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Hatchery Trout

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas 12/19/2013

I'm a fan of hatchery trout releases.  When I first found out about them I was using a spinning rig and didn't have trouble catching them.  I basically used corn and salmon eggs.  But with a fly rod, I can't even buy a bite.

The last time I tried I used every fly in my box with zero bites.  I was fishing where the trout were too, I could see them. And I tried for hours.  Sometimes they jumped right out of the water, so I know I was where they were.  It drove me crazy.  I'm going to be going after them again, maybe next week, and still have no idea how to catch them on a fly rod. 

I could use some help, does anyone have information on what kind of flys to use on hatchery trout?  Anybody?

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
boogieman, CO   12/19/2013 10:21:16 AM
i'd use a small pheasant tail or flashback normally. but if you know they are hatchery trout use pellet flys. if you can get them make sure they have a little weight to them and tie three on at once. then slap them down on the water (don't be gentle the noise will attract them like the pellet dropping into the hatchery tank) good luck.
Dave Mauldin, TX   12/19/2013 12:11:07 PM
Lloyd, you are gonna love this. I went to a trout hatchery in Colorado many years ago, and tried all the fly business, and you know I am not that kinda guy. (BTW, it was Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery, and I think near Pitkin CO) So I resorted to live worms and caught the heck out of them! Ha! Is that sinful in your world?
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   12/19/2013 12:44:49 PM
There is nothing sinful about live bait in my world, nothing at all. I've thought about live worms and am ready to give that a try. Whatever it takes to get a fish on the hook is fine with me. Boogieman, are you telling me there are flys that imitate hatchery food? Man I want some of those!
boogieman, CO   12/19/2013 1:00:07 PM
yep, just google pellet fly, and a bunch of images will come up that look like little fish food pellets they use at the hatchery.
Flyrodn, CO   12/19/2013 1:57:30 PM
Well to start with a size 10 or 12 Hare's ear is a prefect imitation of a food pellet. Most don't think about presentation with hachery fish. They live in runs/tanks and when the pellets hit the water the fish go nuts. The sound of something slapping the water brings them running. That's the first clue. Second, when they get there their prey isn't running away, rather it's slowly falling to the bottom. Second clue. So the presentation is slap the fly on the water, then wait, and wait and wait. No strike repeat, or do a hard rip, hopefully making some noise and wait and wait. Watch you line for a take.
anglerwannabe, CO   12/19/2013 3:08:52 PM
Or you could cheat just a little. Grab a couple handful of pebbles and throw them out in a broadcast type.. and then throw your flies.
Speedingduc, CO   12/19/2013 3:25:27 PM
Try egg patterns tied with brown yarn to imitate pellets, gets them every time.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   12/19/2013 5:35:36 PM
These are awesome responses. I've had a paradigm shift and am thinking entirely differently about this. I don't see why throwing pebbles would be cheating. I think anything we can do short of dynamite and electricity are pretty much fair game in the pursuit of getting a fish on the hook. I know there are many people at the other end of that spectrum. People who enjoy the approach as much as the catching. Specialists. More power to them too - the specialists are always on the leading edge of this game, learning detailed things that they pass on, and we all gain as a result. I think of them like I think of scientists. But I'm not one of them. I'll use any legal means I can, I want fish on the hook, I want to fight them in and watch them swim away after I let them go. That's what I want. God Bless the scientists for giving me more tools to work with. I'm definite think of throwing sand or gravel, what I'm having trouble with is figuring out how to do that and land my bait in the same place almost simultaneously, and how far away can I do that.
anglerwannabe, CO   12/20/2013 7:52:19 AM
you won't have to be too quick, they should be in the area and searching after you throw your pebbles. You can also cast your fly and then cast your pebbles. If you worried about the fly sinking too fast, use a small strike indicator
anglerwannabe, CO   12/20/2013 8:13:21 AM
P.S. listen to the voices in your head that are whispering guadelupe guadelupe guadelupe guadelupe
Coyute, CO   12/20/2013 8:51:00 AM
food pellet pattern
FishDr, CO   12/20/2013 9:05:12 AM
Use a hatchery trout imitationůsomething 8 - 12" long and trout colored. Fish for the predators that are eating the hatchery popsicles, not the popsicles themselves! >:-)
jake100, TX   1/2/2014 7:01:45 AM
use a Berkely power worm they have a small one for trout
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   1/2/2014 7:48:52 AM
Guadalupe, guadalupe...I'm definitely planning on it this spring - and power worms? Will they stay on the hook at the end of a fly line? If so I'm in!
Hawaiian Punch, CO   1/2/2014 8:44:06 AM
Hatchery trout are like "Pavloves dogs" they are used to hearing the trout pellets hit the water and throwing some small gravel will turn them on just like the dogs learned to salivate when the bell rang,get a fly that looks like a pellet,toss some gravel and let the fun begin!
TigerHunter, CO   1/2/2014 9:00:03 AM
Wine cork, razor blade, and a dab of superglue! Carve a pellet out of the wine cork, you can thread it onto the hook, but they usually last longer if you superglue it to the hook. Makes a perfect pellet imitation.
brookieflyfisher, CO   1/2/2014 11:50:51 AM
You can use something like a hare's ear or a "pellet fly", basically something that imitates a hatchery pellet. Have fun with the snot rockets.