Brook trout are common in a wide area of eastern North America, usually living in small streams, lakes, creeks, and also spring pools.In some areas of the country the brook trout is referred to as either a speckled trout or a square tail. An interesting fact about the brook trout is that it is not actually a trout at all, brook trout are actually a char. Even thought the brook trout is not technically a trout, it is a favored catch when fishing for trout.
Brook trout are popular game fish and a prime target for fly fishermen. There are a fewer number of brook trout than many other species of trout which has led many fishermen who target brook trout also practice catch and release. In many states where the brook trout is native the fish and game have been actively working towards restoring creeks and streams to brook trout habitat.
The world angling record for the largest brook trout was set in July 1915, and the fish was 31 inches long.
Brook trout are some of the more “wild” varieties, leading to some interesting points that should help you locate more fish.
- Brook trout require more oxygen then a majority of other trout. Because of this brook trout favor clear moving water.
- Brook trout require a water temperature no warmer than 55 degrees, however brook trout prefer water below 50 degrees. Because of this brook trout will often swim up and down rivers throughout the year seeking a favored temperature.
- During the spring brook trout can be found in any section of river with rapids of a strong current.
- During the summer the water begins to warm, and brook trout seek cooler water temperatures. locate a cool water source and you will likely find brook trout.
- Brook trout favor eating small insects more frequently than many other types of trout, one of the reasons that brook trout is a favored sports fish for fly fisherman.
There are also a few basics that can be included when fishing for any trout.
- Use small hooks size #8 or smaller.
- Trout have great eye sight, use a thin monofilament line, no heavier than 6 pound test.
- Use an ultra light fishing rod, and reel.
- Include split shot weights in your tackle. These can be great for controlling the rate of drift, if any, that you want your bait to flow at.
- Rub your hands on grass, this simple act will reduce the “human contamination” to your bait, and drastically increase bites.
Brook trout like any sports fish should be treated with care, if you are not planning on keeping the fish it is best to not take it out of the water at all… and certainly, please, do not handle brook trout with dry hands, doing so puts the fish at risk of an infection that can kill it. Brook trout are an example of the necessity of responsible fishing and a healthy catch and release program. Please only keep what you plan on eating.