Brown Trout vs Brook Trout: What’s the Difference?
Professional and beginner anglers love trout fishing.
As a matter of fact, trout is one of the most popular game fish for anglers.
Catching trout is very challenging and satisfying at the same time, especially when you are holding the trophy in your hand.
It’s great that you’ve got yourself a trout on your first try, but do you know what it is?
Is it a brown trout or a brook trout?
Even if you are a professional angler, it is pretty confusing to know which is which.
If you’re also wondering how brown trout vs brook trout differs from each other, we will tell you exactly how.
Brown Trout vs Brook Trout
At first glance, it might be very difficult to differentiate a brook trout and a brown trout.
Even professional anglers will have to look twice to figure out if it is a brook or a brown trout.
There are a few simple things that you can check if you want to know if what you caught is a brown or a brook trout.
1. Physical Appearance
First and foremost, you will find that brown and brook trout have certain differences in their physical appearance.
Then again, you will have to look closer to identify them accurately.
The spots from a brook trout are lighter than its body color, while the spots on a brown trout are darker than its body color.
They both come in a variety of colors, though, so this is one other thing that you should take note of.
A brook trout has a worm-like pattern located at its back.
Brown trout, on the other hand, doesn’t have this kind of pattern; instead, you can see spots everywhere on its body.
A brook trout has white edging on its lower fins.
On the other hand, brown trout don’t have any white edging.
A brook trout has a lot of spots on its tail, and these spots would extend to the tail.
A brown trout doesn’t have any spots from the tail.
The size is pretty easy to distinguish, especially when it comes to these two fish.
A brook trout is smaller compared with a brown trout; it only grows to up to 15 inches.
A brown trout, on the other hand, is bigger; it grows from eight to 24 inches.
This means that if you caught a trout with a size of 16 to 24 inches, you would know that it is definitely a brown trout, even without looking at the markings on its body.
A brook trout and brown trout also have different preferences when it comes to their habitat.
A brook trout is not only found in small streams; rather, this type of trout is extremely versatile and can show up in almost any body of water.
They can live in tiny creaks, rivers, large lakes, and brackish waters. They can even live in the ocean.
Basically, this type of trout can be found almost anywhere.
However, they are very picky when it comes to the water torrent.
They usually eat food that would float their way, so you will rarely see them in slow-moving bodies of water.
They don’t like fast currents, and they would need to spend a large amount of energy just to stay steady while waiting for food.
As long as the water current is not too fast and not too slow, you can definitely find a brook trout there.
A brown trout is pickier when looking for a home.
This type of trout only prefers clear lakes and rivers, and they want a place with a lot of covers.
They are not too picky with water temperature, but you can often find them in much colder waters, especially in streams and rivers.
A brown trout loves to live in rivers and lakes with a lot of covers.
It spends its time hiding and just waiting for the prey to come.
Brown trout usually hide in debris, rocks, and overhanging vegetation.
How to Catch Brook Trout and Brown Trout
Now that you already have an idea about the differences between a brook and brown trout, the next thing to do is to find out how to catch them.
They both live in different areas, but there are instances when you can definitely find them in the same body of water.
Here are some of the things that you have to know when catching a brook or brown trout.
Catching a Brook Trout
A brook trout is pretty much accessible in all bodies of water, and this is one of the most common types of trout that you can find.
However, you should know that this type of fish will always find cold water.
Although they don’t prefer water temperature that is already freezing, they don’t want to stay in warm waters, so they usually avoid areas with slow-moving water.
The best brook trout streams should not exceed 68 degrees, even during summer.
Again, this type of fish would always find cold water, so if the water is 68 degrees and below, there is a chance that you might find them there.
Exploring a Stream
One of the most important things to do when catching a brook trout is to explore and search for a stream where you can start fishing.
This is pretty difficult if you want to find one on your own.
If you don’t want to spend time doing this, you can just ask the local anglers in the area as to where you can find a large concentration of brook trout.
When looking for a stream, you first have to find cold water.
You can try looking for streams that are surrounded by trees.
If the water is being sheltered by the trees against the sun, there is a chance that the water is cold enough for a brook trout to live in.
If you found a pond outlet, it usually has warm water, so it is better to check the temperature before you start fishing there.
Choosing the Right Gear
When fishing for brook trout, you need a fishing pole with a spinning or spin-cast reel, and it should be about four to five feet long.
You should also use a thin line with a four-pound test but get a six-pound test if the water is cloudy.
You have to bring small bronze hooks with number 10 or number 14 sizes.
For the bait, you should use nightcrawlers, as they are more appetizing for brook trout.
Simple Tips when Fishing Brook Trout
There are a few simple things that you have to do when you are fishing brook trout, and these can help increase your chances of catching them.
1. Don’t Show Yourself in the Stream
If you are planning to catch brook trout, try to avoid casting a shadow on the stream.
You should hide and carefully go into your spot.
You should never enter the water because doing that would alert the brook trout.
2. Proper Casting of the Fishing Line
When you are casting a line, you should throw it fast upstream.
This would allow the bait to drift back to your location slowly.
On the other hand, if you are using a lure that mimics the food preference of brook trout, you can just cast it in any direction you want.
3. Watch the Line Closely
You have to pay close attention to your fishing line as it drifts back to you.
If you noticed that the line got stretched out, you might have gotten a catch.
Catching a Brown Trout
Brown trout is harder to find compared with a brook trout.
Since this type of trout can only be found in cool and clear rivers and lakes, your options are quite limited.
If the weather is warm, the fish will spawn even if the water is very cold.
This means that the best time to catch brown trout is during spring.
This fish will go to the bottom of the lake during winter because it is the warmest area of the lake.
Then, it will be very hard to catch once it goes down deeper.
Brown Trout Fishing Tips
If you are planning to catch brown trout, you should learn a few simple fishing techniques first.
Having a few up your sleeve can improve your chances of getting a good catch.
1. Shore Fishing
When you are fishing brown trout from the shore, you don’t have to use any particular technique as they are not picky when it comes to the lures.
You can use flies, baits, or any type of lure, and they would bite it.
2. Lake Trolling
Even if it is very hard to catch brown trout during the winter season, it is still possible if you will do lake trolling.
This is the best method to use when they are located at the bottom of the lake.
If you want to use this fishing technique effectively, you will need about 150 feet of fishing line.
You have to do this so that you won’t disturb the surface of the water.
Then, cast the fishing line far enough so that the brown trout will not be scared of the boat’s engine.
3. Simple Fishing Tactics
If you are looking for brown trout, try to go behind large boulders and structures that are located on the water.
This type of fish will always want to hide so that they can catch insects.
They also wait for debris that would float near them.
If you use spawn sacs as a form of bait, you have to catch them under a float, and it should be very close to where they are located.
You also need to get a long rod, along with a reel with a smooth drag.
In addition, you should use a light-action spinning rod and a light line that the trout will not be able to spot.
They have great eyesight, so you need to hide as much as possible so that they won’t be scared and swim away.
4. Start Changing the Diet
Professional anglers already know that the diet of this type of fish would change based on its size.
Catching them would be a lot easier if you know their food preference.
If it is still very young, it will eat insects and small crustaceans.
However, once it grows bigger, its preference would change to other fish, like suckers, minnows, and smaller trout.
Brown trout vs brook trout might have a lot of differences, but there is something common between them, too.
Both of them are amazing game fish for professional anglers.
These professionals love to catch them as they are not too hard to catch, but they definitely put up a challenge once they are caught in your hook.
Knowing their behavior, their differences, and their food preference will be a great way to improve your fishing technique.
This will also help you save more time, as you won’t have to guess when and where to catch these two types of trout.