Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » Native Brook Trout

Native Brook Trout

February 13th, 2008

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about trout fishing here in West Virginia. At that time, I wanted to show you all a picture of a native brook trout, but unfortunately, I did not have one. I was reading over at the Tennessee Valley Angler, and lo and behold Nathan had a great picture of colorful native, this one from Tennessee. He was gracious enough to let me share the picture with you here. Thanks Nathan!

Native Brook TroutSo, here is a picture of the native brook trout. You can click on the picture to see a larger version. Notice how colorful they are, even in comparison to the brookies that have been stocked here in the state. These little fish, as least in West Virginia, don’t grow very big. They typically inhabit the feeder streams from the high country. Many of these streams are difficult to access, which means very light fishing pressure. The fish are very spooky, so you have to approach the streams very cautiously. However, if you can float something colorful over them, they are ravenous feeders. They are a ton of fun to catch, and often if you find them, they will be plentiful.

As I mentioned in my last post on this subject, the streams found by anglers are highly guarded secrets. A lot of the fun in fishing for these fish is trying to find the streams yourself. Many of these streams are unnamed, and nothing but a little blue streak on a map. I have not gotten out to fish for these little beauties as much as I would like to, but the few times I have gotten into them have been a blast.

I noticed the last time I was down in the Smokies that Tennessee, or at least the Smokie Mountain National Park has been working to try and protect the brook trout streams, and bring back a good fishery. I suspect, however, that the high mountain streams of Tennessee are much like those found here in WV, filled with fish, but unknown to the general public.

Much work is being done by anglers and Trout Unlimited to support the brook trout, as the sole native species of trout in the eastern US. A program called Back the Brookie has spread throughout the country by way of individual TU chapters, helping to protect these great fish. You can read more about it by clicking the link, and poking around a bit.

Again, thanks to Nathan and the Tennessee Valley Angler for the great picture!

6 Responses to “Native Brook Trout”

  1. Those are pretty fish. I guess I didn’t realize there native and non-native brook trout. You learn something new every day.

  2. the difference between the two is that the natives occur naturally, and have much more color. the non-native stockers are put in the rivers by the DNR, after growing them in the hatcheries. they are the same fish, but those raised in a hatchery are not nearly as colorful as those that are native. sorry, if that was confusing!

    btw, the same thing is true of the rainbow trout. when you catch one that has either “gone wild” or is the result of reproducing numbers of trout in a stream, they are much more colorful, and stronger. there is no comparison in the fight of a wild trout and a freshly stocked trout. one look, and you can usually tell the difference.

  3. Brookies are my favorite fish to catch, they fight like they’re a bull in a china shop. And it is true that most fisherman who know where to find them are very secretive in those locations. I have caught some beauties; sorry I don’t have any photos to share with you.There is a branch of the beatty Saugeen that holds both brookies and browns, and also Niger Creek, full of good sized specs (watch out for the Missisauga Rattlers….they are everywhere)Southwestern Ontario

  4. Nice article, if you wanted to be a guest blogger on http://www.foxlakefishing.com with up to 3 backlinks to your site we would be honored, Just needs to be fishing related. Keep up the good work.

  5. Nice write up. How is the brook population there in wv. I have always wanted to get up to the Monongahela forest and do some fishing, but I have heard some conflicting reports about the fishing. Some say good and others bad. I was planing on going after reading a report that the DNR was working hard to get the populations back up. Here in Tennessee the park service has opened the higher elevation streams up again inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. There is some great fishing up there if you are willing to walk. And about the secretive fishermen, I’m one of them. I have a stream in Virginia near my parents place that has a good population of brooks in it. As far as I know only a few others that I know and myself fish the stream and I want to keep it that way.

  6. I’m in absolute agreement with you. A lot of really good-catching streams have to be guarded: The moment the word is out, a ton of anglers will hit the area and clean out the population. I can’t have that. I just went last weekend into the forest an hour from my locale. After an hour of hiking, we got to this clearing and found some really good tributaries. Unfortunately after 2 hours other people came and they were really territorial about the area. After explaining to them that I’ll keep it quiet, they let my neighbor and I go about our business. Good thing too since we were far away from my truck!

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