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Brown trout are golden brown in color with large black spots, red spots with pale halos. They are the only trout with both red and black spotting. Young browns have an orange adipose fin.
The brown trout is more tolerant of silt and warm water than native trout and, therefore, has been stocked in areas disturbed by man.
They may be found in rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs.
Young Brown Trout feed on insects and other invertebrates, but the larger fish are active predators of other bait fish including young Brown Trout, Sucker fish, Sculpin, Shad, White Fish and Rainbow Trout. Larger Brown Trout will also feed on small animals that fall in the water from shore.
Spawning occurs in October and early November. With her tail, the female digs a shallow depression in which eggs are deposited. After spawning, she covers the eggs with gravel. The eggs hatch the following April. The juvenile brown trout grow quickly for the first three years. As they reach maturity, growth slows. An adult brown might be 4 to 15 years old.
The brown trout is a medium sized fish, growing to 20 kg or more in some localities although in many smaller rivers a mature weight of 1 kg (2 lb) or less is common. The current International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world "all tackle" record brown trout, 18.25 kg (40 pounds, 4 ounces), was caught in May 1992 from the Little Red River, Arkansas.
Brown Trout usually do not become active or feed until the late afternoon or early evening but when the weather is cool enough they will feed during the day as well. The largest Brown’s feed under the cover of darkness. Browns have better “dim light” eyesight than most other trout.
Brown trout can be caught with artificial flies, spoons, spinners, jigs, plastic worm imitations, live or dead baitfish where allowed and fishing lures.
Browns are wary and hard to catch. Bait, spoons and spinners have all proven effective in taking browns. However, for many anglers the ultimate sport is taking this species on a fly. The brown are inherently cautious, so angling with a fly requires experience to catch them consistently. They are most active at dawn and dusk; some of the larger trout are caught after dark.