Brown trout (Salmo trutta) inhabit oxygen-rich and in summer cold streams and rivers and are the leading fish in the so-called trout region. Thus the brown trout gives a whole water region a name, the trout region. Brown trout can be found even in the smallest rivulets and streams and are often the only fish species there together with the Mühlkoppe (bullhead).
Risk of confusion
Risk of confusion exists mainly with the rainbow trout and the migratory forms of brown trout, of sea and lake trout. Typically the brown trout has red spots and is brownish in colour.
World records and maximum size
Brown trout can often reach considerable sizes in rivers under suitable conditions. The world record is currently 19.1 kg and was caught in New Zealand. The fish was 92 cm long and quite round. The previous record was of a 111 cm long brown trout.
Distribution and origin
The brown trout is native to Germany and can be found everywhere in streams and lakes rich in oxygen, where the 20 °C mark is not exceeded or only very briefly, even in summer. In many cases, brown trout are also introduced into various suitable waters and can be found almost all over Germany. In Switzerland and Austria, however, the fish are once again much more common.
The migratory forms of the brown trout
The brown trout has two migratory forms, some of which have their own closed seasons and minimum sizes. Even though they are almost identical to the brown trout, the sea trout grow faster and better due to the higher food supply in the respective waters and reach lengths of over one meter. Both migratory forms migrate back to streams during spawning time and spawn there. Therefore, they need a possibly unobstructed access to suitable spawning grounds. It has also been observed that lake trout spawn in gravel and cold lakes, but this is not the rule.
The spawning time is in winter and in the brown trout is mainly controlled by light. So the fish spawn about half a year after the longest days. This is used in breeding to make trout spawn also in the summer by appropriate light programs.
Closed season and minimum sizes
Please note that many waters may have different closed seasons and minimum sizes. These are often stated on the permits.
Behaviour and natural food
Natural food includes mainly crustaceans, insects and insect larvae and, if available and if the animals are large enough, smaller fish. Trout can even be cannibals and eat their own brood.
Brown trout baits
Brown trout respond very well to signals to the sidelines, so spinners, spoons and rubber fish are very successful spinning baits.
Brown trout are also very popular with fly fishermen and so there are different flies for different seasons depending on the insect hatch. But also small fish imitations, so-called streamers, are successful trout baits.
Natural baits are forbidden in many trout waters because they are often greedily taken and swallowed. Nevertheless worms are excellent trout baits, to be able to offer them still woad-fairly it is recommended to offer a bigger bundle at the 1`er hook or bigger. Also pressing the barb on the hook can spare the fish.
In pond systems trout dough works just as well on brook as on rainbow trout.
Angling for brown trout and angling techniques
As mentioned under the heading “Brown trout bait” there are various angling methods and therefore also various angling techniques.
Angling tackle for brown trout fishing
For natural waters we recommend light spinning rods and a matching small spinning reel (link to market overview >>) for spin fishing. Fly fishing for fly fishing is also very successful. Very light fly rods and reels are also suitable for this.
Trout rods some recommendations
Brown trout in aquaculture
Brown trout are also bred in fish farms, but the worldwide production is significantly below that of rainbow trout due to their higher demands on oxygen and temperature.
Brown trout as an edible fish
Brown trout is also an excellent edible fish, which delights the palate with a very fine taste and lower fat content. The few bones, as well as the fact that trout do not need to be scaled, also contribute to the fact that the trout is so popular on the plate. Classic recipes are Trout Müllerin