What Brook Trout Eat
The brook trout is voracious, and feeds on the surface, in mid-water, and at the bottom, but looks mostly in mid-water and on the surface for food, and very little escapes their watchful eyes.
Anything in the line of insects, worms, frogs and small fish is acceptable to the trout, and I have heard of them being caught by baiting the hook with a mouse. They take all insect life eagerly. Let a fly but touch the water in his flight across a trout pool and his doom is sealed, for like a flash of light Mr. Trout rises from the depths and his capacious jaws engulf the hapless insect. To some it may seem a mystery how the fish can get so quickly to the spot where the fly has alighted, and it is was so to me until one day as I stood on the shore of a lake looking out into the clear, shallow water, I saw a large trout making lightning like darts here and there, in a zigzag way, and then I noticed that he was following the movements of some insect that was flying above the water; then the unlucky fly touched the surface of the water; there was a splash, and Mr. Fly was no more. And as a rule a squirming angleworm will meet the same quick end and if the trout happens to get his eye on him, and if a frog happens to stray too far from shore, or a grasshopper make a miss-jump and fall into the stream, they meet the same fate. To the trout "all is fish that enters the net" and I am sure that in most cases the fish does not hesitate to see what it is before he grasps it, but takes chances on it being good to eat.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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