If a fish could be sneaky, this would be that fish. But who doesn’t like an awesome challenge in the search and landing of a nice trophy fish? Not only that, they’re beloved by fishermen because of the challenge they pose and are therefore found in the majority of creeks, rivers, and seas throughout the world. They’re beautiful (brown) fish and generally on the large side so fishermen enjoy trying to catch them just to get a glimpse. The current world record brown trout is held in New Zealand, weighing in at 42 pounds and 1 ounce.
Brown trout are some pretty big, pretty cool fishies. They generally eat their food under the surface too, so don’t be looking for them super close to the surface. Something fairly confusing to me is the fact that a good portion of brown trout live in the sea. I mean, obviously I know that there a ton of fish that live in the seas, but trout? I’d always experienced the trout in rivers and creeks, not in salty oceans. They do migrate every year to fresh water to breed though. So I guess when I see the trout they’re getting lucky or about to get lucky. Which makes me feel a bit guilty about catching them for dinner every summer. The brown trout does push out around 10,000 eggs though, so, not too guilty. Sure, a good majority of these eggs don’t hatch or survive past a few weeks of age. But they have a better chance at popping a couple hundred of fish that will mature into adulthood than say, humans do.
Brown trout can be found across the globe along with having been stocked in 45 states throughout the USA. These trophy fish are commonly found in the colder rivers, where they’ve grown smart enough to refrain from feeding on prey closer to the surface. At least until nightfall when fishermen aren’t around to try and catch them. So they recommend (experienced fishermen, not the trout), to go fishing for these guys in the early morning and late evening. Even then, the brown trout tries to stay out of sight and pull the flies into the water to avoid being caught.
Top fishing professionals say that the bamboo fly rod works the best to catch these guys. This type of rod has been around since the 1800s and is generally used for its smooth precision in placement. Due to this, its performance has been praised as being similar to playing a fine musical instrument. The back cast is smooth and fluid with a damping effect at the end, while the forward cast throws the line with the same damping effect at the beginning.
And you should hit up the Wisconsin tributary rivers soon since the remaining stock of the brown trout will be dying off. Budget cuts this year by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, or the WDNR, have cut over 50% of the budget to stock the brown trout. Unfortunately, this means that Lake Michigan won’t be stocked with these big buddies, which means there won’t be anywhere to rear them.
Now you know where to find these trout, how to fish for them, and even some weird tidbits about them. Go fish for these trophies and be joyful!