through adaptation.  When the current is fast, they will be near the edges of the river system.  As water levels lower and current decreases they go more toward the middle.

Trout relate to structure only to conserve energy and preserve calories.

Trout have a lateral line like all fish and respond to movement, vibration and sound.  The lateral line will allow them to pinpoint the direction from which those things emanate.  They move toward the sound and then use their sight to zero in on it.

Trout have tiny scales because they live often times in a moving water environment.  This coupled with their slime coat allows them to go nose into the current with less energy.  They are also very slippery to handle while landing.

When removed the hatchery and placed in any body of water there are two things to remember about trout.  Where did that truck back up to? And what do you have a lot of in your tackle box?  For about 3 days they are stupid.  They spend some time where they are released trying to get acclimated.  They will bite anything until accustomed to the habitat.  They do not have the instincts and intuition of a wild trout because they have never had to do anything for their meals.

In most instances most manmade lakes have an area where maybe there is a little bit of a spring.  When builders dug down perhaps they found a little spring trickle.  If the fish find that area they hang out there and feed to survive.

Stocked lakes do not usually have a trout kill.  Anglers and local predators remove most of the trout.  In warmer climates, the remaining fish tend to die in hot weather.  Every once in a while someone catches a whopper in a lake where they have been stocking them for a number of years.



Digital Camera


Montauk State Park is one of many very attractive parks in the Missouri State Park system.  Whenever visiting the Missouri Ozarks, it is a prime location for catching trout.  Just downstream from form the park the river continues its procession into the Ozarks.

Trout anglers from across the nation ply these waters in search of rainbow trout.  They share the crystal clear waters with such mammals as mink, muskrat, beaver and an occasional otter.  White-tailed deer sometimes drink along the bank.  The park is a veritable paradise for wildlife.

Fish cleaning stations provide a place to clean the catch.  By grinding up the fish waste it is useable later by pumping out the tanks.  The contents make fertilizer for trees at the state nursery.

There are a number of rules and ethics that apply to the use of this stream.  Check in at the lodge headquarters to pay the minimal daily fee and to pick up a copy of the rules and regulations as well as a map of the park.  Certain areas of the river have lure and bait restrictions.

On this warm spring day the shade of the overhanging brush and hardwood is interrupted by an occasional splash of sunlight.  The shaded portions and deeper pools attract trout to any interruption in the current.

Interruptions come in the form of rocks and logs as well as the lip of any hole.  The fish rest in these areas before blasting out into the current to gobble some passing morsel of food.

By casting into the current upstream from where the trout lie in wait, you are able to control the drift of a lure closer to the shore for further away.  With a very small float or bobber you can adjust the depth at which the lure travels.  It is a good idea to keep the bait at the same depth.

Fishing with ultra-light tackle enhances the excitement of hooking a fish.  A new Shakespeare Micro Series Combo with 2-pound monofilament line and a small Road Runner is just the ticket.  By tipping the hook with Gulp Alive Hellgrammite or one of the trout baits in the same series.

The 7-foot length and premium graphite construction allow the rod to do much of the work in recovering the fish.

The quiet of this stretch of the river tends to lull you into tranquil thoughts.  Suddenly the water explodes with a splashing trout.  It is splendiferous.  He is about 10-inches in length and no match for the 11-pounder taken a couple of years ago by a soldier on leave before deploying overseas.

The park is located southeast of Licking, MO.   The season is open from March 1 to October 31.


LAKE TANEYCOMO – PART 3   Leave a comment

There are a lot of stories told of the great fishing in Lake Taneycomo near Branson, MO.  While attending the Association of Great Lake Outdoor Writers Fall Conference some of us fished for trout courtesy of Lilleys’ Landing Resort & Marina and the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

As a sidelight we learn of two great fish taken in Taneycomo.  The first fish is a 29-inch Rainbow Trout caught on July 30, 2012 by Phil Lilley, owner of the marina from which we are launching.  To date it is his largest trout taken in the 29 years of living and working in Branson.

Lilley used one rod and a single 3/32nd ounce jig tied to the line the last time he had fished with it.  It is wiser to re-tie a lure each time you fish for fear that the knot or a nicked line will fail.  One unit at the dam was running.

Throwing the marabou jig produced fish all along their drifting trip.  In the last stretch before Fall Creek he hooked the fish which came to the surface almost immediately.  It was obviously a big fish.  With good boat handling by a friend and careful rod handing by Lilley, the fish came ashore on a gravel bar, barely fitting into the landing net.

After a few photos and measuring, the fish returned to the water.

The second fish is the Missouri State Record Brown Trout caught by Scott Sandusky of Arnold, Mo. in the lake.

Scott and his buddies launched out of Lilleys Landing on November 20, 2009 for a day on the lake catching some rainbows for lunch and then concentrating on the trophy area for some catch and release lunkers.

Drifting downstream they caught the fish just below Cooper Creek.  At first the size of the fish gave them the impression that it might be a carp or catfish.  Setting his spinning reel to wind backwards, Scott did not have to use the drag.  The fish took off for the opposite bank taking with him a lot of the 4-pound line.

Working together they pulled up the trolling motor to avoid getting the fish and line tangled or worse yet broken.  The net would not hold but half of the fish.  It flopped in and out of the net before it finally was boated.

The fish is 28 pound 12-ounces in size with a girth of 24.75 inches and length of 37-inches.  It beats the previous state record Brown Trout by roughly a pound.

After hearing these two stories, I could not wait to get on the water.


The Holston River flows through some of the most beautiful sections of northeast Tennessee.  Along 14 miles of this cold water fishery is some great Tennessee Rainbow Trout fishing open to the clients of South Holston River Lodge.

South Holston River Lodge is the first and only fly fishing lodge in the area.  Established by Bill and Will Anderson, the lodge and cabins provide fly fishers with modern amenities not to mention the fly tying tables in every room.  The oldest of the building is 100 years of age.  Internet service is available and each cabin has a 50-inch TV attached to cable service.  Every cabin has a porch with panoramic view of the river.

The father and son team stresses family fishing.  They can fish from drift boats or wade in the cool water.  The lodge is full service with food, lodging, and guides, etc.  Free instruction on fly fishing and fly tying is available for the asking.  If you prefer it is possible to fish on your own and cook your own meals.

The Rainbow Trout fishing is “catch and release only” in order to preserve the wild stock in the river.

The river contains every type of trout habitat one would seek anywhere.  There are plunge pools, deep water and shallow.  If you want another kind of fly fishing there is another 30 miles of great smallmouth water that are susceptible to trout fishing techniques.  Anglers find fishing for big Brown Trout in these waters.

Outdoor writer Bandon Butler says South Holston River Lodge “should be on any fly-fisherman’s bucket list.”

For further information on the fishing here go to their website at or contact the manager Jon Hooper at

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