Why do fishermen not want to admit to going after stocked fish? Easy, because it is fake. The fish are fake and the circumstances are fake. OK now before all of y'all out there get your pitchforks and torches, I fish for stockers, freely admit it and it is fun but I don't try to sell them for something they are not. Hatchery raised fish are genetically engineered to grow fast and be aggressive eaters, they are also habituated/trained to search for food floating on the water and to equate humans with that food. I have personally stood beside a freshly stocked hole and caught many, many fish, some of them over and over with no thoughts to matching a hatch, presentation, or stealth. Just chunk out almost anything and it will get gobbled up. Admittedly after the fish are caught and released a couple of dozen times they do wise up....a bit. A squirmy or mop will usually still get a few of the extra dumb ones, or starving ones, to eat.
Who would not want a pic of themselves on a pristine back country stream holding that big slab of butter in the pic to the right, some folks play it off as just that. Truth is, that fish is from the Paint Bank Trout Hatchery in Virginia. When that fish is stocked it will not hide at the sight of a fisherman on the bank, actually it will probably do just the opposite and look for that fisherman to feed it.
Years ago stocked trout could be identified from a mile away. They were all a nondescript grayish silver, most had no fins and the flesh was a mushy, grayish white. Now days it is getting harder and harder to spot a stocker. The hatcheries are responding to what the fishermen want and are specifically breeding fish for size and color and are turning out some gorgeous fish. They are still stockers but gorgeous none the less. There are still a lot of mongrels too, like the first pic of the brook trout at the beginning of the article with no gill flap, and this specimen that a friend of mine caught.