Brown trout can be found in both stillwater as well as rivers and streams. The European Trout have, like their human counterparts, colonized most of the known world and are renowned for the aggressive nature, fight, and ability to live in most water systems across the globe. In the United States, two strains of Brown Trout were first introduced, the "von Behr" strain from Germany and the Loch Leven strain from Scotland. Over the course of time, with additional strains being brought to America, these strains have intermingled and created what famed fishery biologist Robert J. Behnke describes as the American Generic Brown Trout. And it is this trout we will focus on in this ecological report.
Brown Trout get their name from their general appearance, ranging from a deep brown to almost golden. They are spotted with a mix of dark, black and red spots. Spotting is dependent upon individual fish, some having more spots, others no red spots to speak of, etc. Features that are dependent upon individual fish but also seem to be desirous among anglers include blue-toned gill plates and red adipose fins. Brown Trout can range in size up to 44 lbs. and 40 inches, depending on diet and habitat.
As already mentioned, the Brook Trout is a colonizer and quickly spread throughout the United States. There are only a few Southern States that do not have a population of Brown Trout, mostly owing to the warm water in these areas. Like other trout, the Brown relishes cold, clear, well oxygenated water. The Brown is able to withstand higher water temperatures better than some of its cousins, into the low 60’s even. They are well known for their ability and desire to stay well hidden, in logjams, undercut banks, rocks, anywhere the fish can hide that's where they'll be.
What does this mean for the fly-fisherman. First, fish for Brown as you would any other trout species in the United States. Use nymphs, wet flies, dries, streamers, whatever you have in your trout arsenal and you’ll more than likely catch one. But, if you want one of the monsters of the deep, use something big and invade their territory. Big fish won't pass up an easy meal especially one that got just a little too close to their home. Throw large terrestrials, mice, and streamers along undercut banks and you’ll more than likely get a strike.
As always, good luck and guid luck!