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How do you catch trout in a medium to fast flowing, muddy river?

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To be honest, rainbow trout avoid high. muddy water. The silt makes it difficult to respirate. When the tribs become high and muddy, I head upstream for less flow and cleaner water. The alternative is to wait for barely cleared, falling water. The action can be dynomite. Water like in the background of this pic:

494589499_B7r9V-L.jpg

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I try to fish the eddies. Swing spinners (spinning) or streamers (flies) quartering downstream so that they eddy out in the eddies. In muddy cold waters, in my experience, the fish don't tend to be very active, but a big chunk of food hung in their face can get them to eat. I like big flies or flashy spinners so they know it's there.

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Thanks guys! The river I plan to fish is for the most part muddy and cold and fast, but they stock trout in the tailgaters of a dam a few miles upstream. They also stock trout here in town. They only stock them in the winter. So with that said, how should I go about this?

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Small spinner or small curly tail grubs in watermelon or motor oil. Stockers aren't generally particularly smart. Or for flies, a hares ear in about a 10 or 12 under a strike indicator or large dry.

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Unfortunately stockers around here are used to being fed pellitized food and about the only thing you can get them to bite on is powerbait.

Jeff

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Do inline spinners and rapalas work.

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Panther Martin are good spinners. Rapala Floaters, in trout pattern work well, too.

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Panther Martins, little cleos and inline spinners will work, but not near as well as powerbait for stockers, at least around here!

Jeff

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With stockers, sometimes it depends on how long they've been there. Inititally, they'll eat anything that is about the size of one of the pellets they've been eating. After a week or so, they start moving to more natural-looking food and will reaction strike on curiosity alot of lures. After a few weeks/month, they're more like low pressured wild trout, you have to be decent, but not great.

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Are they predators?

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ummmm....yes. But mainly they eat small forage fish, worms, bugs, sculpin, mudbugs, crawfish and smaller trout. Stockers generally will not eat other trout until they have been in the wild for a while and gotten the pretty pink hues to them and all of their fins are full. The easiest way to tell a stocker trout is their general grey color and most of their fins have been rubbed down due to the concrete tanks they have grown up in. At least in my parts!

Jeff

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So will they take Rooster tails?

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Yes, and other inline spinners and flashy stuff. If the current's too swift for spinners, spoons like little cleos and kastmasters can get down a little deeper, or you can put split shot a foot or so in front of the spinner. Fresh stockers will hit the shot. :-)

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So should I fish where the water is fast and has a lot of rocks or where it looks smooth, calm, and slower?

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Trout are by nature a stream fish. But they will live in what they have. In calm water look for something breaking the current. Rocks, logs, grass. Something to give them a current break and an ambush point to wait for the next meal. If they have a choice look at the moving water and again current breaks. Fish there. Stocker trout are easy and yes powerbait works great on them. It will also work on wild fish too. Stockers or better "fresh stocked" trout hit because they are hungry and all they know is eat. The ones that "learn" will get to be as picky as "wild" trout and just as spooky. Trout are predator fish. Big Trout will absolutely EAT little Trout!! The reason I have SEVERAL trout colored lures in my vest.

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Trout are predator fish. Big Trout will absolutely EAT little Trout!! The reason I have SEVERAL trout colored lures in my vest.

Excellent point! One of my all time favorite spoons for browns:

861889835_yZfuW-L.jpg

Ironic food for thought :eyebrows:

1154283483_UX9rq-L.jpg

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Thanks!

When is the best time of the year to fish for them?

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Try and use some fake salmon eggs with a garlic scent. They work well for stockers. Another option is rapala countdowns and spinners such as panther martins and rooster tails.

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