When a rainbow trout is hooked, the resulting blur is silver. (Forget any painting you've ever seen of a rainbow trout leaping from the water, arched just so, with an identifiable dry fly hooked at the corner of the mouth. No one has ever seen that static image, even for an instant, in real life. The fish simply thrashes too quickly for the human eye to resolve. I'd like to see Andrew Ellis try that painting, though; he conveys blur, a sense of motion, better than any other painter I'm aware of, though of course his preferred subject matter is birds. But I digress.) If there is enough pink on the fish, the blur partakes of this, resembling the pink foil wrapper on a Hershey's Kiss at Eastertime. But the last fish I caught over the weekend came up as a buttery, golden blur.
The golden blur resolved into this, a beautiful little (about 7 inches) brown trout.
This small fish was a trophy for a couple of reasons. For one thing, brown trout are generally considered more discerning than other trout species; it's been said that not only do they recognize most artificial flies, but they can usually name the patterns, and older fish may know the page numbers in the Cabela's and Orvis catalogues. Furthermore, while this creek is regularly stocked with rainbows, the last stocking of browns was a couple of decades ago, so this was an indisputably wild fish.
Bill Spear has called brown trout "the only sporty German import you'll find for under $50K", and it's true that the first brown trout brought to the States were from the Black Forest, but subsequent shipments included fish from the British Isles as well, so I'll assume some kinship with this little jewel.
A quick family portrait, and he was back on his way...