Monday, January 16, 2017

Connecticut's Wild Brown Trout

There are many color variations in wild trout here in Connecticut. The small streams will produce brook trout that are striking in color. Some are light and some are dark, dark to point of being black. The reason for this is the type of water they live in which causes their skin to adapt to the conditions.

On the other hand the wild brown trout that inhabit our streams also have pronounced differences in color as well as spotting. These wild fish are from stocks that were brought over here from Germany in the 1800's and have noticeable differences. In a wild trout stream I fished last week I caught 3 browns within 100 yards of each other and they were all different.


This brown has a steel-gray color and dark and red spots. The dark spots are quite large, and the red spots have pronounced blue halos.


In this section of stream which is not far from where I caught the brown above I caught this one.


You can see the difference here. While the body is gray it is not as dark. The belly has a soft gold tone. There are many more black spots. And the halos are not as rich as the other brown.

Both of these trout were in great shape. I did not get a photo of the third one for he managed to say goodbye before the camera was on him.








33 comments:

  1. Both beauties Alan!!Very Nice. I recall last spring in my home river catching two wild browns in one spot and both were strikingly different in their coloration.

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    1. TROUT1
      Thanks
      Pete I love that diversity. The stream you speak of is that the one in your last blog post?
      By the way Pete's blog is http://thefarmriverangler.blogspot.com/
      Check it out.

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    2. Yes it is!! Thanks for the acknowledgement!

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  2. In the past couple of years, I've caught more "tiger" trout (truta x fontinalis) than ever before (60+ yrs trout fishing). Since the stream your fishing has both brown and brook wild trout, have you ever caught a natural occurring "tiger" ?

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    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John I've caught three wild tigers in my life and two of them came from that stream.

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  3. I think that once the season opens again, I'll have to take a better look at ours.

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    1. Mark Kautz
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      Mark I'm pretty sure you will see differences in them.

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  4. Several years ago I caught a wild brown in the Cattaraugus Creek in western New York. The orange spots were a more brilliant fluorescent color than I'd ever seen.

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    1. Gary
      Thanks
      Gary isn't that wonderful. I'll bet that's one fish you'll never forget.

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  5. A sneaky fish gave both Kirk and I the slip not too long ago in the spot in your first photo.

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    1. RM Lytle
      Thanks
      Rowan that's a beautiful plunge-run. The brown that came out of it was a strong battler.

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  6. Beautiful browns, Alan. Amazing to me how the colors vary. I caught a small one in the Scantic River this past fall that was very silvery looking with muted spots. He must have been stream born being I doubt the state of Massachusetts would stock them that small. He was pretty feisty for his size.

    Regards, Sam

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    1. Parachute Adams
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      Sam I've also taken several small browns from the Farmington that had some subdued color. A fisheries biologist might shed some light.

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  7. Definitely some different characteristics there. I think that the Browns I have caught in Colorado look more like the second fish, but, you have drawn my interest with the differences. I will look over some Big Thompson Brownies' next time I am on the river.

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    1. Grandpa Mel
      Thanks
      Mel most browns here also have a yellowish coloring. The sea-run variety, although I've never caught one tend to be more silvery. The spotting on brown trout also varies a great deal.

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  8. Good morning from the UK Alan......
    I have been following your blog for a while now and greatly enjoy your posts.
    On my local stream (the little River Leven in North Yorkshire) we also have a mixed bag of trout colours from dark steely grey through butter / golden yellow. Most of the fish are a light grey with a distinct olive green cast to them with a smattering of black spots and pronounced carmine red spots with quite bold halos. However I have had trout which have been bright silver, almost like a sea run brown trout with black flecking and just a few red spots!

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    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      I wish I knew your name. I appreciate your following.
      Your descriptions of the brown trout of North Yorkshire seem to show a beautiful variety. I would love to see a photo. Are North Country spiders something you fish with?

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    2. Hi Alan,
      I do use North Country flies occasionally on my stream (and others that I fish intermittently). The usual patterns are: waterhen bloa, poult bloa, hares lug & plover and snipe & purple. I have also had some success with dark watchet, dark Spanish needle and black magic. My real passion is dry fly and I have a particular fondness for tying and fishing 'Catskill style' flies, which I have adapted to match the up-wings (mayflies) on my local waters.

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    3. The waterhen bloa as well as the snipe and purple I have fished here with success. The winter brown is another favorite.

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    4. Alan,
      Check SGM forum for a PM!

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    5. I checked....some wonderful photos there.

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  9. Alan
    I compared your images of these browns with some of the browns I have caught on a couple of tailraces I fish and yes there are differences in color. The colors on the tailrace browns are not as vivid as those on the streams you fish there. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill Trussell
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      Bill a great deal of stocked brown trout have muted colors. I suspect the fish you were taking were hatchery browns. The brown trout pictured here are wild-stream born brown trout, which are so vibrant in color.

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  10. Well done. Hope to catch more wild browns myself this year. Always like seeing the different colors.

    I once caught a golden brown with only a couple of spots!

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    1. TroutandFly
      Thanks
      One of the nice things about wild trout is their colors, they're so real.
      That golden brown sounds interesting.

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  11. Alan, I've always enjoyed color differences in all species of trout sometimes you can look at an old photo and you can tell where you caught by the color of the fish. In my area their is know brown more distinctive than a letort brown or an A big spring rainbow,these fish are outstanding in their color and sometimes in their size. Thank you.

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    1. Brad Basehore
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      Brad I was just watching a video done by Ed Shenk and some of the monster Letort browns. Perhaps this year I will venture that way.

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  12. I've noticed that the browns in Colorado seem to come in two varieties dull brown and bright buttery gold.

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    1. Howard Levett
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      Interesting. Howard you don't have that silvery colored brown.

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  13. Wild trout have so much more color. Beautiful photography... Hope you are doing well!

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    1. The River Damsel
      Thanks
      Wild trout are frothy bubbly root beer.
      Thing are good here...waiting for my Red Sox to go to spring training.
      I hope all's well on your end.

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