Description of Brown Trout
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Description of Brown Trout

Description of Brown Trout


Description of Brown Trout

Description of Brown Trout

The brown trout is a true trout, a salmon trout, and not a char, in which it differs from our native trout.

If you are a good angler and kill your fish immediately after landing them, which as suggested in the preceding chapter, can best be done in the case of trout of moderate size by inserting the forefinger in the mouth of the fish and bending the head sharply backward—you will have reason to note very "sharply" an anatomical difference between the mouth of a salmon trout and that of a char. The brown trout has teeth in no uncertain quantity or degree of penetration on the front of the bone in the roof of the mouth. These are lacking in the char. It should be said also that the presence of this efficient dental weapon at once marks the brown trout as a fish killer.

A good many years ago I caught my first brown trout, a rather small specimen, and although at the time I did not know the exact nature of the fish, it was evident at once that it was no very close relative of our common trout—simply because the fish had very appreciable scales. The scales of our native trout, although they exist, are microscopic. Those of the brown trout are easily seen. The coloration of the brown trout is quite different from that of any other trout either native, rainbow, or any of the Western species. The color scheme is best described by William C. Harris, as follows:

"The brown trout is, in American waters, rather slimmer in build than our American red-spotted trout, with a larger and more pointed head. The back is dark green covered with well-defined black spots, and the dorsal fin has both black and bright red or vermilion spots; the adipose, or fatty fin, is also beautifully decorated with three red spots. Below the lateral line the coloration is of a yellowish cast with a greenish silvery background. The tail, or caudal fin, is square, and on its edges there is a reddish stripe; the other fins are orange in color, the ventral and anal having a white stripe on the under edge shaded with deep orange; the head, the under part of which is yellow, and the gill covers are covered with dark spots; the belly is pure white, above which is a deep yellow hue."

The back of the brown trout is not marbled, or vermiculated, as in the case of fontinalis. The coloration is quite as susceptible to change due to environment as that of the native trout. The most beautiful specimens are those living in fast water, unshaded, and running over gravel bottom. Such fish are extremely brilliant in coloration, with vivid red spots and a very beautiful golden luster. Others, living in slow, deep, shaded water with dark bottom, are dull in coloration. The spawning period and habits are practically those of the native trout.

The brown trout is the trout of our English brother anglers and is the fish either particularly referred to or implied as a matter of course in the literature of fly-fishing.

There the pursuit of the trout—the Britisher takes his sport rather more seriously than does the Yankee—has been reduced to an exact science, at least to such a degree of exactness as the nature of the sport permits. The outcome of this determined onslaught upon the ranks of the brown trout is seen in the resultant English method of dry-fly fishing, latterly coming into some prominence in this country. A single dry or floating fly is used, and cast only —in case the angler is a dry-fly purist, that is, in the last stages of the disease—to a rising trout. The artificials mostly in use are exact imitations of the prevalent insect life of the stream.

Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.

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