By: Samuel Davidson

We’ve been catching lots of trout since the opening day, but never have had the opportunity to catch trout this big this season. This is the biggest fishing week all year at Big Tumbling Creek. The creek is loaded with brooks and rainbows right now and the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries is going to stock huge trout Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

I was at Big Tumbling Creek Monday when the first trout plant of the week arrived. The truck was loaded with huge trout. What surprised me was the game wardens and the guys that run the stock truck told us that even larger trout are going to be stocked this weekend. They are going to load the creek for Father’s Day. What’s crazy is they are stocking several state record size brook trout and bringing rainbows up to 15 pounds. They are stocking 500 trophy trout per plant.

I fished the creek yesterday (Monday) and the crowd was worse than opening day. I can’t even imagine how busy it’s going to be this week. It’s been tough to even find a place to park because of all the big fish and they are bringing more. I’m not kidding when I say they were tossing three-to-eight-pound brook trout into the creek along with tons of one-to-three-pound rainbows. We’ve never seen this many huge trout.

While we dealt with high water in May conditions are perfect now. In fact, Big Tumbling is getting low and clear. I’ve been downsizing on sinkers and the size of bait I use because of how low it’s getting. Use very small pieces of bait. For example, don’t use more than two salmon eggs, just pieces of worms and small globs of Fire Bait. When it comes to line I use Stren Low Vis Green six-pound test. Even though it’s six-pound it disappears when it hits the water. Whether I’m using Fire Balls, Fire Bait or Pautzke eggs I use a No. 8 or 10 Eagle Claw single salmon egg hook.

I’ve been fishing Big Tumbling weekly since the opener. This season I’ve focused on three baits and they will likely be different than what you’ve been using, but they work every time. When it comes to Fire Balls I’ve found the trout can’t resist a night crawler teamed with a Fire Ball. I’ll use a Pink Shrimp Fire Ball with a half-inch piece of worm behind it. It doesn’t need to be very big.

My top bait this season has been mixing Garlic Salmon Egg Fire Bait and Peach Garlic Fire Bait. However, the trout also love when we use a Yellow Jacket and Orange Deluxe salmon egg together.

As water continues to fall it won’t be tough to find the trout. The rainbows are still in the current. However, the brooks don’t like the swift water. They are lazy and sitting at the bottom of the holes. Every hole in the river should hold fish this weekend.

*Pautzke products are available at Walmart and Bass Pro Shops

Editor’s Note: Samuel Davidson resides in Southwest Virginia. To follow his adventures please visit In addition to a Virginia freshwater fishing license anglers must have a Clinch Mountain day permit to fish Big Tumbling Creek. The limit is six trout, per angler, per day.