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PHWFF

The Hook & Hackle Company encourages support of those "Wounded Warriors" who have suffered physical and/or emotional injury as a result of their service to our great country.

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Rose River Farm, Virginia's finest private water trout fishing experience, has just gotten even better. Now in addition to over a mile of private water managed for Trophy Trout (all strictly on the fly and catch and release) they have added luxury rental cabins. As an introductory special ....

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The Hook & Hackle Company highly endorses this fine bonefish, tarpon & permit fishing destination. Our recent visit there exceeded our expectations many times over.

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Nora's colorful artwork just blow's me away! Best known for her watercolors, Nora has spent time painting on location all over the U.S.

 

I recently purchased a couple of prints from her Rich Pool Series which have become instant favorites!

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From time to time, we will feature different folks who are making a difference to fly fishing, conservation, outdoor art, helping others & so on. We welcome your suggestions for this column.


Peter C. Thompson, artist, writer, fly fisher & conservationist is our current feature.

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Wilderness North – Ontario Canada’s Premier Fly-in Adventure Provider!

Deep in the heart of the Northern Ontario wilderness lies an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers seeking a definitive Canadian adventure. Accessible only by floatplane, Wilderness North offers a haven for those who want to reconnect with nature.

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brook

Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis

Local Names:

Brookie, Brook char, Speckled trout, Squaretail, Salter, Sea-trout

Average Size:

6 to 12 inches

0.25 to 0.75 pounds

Distinguishing Field Marks:

Color and color pattern are reliable distinguishing field marks for this species. (See the illustrations.)

North American Range:

Map to the right shows approximate range in North America.

Biology:

Brook trout generally spawn in the fall, late September, October, and November. Males develop elongated upper and lower jaws and become very intensely colored, females less so.

The females select and excavate nest sites, in shallow fine gravel-bottom riffles, and also in shoal water of lakes or ponds, with males jockeying for position and occasionally charging one another. Egg counts range from 100 to 5,000. Depending on conditions, the eggs hatch in as little as 50 to as many as 100 days. The alevins remain in the nest gravel absorbing the yolk sac and then swim-up as fry.

Brook trout often spend their entire lives in the streams of their birth, although some return downstream as young adults and enter ponds, lakes, or the ocean. Those that remain in small cold water streams usually do not grow to more than 6 or 8 inches. Those that live in lakes or large ponds may achieve lengths from 18 to 24 inches and weights from 5 to 8 pounds. Brook trout do not live long lives, usually from 4 to 8 years.

Diet:

Zooplankton, graduating to aquatic insects and other invertebrates. Brook trout are opportunistic omnivores and will take a wide range of foods as they are available. Large brook trout feed extensively on forage fish, showing a preference for sculpins. Dan Gapen originated the now widely used Muddler Minnow fly pattern to imitate a sculpin species on which he had found Canadian Brook trout selectively feeding.

Fly Fishing for Brook Trout:

Brook trout have been widely introduced beyond their native eastern range and are now nearly as wide ranging as Rainbow trout. Where they remain native or have been established through stocking, locating small to medium sized Brook trout should only require an angler's seeking the up-stream tributaries of larger rivers, or checking with local tackle shops, outfitters, and guides to find them in larger bodies of water. Brown trout were brought to this country to supplant the native Brook trout as their numbers were diminished by development, pollution, timber harvesting, and over-fishing. Since they do well only in pure cold-water often remote habitats with no other species for competition, Brook trout are easily displaced. Interestingly, this same species that was driven out of many of its historic habitats has done quite well when stocked in western streams and lakes, but have done so by displacing several native western trout species.

These seemingly always hungry chars will come to nearly any angler's offering. Streamer flies, nymphs, wet flies, and dries will all bring Brook trout to the hook. Searching fly patterns in all forms and sizes are a good approach to fly fishing for Brook trout as they tend not to be hook or leader-shy. Spring and fall, when the water is cool, are the best times to fish for Brook trout. In the warmer months they will congregate around spring seeps and into deeper water in ponds and lakes.

Very light fly tackle, in the 3 to 4 weight class outfits with as short as 6 or 7 foot rods may be necessary for getting into small brushy streams that may hold hundreds of wild Brook trout. For larger waters, fly fishing equipment in the 5 to 7 weight class is appropriate.

Significance to Humans:

Although they are not true trout, Brook trout were the first North American “trout” that Caucasian settlers encountered when they began fishing these waters. They found them easy to catch, and many complained bitterly when the more challenging Brown trout was introduced to replace them.

Status:

Maintaining, through some natural reproduction and often through annual stocking, the Brook trout’s range is being expanded through introductions.