Game Fishing > Freshwater Fish > Charr-trout fish

Charr-trout fish

Charr-trout fishThe charrs are more highly organized than the salmon trout; they live and thrive in wild waters of a temperature not more than 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and in whatever water they may be, they constantly seek the higher reaches to spawn. In New England, Canada, and also along the south shore of Long Island, one of these charrs (fontinalis), goes down to salt water and feeds, grows lusty, getting flesh of a deeper salmon and a more robust form, and remains in his new habitat until the instinct of spawning impels it to migrate in the following spring inward and upward. Other fresh-water fish find a congenial habitat in salt water.

The Lake trout (Cristivomer namaycush), is known by many names. In the Great Lake region it is called the Mackinaw trout; in the Northwest it is known as the namaycush, Sisco­wet, in other sections buckskin, togue, forked­tail, lunge, tulade, and masamacush. It is a large fish, growing to a reputed weight of 100 pounds, but the average is about six pounds. The lake trout rises to the surface very early in the spring and the angler trolls for it on or near the surface of the water, the fish taking the lure viciously, but rarely jumping into the air. It takes the spoon well, but the favorite bait is a golden shiner or carp; the larger the bait the larger the fish caught.

We now come to the most beloved of all charrs, the native brook trout (Salvelinus lontinalis), the objective quarry for the skilled and the tyro in their mountain outings. Its structure is formed and fitted for its wild life in the tumultuous mountain brooks, shaped to breast the rushing rapids wherein it poises, self-contained in body, and, apparently, in spirit. It will leap over and sometimes swim up the centre of three feet of water of a dam over which a downpour twelve or more inches in volume is ceaselessly passing; or it can be seen in a quiet pool above the dam disporting, and leaping leisurely and lazily from the water.

No other fish known to anglers possesses habits so free from grossness as the brook trout of the East. Its primary need is oxygen, and it seeks it in the upper reaches of strongly aerated mountain streams. There cast a fly, and when hooked, the trout seems to know every rift, nook, rooted hold of its rock-ribbed environment. In such streams, the trout are compelled to forage vigorously and industriously for food, and the wear and tear of vitality is constantly at work on the muscles; it finds little rest where no deep pools abound to which the fish can retire for security, repose, and digestion. Very different is the life in deep-pool lakes; there they feed mostly at the bottom, coming to the shallows and surface at sundown.

The Dolly Varden trout (Salvelinus parkei), also known as the bull trout, is widely distributed in the Western waters of the Rocky Mountain water shed. It is found as far North as Alaska, and South to the upper Sacramento River, thence eastward to Montana and Idaho waters, and, in these places, is called the red-spotted trout, malma, Golet, and Oregon charr. None of the trout or charrs rise more freely to the artificial fly than the Dolly Varden. The Eastern charr, that goes to the sea, is the Jontinalis, the Western one is the Dolly Varden. The effect of their sojourn in salt water is shown in their rapid growth, thicker body, and striking change in coloration. The Dolly Varden grows to a weight of seven pounds, and when taken, as it often is, in a salmon pool, the angler is apt to mistake its strong surges for those of a small but sprightly salmon.

Perhaps no fish has been a subject of so much discussion as the Sunapee trout (Salvelinus alpinus aureolus). It is only found in Sunapee Lake and Dan Hole, Carroll County, both in New Hampshire, and in Flood's Pond, Ellsworth, Maine. These waters are very deep and pure, and contain large numbers of landlocked smelt and crustaceans, upon which the trout feed, to such repletion that they do not rise to surface food of any kind, certainly, most infrequently, if at all, to the artificial fly; but on the trolling spoon, or live smelt in still fishing, they show grand fighting vigor. The bait should be lowered sixty to seventy feet, ground baiting for several days before fishing being most fruitful in scores.