Brook Trout | Speckled Trout

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Brook Trout | Speckled Trout Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill)

"And when the timorous Trout I wait To take, and he devours my Bait, How small, how poor a thing I find Will captivate a greedy Mind; And when none bite, the Wise I praise, Whom false Allurement ne'er betrays."

The game-fish which has been most written about and which is, perhaps, best and most widely known among the anglers of the world is undoubtedly Salvelinus fontinalis. It is one of the most beautiful, active, and widely distributed of American trouts. Its natural range is from Maine to northern Georgia and Alabama in the Appalachian Mountains, and westward through the Great Lakes region to Minnesota; and in Canada from Labrador to the Saskatchewan. It has been extensively introduced into many waters in which it was not native, in the eastern and upper Mississippi Valley States, in the Pacific and Rocky Mountain States and in many foreign countries as well With the possible exceptions of the rainbow and steelhead trouts it is the hardiest member of the salmon family and will make a brave struggle for existence even in an unfavourable environment.

Not every stream however can be stocked with this species; the temperature of the water must not be too high nor the flow too sluggish although a high temperature is not wholly prohibitive, if there is a strong current resulting in the proper aeration of the water. The best streams are those with a gravelly bottom, clear shallow water, steady, fairly strong current with occasional rapids, deeper pools and eddies, abundant natural food, and balks overhung with bushes which afford more or less protection.

The brook trout spawns in the fall when the water is growing colder. The season extends from late August in the Lake Superior region to October and November or even later in New England, New York and southward. At spawning time the fish will push far up even the smallest creeks where the spawning beds are selected upon gravel bottom in shallow water. There the eggs will lie until the next spring-anywhere from 90 to 210 days when the water begins to grow warmer and the eggs begin to hatch.


From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann, 1902.