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Brown Trout Trivia & Laguna Verde

Brown Trout Trivia

Amidst the unpacking, packing, laundry, email, and a thousand other things that I am doing this week I found myself wondering if the brown trout that are spread all over the world all came originally from Ireland and decided that Ernest Schwiebert's double volume Trout, would be the place to look for the answers. I could have Googled it, but I wanted to read it from a fisherman's point of view and there is no one better than Schwiebert. I did google to see if the book set was still available and there are a few still around. If you aren't familiar with it, trust me it's a masterpiece.

After digging it out of our book case, I had to blow the dust off our book set and I felt guilty that it sat untouched for so long. There were times in the '80s when Schwiebert would stay with us in our little cabin home. He kept a bottle of Chivas Regal handy (under the kitchen sink actually) and I remember a few years back then when he would work long into the night on art for a series of fly fishing calendars that he produced for awhile. Anyway getting back to the story, one thing led to another as it often does and pretty soon I was lost in his prose. Schwiebert truly was a wordsmith and when he describes a scene or experience he puts you right in the middle of it, it's like you're there with him.

I'm willing to bet that a lot of our readers (along with me until yesterday) never heard of Fred Mather. Aboard the German steamship Werra in 1883, on a cold February day at a New York waterfront Mather received 80,000 brown trout eggs. He took them to his Cold Spring Harbor hatchery on Long Island. (There was an earlier attempt by a W. L. Gilbert of Plymouth, Massachusetts, but it was not successful.) In addition to the Contequot and the Nissequogue waters of Long Island, Mather went on to stock his fish in several eastern rivers without much fanfare and one of the locations was the Broadheads in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania.

More trout eggs followed and few records of the stockings from early shipments have survived, yet there is evidence that the Contequot and the Nissequogue provided the genesis of brown-trout fishing in America. The storied Beaverkill in the Catskills, the Musconetcong in New Jersey, and the Brodheads in Pennsylvania soon had brown trout and it wasn't long before they were planted in the Pere Marquette waters of Michigan.

Not everyone was in favor and Schwiebert goes on to tell about Sauerkraut trout. It was soon after the first World War and many minds were still poisoned with anti-German sentiments and minds were made up that the brown trout was not good for anything. Even later Michigan fisheries experts determined that these spotted suckers were completely inferior to both the brook and the rainbow trout.

Fast forward to recent years and although much effort has been put into eradicating brown trout, they insist on surviving and doing it well. With water temperatures rising and loss of habitat, the brown trout endures, reproduces, and keeps right on going. Their hardiness is important for our waters. The ability of the brown trout to tolerate moderate levels of pollution and relatively high water temperatures make them a species of the future. There are recorded temperature ceilings of eighty-one degrees in typical brown-trout habitat and even higher readings are found at both Hot Creek in California and the Firehole in Yellowstone.

Schwiebert goes on for pages, but perhaps Ed Schlecter summed it up best when he grumbled good naturedly, “They're just cantankerous, stubborn, smart German trout!”

I don't know about you, but I've always been partial to brown trout and I would bet they have many fans on their side of the debate today. The rest of the brown trout chapter talks about how they ended up all over the world, not just in the well known locations of New Zealand, Iceland, and Argentina, but in places like Iran and the Turkish headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates!

If you don't have a set of Schwiebert's Trout, and if you haven't given up on books completely, this is one for the ages. There is something about Schwiebert and these volumes that will never go out of style and there's a feeling you get when you settle into a good chair and rest the solid book on your lap that just isn't possible by reading online!

Oh, I just remembered the clothes in the dryer!!


Review of Laguna Verde & Dorado Cruiser

We got home a few days ago from hosting a group in Argentina at Laguna Verde and the Dorado Cruiser. We talk about Laguna Verde a lot and what an amazing place it is. It didn't let us down this year and we caught some huge rainbows! Our biggest fish for the week were two 17 pound rainbows with a lot of fish in the 13-16 pound range. The wind, the waves, the lunar landscape and huge wild strong fish make it like no place we've ever been! We can't wait to go back next February.

Then we went for a few days on the Dorado Cruiser in northern Argentina for golden dorado. We love the Cruiser and we felt like modern day Mark Twains as we cruised down the Parana River in the beautifully restored riverboat, or mothership, while towing skiffs. We could not have been happier with the food, wine, accommodations and guides, but the fishing lacked. The river is in a severe drought and the water was very low and dirty. But, it's such a great experience, it seems like we have to give it another try!

Our album:

We are in another ice and snow storm here at the moment. Everyone is anxious for Spring. Another month and signs of spring will be everywhere. Have a good week and thanks for reading the blog!

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George Semel
George Semel
Feb 25, 2022

Well I have a copy of that wonderful masterpiece of writing since it was first published. It's one for every Fly Fisherman's book shelve. A giant of our sport.

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