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A native of the New England region, the Brook trout has been mistaken for generations as a trout. In reality, it is a char. Nevertheless, anglers all the region still refer to it as a trout, so it must be. The Brown trout is a European native. It was brought over around 1883. Some say that it revolutionized fly-fishing. At first shunned, then embraced since it grew larger than the Brown trout and took to flies more readily. Both have been revered by anglers for generations.

Brook Trout.

What do they look like?

In color they are as brilliant, if not more than, as any other freshwater fish in this country. The top of the fish is deep green with an almost bronze hue. There are lighter vermiculations that extend down over the head and into the dorsal fin. The brook trout’s lateral line is a light shade of blue which turns subtly into yellow toward the belly. The yellow then changes to a pale pink. The fins hold traces of the pink belly, as well as black and white stripes.

They are somewhat small in size. Most brown trout don’t get more than eight inches long. Though, there have been reports in more wild waters of them reaching up to fourteen inches or seven pounds.

How do they behave?

They migrate to shallow waters between October and early December to spawn. This is a long process in which the female will spawn with more than one male multiple times. Females can spawn about five hundred eggs during this period.

The brook trout feeds predominately during the day. At the same time high temperature and strong sunlight deter feeding. They have a powerful digestive system which enables them to digest and pass food within fifteen minutes of ingesting it.

Some rivers of Maine and Eastern Canada boast sea-going brook trout. These fish will swim to the ocean after spawning. They remain at sea until about June or July.

What else do you need to know?

Very few are left of these fish. The industrialization and advancement of mankind has depleted the population of these beautiful and odd creatures. Many of the waterways that were a haven for the brook trout have been destroyed or contaminated.

Brown Trout.

What do they look like?

They have much larger scales than the brook trout, plus a larger adipose fin. Like the brook trout, the brown trout is that same sort of shade of bronze-green. It becomes lighter on the sides and then switches to a fiery yellow on the underbelly. The upper flanks are adorned with many black and brown spots. Along the lateral you can see specks of red. The fins are yellowish green. Somewhat similar in overall appearance to the brook trout.

How do they behave?

Brown trout in the streams move slightly upstream to spawn, not as far as the brook trout, though. They spawn in the Autum, as does the brook trout. In the lake’s brown trout merely move shoreward to find shallow waters in which to lay the eggs. As brown trout mature they cease to feed on insects so much. Most adult brown trout, especially those in the lake’s, tend to feed primarily on smaller fish.

As with the brook trout, the brown trout has been observed in some northern waters to be sea-running. This is no surprise to European anglers. They have been fishing and observing the brown trout even before it came to the United States.

What do you need to know?

Because of its sea-running after spawning, the brown trout still creates much confusion even in Europe. Many people get the brown trout confused with the Atlantic trout. From a distance, the brown trout resembles the salmon with its large scales and pink underbelly.