Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Rainbeaux trout are here!

Each winter, over a dozen ponds across Louisiana are stocked with rainbow trout. Some of the stockings are by local agencies. For example, ponds in East Baton Rouge Parish are stocked by Baton Rouge Recreation (BREC). Most ponds are stocked by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries under their "Get Out and Fish" community fishing program.

Yesterday, BREC kicked off rainbeaux trout season with stockings at three ponds: Palomino Park, Zachary Community Park, and Howell Community Park.  While the stockings usually bring euphoria among fly anglers, there was some disappointment.  For one, none of the ponds in south Baton Rouge were stocked - first time ever!  Second, the number of ponds stocked continues to decline, from five in 2010 to three this year. 

Still, we expect fly anglers to take advantage of what's available.  A few things to keep in mind. Even though trout are not regulated by LDWF, you do need to have a Louisiana fishing license.  All fish must be caught on legal recreational tackle (rod and reel, fly tackle or cane pole).

Most of the stocked fish are between 8 and 12 inches, but each pond will have several up to 16-18 inches to give anglers the opportunity for a bigger fish.

For fly anglers, it's an opportunity to enjoy good fishing at a time when native species like bass and bream are sluggish. All that is needed is a 5-weight outfit. However, for those with an ultralight outfit (3-weight or lower), the fun factor is amplified!

Regarding flies. The first couple of weeks the fish are opportunistic. An olive or black woolybugger will work best, along with a few nymphs such as Prince Nymph, Copper Johns, Hares Ears, and San Juan Worms. Once the trout have acclimated to their environment, dry flies work very well late in the day.