Despite the fact that brown trout (Salmo trutta or river trout) are widely fished for sport and commerce on the territory of southern Canada, Great Lakes states and rocky regions of the American West, these are not native fish species for the aforementioned areas. The fish has been brought from Scotland and Germany in 1883 to this continent. Alike all Salmonidae family representatives, Salmo trutta are fierce fighters who live up to 10-12 years in the wildlife. This species can be easily recognized due to the distinctive markings and favorite habitats. Read further to get to know more about the trout itself and techniques used to catch it.
How to Identify Brown Trout
River trout have elongated rounded bodies (14-20 inches long weighing 1-2lbs). A trophy specimen can reach up to 10lbs while the largest individuals ever caught exceed 40lbs (40 inches long). Salmo trutta are olive-brown on the back and upper sides (the name of speaks for itself). The lower sides of their bodies have a yellow-brown or silver coloration. Their bellies are whitish yellow. Brown trout can vary in colors dramatically and hence are often confused with landlocked salmon. Another distinctive trait of the river trout are obvious dark spots on the back, sides and upper fin. The spots are usually reddish-yellow and are encircled with a reddish ‘halo’. The side and tail fins are spotless or have a very few of them.
When the spawning phase of the trout life cycle approaches, adult individuals develop brighter colors and get their jaws elongated and hooked (in males). Speaking about the habitats, Salmo trutta prefer warmer water temperatures than other Salmonidae do. They can survive even in water that is as warm as 73 F. Typical habitats for these are rivers, impoundments, lakes and streams. Those specimens living not far from ocean can survive in brackish waters as well. River trout feed mostly at night, giving preference to various aquatic creatures like crustaceans, salamanders, smaller fish and crayfish.
Brown Trout Fishing Techniques
Selection of baits, lures and other equipment is a key stage of the brown trout fishing. When choosing these pay attention to the weather conditions, location and season. Knowing the trout nutritive preferences you can easily figure out what bait to add to the fish menu. In winter months, for instance, nymphs work the best (the fish tend to move a bit slower in winter and the lure covers a large surface of water). In warmer season, dry flies are the most beneficial. Wet flies are also used by the river trout fishermen since these are natural food for fish (insects often fall into the water and then sink down).
Remember that trout like to hide in shallow and weedy areas looking for warm waters (65- 75 F). That is, dropping your line to the deep water lake hardly ever fill your creel with any trout.