Mission South America: Brown Trout (Searun)

I have had a love affair with Salmo Trutta for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories of the these fish go back to  watching my father catch them on Loteni River in the Drakensberg foothills. A little later I caught my own.

I have chased brown trout all over our country and have spent many hours reading stories and reports of catching browns in their native waters of Europe, Asia and North Africa. Then I learnt about New Zealand and Patagonia and my imagination struggled to comprehend these fish running more than 20lbs.

Brown Trout are the most wide-spread introduced fish in Patagonia. They’re found in many rivers of Chile and Argentina and even in countries such as Colombia and Peru. However, in some Patagonian rivers, Salmo Trutta has decided to, as their salmon and steelhead cousins do, travel to sea before returning to their river of birth to spawn.

Science cannot fully explain this migration. While genetics likely play an underlying role in the development of migratory populations, studies  haven’t been able to differentiate genetically between resident and migratory individuals within a population, and in fact indicate that interbreeding often occurs between the migratory and resident individuals. It’s almost as if the an individual trout decides to whether not it wants to see the sea!

All I want is one. It doesn’t have to be big, but I want one silver sided sea run brown.

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