About the Fish we Chase...

The salmonids (Trout, Salmon, Char, Grayling and Whitefish)

I am often surprised that more fly fishers and fishermen in general do not know more about the fish they target. I do not think knowing the Latin names of these fish is of particular value, but knowing things such as their preferred food sources, preferred water type, holding and feeding preferences, conditions like water temperature and sometimes their spawning habits. These are all helpful to some degree in making you a more successful fly fisher. Each little bit of knowledge makes you a more efficient fly fisher. The information in this section will help you get started in understanding more about the fish you chase...

Salmonids, aside from their taxonomy and genetics, all have a number of characteristics in common. They all require cold, clean and highly oxygenated waters to survive and breed. As a result, the native range of these salmonids are all in the northern hemisphere. Some of these species have been introduced to other areas in the southern hemisphere that have water and temperature conditions similar to their native range(s). In 1903, a hatchery was built in Argentina and starting in 1904 eggs were shipped by boat to Buenos Aires then by train and finally by wagon. Eggs from brook trout came from Maine and New York, California provided the eggs from the famous McCloud strain of rainbows, Maine furnished eggs from a landlocked salmon from the Sebago Lake region and the brown trout eggs came from Denmark. All salmonid egg shipment stopped by 1980.

Many salmonids are anadromous meaning that they are born in freshwater and  spend much/most of their lives in saltwater and return to freshwater to spawn, such as salmon and some species of trout. There are anadromous rainbow trout and we refer to them as steelhead. Anadromous brown trout are most often referred to as "sea trout" and a whole host of other names throughout Europe and they are relatively common compared to US waters. Anadromous brook trout are found in the Northeast and are typically called "coasters". The anadromous cutthroat trout is known as the "sea-run" cutthroat (also, blue-back trout or harvest trout) and it is most common from Alaska to northern California.

It should also be stated that the term anadromous can also be applied to numerous salmonids that have been introduced to areas like the Great Lakes. Here some trout and salmon use the lakes to live and grow for much of their adult life and return to the rivers to spawn like the saltwater versions do.

The following link will take you to much more detailed information on salmonids....please click here...

The following link will take you to much more detailed information on salmonids....please click here...