Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Voices from the Past: Dixie Carrol

Dixie Carrol was always one of my favorite writers. Today and tomorrow I'll profile a two-part article in which Dixie opines on the nature of the Brown vs. Rainbow Trout. This article dates from 1918.

Browns & Rainbows

by Dixie Carrol

My Dear Buck:

When It comes to trouting, oldtimer, the little old native brook trout holds a warmer place in the heart of the average fly tosser than either the rainbow or brown, but as a general thing these last named fins grow to a huskier size than the brook trout, and with the added weight and the regular trout instinct they put up as fancy a fight as any angler could wish for. And they have one little trick that the brook trout seldom, if ever, pulls, and that is the leaping out of the water on a slack line, just about the same kind of a leap as the bass and particularly the brown trout pulls the same all-bo y shake of the bronzebacker. For that one little old trick we gotta give 'em credit; it's the snappy, unexpected leap out of the water that puts the pep into the sport and makes the fisherman keep his mind, eye and hands in the game.

The brown trout is a harder fish than the brook trout and for that reason has been stocked in streams that have become too sluggish and warm for the brook. This change in temperature of the waters is due to the cutting out of timber and in many streams the waters have warmed up to such an extent that the native trout have passed to the happy fishing waters. Many streams of this character, if stocked with the brown brothers, would in a short time make fishing in them, sport of the highest class. The brown trout is a killer and the fact that he has been planted in streams in which the native brook trout held domain, and then routed this little sport out of his home waters, has in a way given him a bad name with some of the frat., but plant him in waters that have been deserted by the brook and you will be surprised at his rapid growth and the amount of kick he develops in his tail in a few years. He tacks on weight like an off-season ball player, running up a score of about a pound a year, which sizes him up well in a short time.

While the larger brown boys are generally found in the deeper water and the pools, which is often the hiding place of the large brook trout, the smaller fins of the tribe weighing around the one to three pound limit are found in the swifter and more broken waters, especially in the waters cut up by rocks and boulders. In this white water he is nearly always found on the upper side of the boulders, keenly on the lookout for the food as it comes down stream.

Alfhough the brown trout is not as speedy in his fight as the native brook trout, he takes to the artificial fly with a dive that sure has some punch, and it is often unnecessary to strike him for the simple reason that he has hooked himself in his energetic wallop at the feathery fancy tossed to him. And when he is hooked, old scout, he puts up a fight right up to the net, and then some. He makes a long, steady fight, and often when brought to net will start out on another round just when you think you have him "headin' in."

On water that is not too broken or swift give him a tryout with the dry fly, especially in fishing the pools and deeper water. In the fast white water the wet-fly fishing will be found more effective, in fact it is almost impossible to really fish an entirely dry fly on such waters, and you'll save time and cussin' by starting in with the wet riggin'.

-- Dr. Todd

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