Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Brook Trout & MickyFin

My last painting of a trout was one I did on parchment paper.  In that post I explained the difficulties in painting on such thin paper so I will forgo the explanation on how I painted this Brook Trout.
Instead of the usual dialog on how I laid down the paint, I will give you my thoughts (and a few facts) on this wonderful tout.  First off, the Brook Trout is not actually a trout at all.  It is in fact a salmon.  Its official name is Salvelinus fontinalis  and is one of a select few of the salmonoid species that  never sees the ocean.  A native of North America, the Brook Trout is one of my favorite species to hook into.   I not only love how this fish fights after its hooked, but I also love what it takes to hunt this salmon down.
For scientists, the Salmon is a good barometer on how healthy a streams ecosystem is.  the reason for this is that the Brook trout only like cold clean water and will not tolerate pollution.  It is for this reason that I love to stalk these fish.
Usually to catch the native species of brook trout, one has to hike into the mountains and secluded streams far away from population. In the south, this takes a little effort but it is well worth it.
The brook trouts average life span in the wild is 4 -7 years with some species reaching as long as 15 years in the right environment.  At a year old the brook trout reaches sexual maturity and begins its spawning cycle between September to October where the female can lay thousands of eggs.
Even tho the brook trout has been known to be one of the best tasting of the 'trout' one can fish for, it is advisable and highly recommended that when fishing for native species, catch and release practices should always be implemented.  As for taking a few stalkys out of the so called 'put and take' stream for a tasty dinner, there is a bit of battle over the ethics of this.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding 'harvesting' , fly fishing these wonderful fish is something every angler should try.  Drys and midges always work well and Tenkara fishing for these trout is a great way to get a hook into them but every know and then I like to toss a streamer to them.  This seems to excite their predatory instinctual drive and make the fight all that more fun.  One of the best streamers I have found for these fish is the Black Nose Dace or the classic Micky Fin Buck tail Streamer.  I make mine in a variety of sizes including a #12 for those really small freestone pools that dot mountain streams. Sometimes I even add heavy hire for the ribbing in order to get the fly down in the water.
Brook Trout on Parchment
13in. x  5in.
Gouache and watercolor
on Acid free Parchment
For Sale

7 comments:

Tomek O said...

My God, how am I monothematic on your blog. Beautiful as usual!

Bill said...

Two of my favorites!

Brk Trt said...

Joel,
You have done it again.
That's an outstanding painting of a Brook Trout.
For those anglers who have a special place within them for the Brookie they can appreciate the beauty you have portrayed on paper.
And the Mickey Finn, there's two peas in a pod.

Thanks and well done.

TexWisGirl said...

beautiful portrait!

(would you consider removing word verification? it is truly painful to use now!!! please?!)

AYearOnTheFly said...

Tomek - Thanks for the overwhelming support
Bill - Mine as well
Brk - Like red wine and a med rare porterhouse or like Rum and Coke, these two belong together.
TexWisGrl - Thanks and I know. It is very annoying right? I was hoping Google would get so much negative feedback that they would fix it but it looks like I'll have to take action myself.

Shoreman said...

Hey Joel. When I first started fly fishing the Mickey Finn was one of the flies I wanted to use for Brookies, but couldn't find anyone that sold them, so as soon as I started tying it was one of the first. I've yet to hook a Brookie on one or the Black Dace which I've tied also. Then I didn't have much luck with Brookies of any kind last year. Maybe this year.

Bob Stanton said...

Nice post and a beautiful rendering of the "Aphrodite of the hemlocks" as Ernie Schwiebert called them. Not to nitpick, there are brookies that venture to the sea, or were, such as on Long Island. Salters, I think they call(ed) them.