Love of Brook Trout
I am inclined to believe that fly-fishing has its chief and most easily defined excuse in the existence of a certain game fish—Salvelinus fontinalis, the brook trout. Here, indeed, is something tangible, a thing which may be taken in the hand—first catch your trout—and looked upon. No one seeing a freshly caught brook trout would say that it was other than a thing of beauty. Its delicate, vary-colored resplendency is not equaled by any living thing. The tarpon—Silver King of Southern waters—the Atlantic and Pacific salmons, the ouananiche and land-locked salmon, and the grayling comprise practically all the other game fishes, excepting the various other forms of brook trout, which may be said to possess both beauty of form and coloration.
It cannot be denied that these fish are justifiably praised, but it is generally conceded that the red-spotted brook trout has nothing to fear from their competition. Of the Western trout, the rainbows, cutthroats, and steelheads, the rainbow, Salmo irideus, is the Eastern brook trout's nearest competitor—and that is praise enough for the rainbow. So here is one good reason, at least, why fly-fishing for trout is considered by many the very best of all sports.
But, after all, the lure of the trout pools is a thing intangible, elusive, which cannot be crystallized into so many words, or geometrically demonstrated. If you would solve its mysteries, would truly fathom the fascination of "the reek of the split-bamboo," you must hit the trail to a good trout stream, with fly-rod and camera, and there your desire will find its fulfillment— if you are the right sort; otherwise, otherwise.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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