The Brown Trout
Notwithstanding the fact that the brown trout had been a resident of many of our streams for a good many years, to be exact since 1882, it seems that among anglers in general exact information concerning this trout is rather difficult to find. To one who has had the opportunity and privilege of taking this fish in goodly numbers the dissertations, opinions, disputes, and theories of fishermen who have not enjoyed a close acquaintance with Salmo fario, but are ever ready to discuss the subject, are somewhat amusing.
To cite a concrete example: Recently a reasonably proficient angler, journeying from one of our larger cities to a trout stream which the writer has fished times almost innumerable, brought home with him a number of strange, outlandish fish all very sizable. The angler stated to an admiring audience of friends that the fish had fought like tigers, that he had had the time of his life, etc., etc.óbut what were they? Briefly, the fish were imagined to be of every sort except the right one, and some of the guesses were particularly wild and humorous. The fish were simply brown trout.
It is the purpose of this chapter to state some of the facts known to many anglers about the brown trout would seem, quite unknown to vs. many others, possibly to the majority. First, however, the writer would recall the somewhat trite fact that comparisons are always and inevitably odious. Wherefore, one might suggest that our native trout be left out of the discussion. For some reason unknown to the present writer, anglers are prone at the very mention of the brown trout to consider the entire question one of comparison between the brown and the native, naturally to the detriment of the former; has been argued times without number.
The discussion is futile. Rightly, there can be no question as regards the respective sporting qualities of the two. Our native trout, the speckled brook trout, is clearly in a class by itself. No other trout, or any other game fish, has ever been or ever will be so well beloved by sportsmen. So let us consider the brown trout strictly on its own merits and not as an actual or even possible rival of our red-spotted char. - The German or brown trout was first planted in American waters, as above noted, in 1882, the eggs coming from Germany and England. For some time thereafter the fish were propagated and planted by the United States Bureau of Fisheries, but at the present time fry or fingerlings can only be obtained from private hatcheries. The Federal Bureau ceased distributing the brown trout for reasons which will appear later. Before the cessation of propagation, however, the range of the brown trout had attained large proportions, and they are now to be found in very many of our trout streams both East and West.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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