The Brown Trout of the Pacific Northwest
The brown trout is closely related to the salmon with the same long, narrow, compressed body and long head. Torpedo shaped and meant for speed. A rounded snout and a pronounced hook develops on the lower jaw in mature males.
In stream populations, the back, upper sides and the top of the head are brown becoming silvery on the sides with pronounced black spots and rusty colored spots on the sides. In large lakes or the sea, the body is silver and most of the spots are concealed. The fins, except for the adipose fin which is an deep orange color, are smokey, opaque and sometimes yellowish with some spots on the fins.
These trout are native to Europe and western Asia. They were first introduced into Canadian waters in Quebec in 1890. Since then they have established themselves in all provinces, except Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.
The brown trout is a cold water species that was introduced mainly into stream or river habitats in Canada, although there are now a number of lake and sea run populations. The habitat of the brown trout is clear, cool, well oxygenated streams and lakes.
Brown trout spawn in late fall to early winter, from mid October to January depending on location. The usual spawning site is in shallow, gravelly headwaters of streams or gravelly shallows of lakes.
The Lake Cowichan River and lake system has a strong population of Brown Trout, some of these fish can reach up to 7 kilos in weight, the river is quite long with a great section on the lower end where drift fishing is the best way to fish these lunkers. There have been many of the top fishing shows that have done a story on this fishery.