The leaves are changing and the slopes of the rolling hills are a rainbow of colors once again. This can only mean one thing… rainbow trout are back in the water! Every spring and every fall, when the water pH. levels are correct, the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife releases thousands of beautiful rainbow trout into many of our scenic Berkshire lakes, rivers, and streams. This affords even a novice angler a great chance to catch one of these beautiful and also delicious fish.
If you are traveling into the area and can find yourself an afternoon to relax and make a few casts, here’s a few sure bets for fall trout fishing that will help you be successful. First, a full list of waters to be stocked can be found on the DFW website. One little trick, don’t try fishing on the same day it gets stocked! If you see the truck unloading fish, it will take those fish some time to acclimate and begin to feed again.
Some of our lakes have terrific shore access. If you do not have access to a boat, kayak, or canoe, try fishing on Laurel Lake, Onota Lake, or even at the Stockbridge Bowl (causeway area). These are all open access to any licensed angler and offer expansive areas to cast and fish. For any angler with access to any kind of vessel, Lake Buel, Richmond Pond, or Stockbridge Bowl (Main Lake) can offer some exciting opportunities for some larger fish as well.
Now that you know where to go, here’s what to use. When fishing on any of these bodies of water, one sure fire bet is Berkeley Floating Power Eggs. Honestly, these are not my favorite bait simply because all you do is cast and wait for a fish to bite…sometimes for a very long time. But they do work consistently as long as you find the correct color (which can change daily even on the same lake!) One of my absolute favorite baits to cast is called a Flutterfish made by PK Lures. It comes in a wide variety of colors, but my absolute favorite is their Rainbow pattern. Cast one out and aggressively reel it back to shore and trout can’t resist!
If you don’t want to attempt to fish on the larger waters or even if you just want to step off the beaten path, don’t overlook some of the smaller streams and rivers. The Hoosic River, Green River, Williams River or Konkapot Rivers can offer some great fishing, however finding adequate public access can be challenging. You should never attempt to walk across private lands to access water, and sometimes trails to get into these streams can be narrow and winding. Both of the same lures and techniques I mentioned previously will work in a river the same as in a lake, but you may want to use a specialized rod. The best rod that I have found for accessing these small streams is a Big Eye rod from HT Enterprises. These shorter but high-tech versions of regular rods can get you in and out of places with less risk of damage to your equipment, but with the same ability to haul out a big fish!
Most importantly when visiting any Berkshire venue in search of your foliage fish please leave the lakes, rivers, and streams in the same condition you find them. Please haul out any trash you may create, and pick up any that may have been left by someone else. If we all do our part in keeping the water and woods clean, we can ensure that the Berkshires will stay beautiful for seasons and generations to come.
Paul K Tawczynski is the Captain and a Guide at Charter The Berkshires as well as the host of TV’s Guiding Ice. Most recently Paul and Charter the Berkshires were honored with the Berkshire Trendsetter Award for Creative Industries Innovation.