the toughest trout

TROUT are tougher than you think and not just that brown trout who keep refusing your hopper presentation.

In the past year I’ve been astounded at the ability of trout to not only survive gaping wound but keep eating just like normal. I’ve seen trout stabbed, bitten, chomped, chewed and blood sucked.

Now we know trout don’t like being held too hard, particularly across the belly or gills, being dropped on boat decks or rocks, high temperatures or low oxygen.

But the image above might feature one of the toughest trout to come into my boat, with multiple large gaping wounds on its right side and a couple on the left. It was hooked on a tailwater jig on the White River. The consensus is probably a run in with an otter. But the image also shows the remarkable clotting properties of trout blood to prevent blood loss while in water.

Even the raw patches rasped by a chestnut lamprey don’t bleed profusely upon removal. Contrary to popular belief the host fish of our native lamprey survives the encounter.

Paul was smiling at a dry fly eating cutthroat capture, it was afterward we found the wound

The cuttie above was also actively rising to a hopper. Once landed we found two deep punctures probably from a Heron. A wound that seemed survivable.

Sometimes the trout wins