I have fished for bows in ontario using eggs but have never tried them here. They may be worth a try but I have not heard of anyone using them here. That being said, other members may have tried them with some success.
I usually use micro grubs or a spinner and a worm for brookies (unless they are taking the fly). I normally fish sea run bookies and browns with rapalas, super dupers, or williams warblers.
Rainbow trout in NS are stocked to provide put and take fishing so the majority do not get to be mature and a decent size. Some waters in Cape Breton have decent rainbows but not so much on the mainland. Thats not to say good sized rainbows are not there but only to say IMO very few survive their first year after stocking. It would only take a change in management to make better fish available but at the present time the rainbows purpose is to provide oportunity,numbers and fodder for trout anglers.
I'm sad to hear about the state of the rainbows here. I haven't checked the regs to see what the limit is, but in BC it's 4/day and since I fish strictly with a fly rod and I'm a C&R angler, I never have to worry about a limit, lol. I'm a big fan of fishing with nymphs and the occasional streamer, but when the salmon are spawning, those McFly Foam eggs are deadly on the bows and cutties who are chasing them upstream.
Are the bows only stocked in lakes or does the province stock the rivers as well? I stopped tying chronies when I sold my pontoon boat so my stock is really low and if I need to start tying more, I have to order a few hundred hooks. My best blood worm was an olive green acetate with the wire wrapped underneath the floss before dunking it in acetone. I'll see if I can find a pic and post it. 12" off the bottom on a dead slow retrieve was absolutely deadly any time of the year. From the sounds of it, I'm not going to find many 8lb rainbows when we make the move to Greenwood
They don't stock rainbows in the rivers or streams because they are not a native species to Nova Scotia and are known to be quite aggressive egg eaters. There by hindering the populations of the already hurt Atlantic salmon and native wild brook trout.
There has been some steelhead that managed to escape aquaculture farms that have ended up in the rivers around here, but the majority of the rainbow fishery on the mainland are pretty much like Perry said put and take fisheries in a few select stocked lakes. the majority of the fish you catch are 10 to 13''. I have seen some pretty big fish raise for flies or whatnot and a few that must have been giants on the fish finder but those fish definately aren't the norm for the put and take fisheries.
Cape Breton however has some good fishing for rainbows in the Bra 'Dor lakes. resulting from aquaculture escapees over the years and I'm not sure but I believe stocking as well.