Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)
Brown trout were introduced New Zealand from Europe and while there are sea run brown trout in New Zealand, they are generally found in cool fresh water of the rivers and lakes in the North and South Islands of New Zealand from the Coromandel area of the North Island to Fiordland in the deep South.
The Brown Trout is a thick bodied fish with a large mouth and a single soft rayed dorsal fin. Color is variable with age and habitat, but browns are usually silvery or golden olive with dark spots on the sides of the body. These spots are often surrounded by a lighter halo – and those on the lower sides may be pale or reddish-orange. Sea-run fish tend to be olive on the back, silvery on the sides and whitish on the belly with indistinct spots.
Brown trout have grown to 13kg in New Zealand rivers, but are usually caught in the 1-3kg range.
Brown trout feed on invertebrates from the streambed, small fish, frogs, and insects flying near the water's surface. Their reliance on insect larvae, pupae, nymphs and adults is what makes them a favoured target for fly fishing. Browns become active and feed in the late afternoon or early evening but when the weather is cool will feed during the day as well. They have better “dim light” eyesight that most trout and the largest browns will feed under the cover of darkness.
Brown Trout Fishing at Poronui
Active feeding generally occurs during subdued daylight, such as dawn and dusk and at night. Brown trout at Poronui are found in the cool well-oxygenated water of our pristine rivers, under cover such as submerged logs and rocks, undercut banks and overhanging vegetation. They prefer slower moving water than Rainbow trout and they will generally let the food come to them. Brown trout are extremely wary and must be approached quietly and slowly.
Many North American and English patterns work very well in New Zealand, particularly dry flies. Information on the best flies and equipment to use for brown trout at Poronui, can be found under Clothing and Tackle
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