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Brown Trout Species Breakdown

Scientific Name: Salmo trutta

Also Known As: Butter-belly, brown, bar of gold, German brown, brownie, or loch trout

brown trout being held out of water with a fly in it's mouth

Brown trout are members of the trout and salmon subgroup of Salmonidae family. Trout are one of the most popular freshwater species to fish for. They are also one of the best tasting freshwater fish.

How to Identify a Brown Trout

You can identify a brown trout by their golden brown coloring and large spots on their back. They have a mix of red and black spots surrounded by pale halos on their sides. Their upper jaw extends beyond their eye.

Brown trout differ from rainbow trout in that they have fewer and larger black spots on their back. They also have a mix of red and black spots surrounded by pale halos on their sides.

Brown trout differ from brook trout in that they have dark round spots on a lighter body vs. light worm-like spots on a darker body.

The Brown Trout are one of the largest trout species, reaching weights of more than 40 lbs. 

Brown Trout Size

Brown trout can grow up to 44.3 lbs, 39 inches long, with 34 inches in girth. They are more commonly found in in the 1-5 lb range or 15-22″ long.

Brown Trout Size Chart – Length to Weight Conversion

10″5 oz
11″6 oz
12″11 oz
13″14 oz
14″1 lb 1 oz
15″1 lb 5 oz
16″1 lb 9 oz
17″2 lbs
18″2 lbs 5 oz
19″2 lbs 13 oz
20″3 lbs 4 oz
21″3 lbs 3 5oz
22″4 lbs 7 oz
23″5 lbs 2 oz
24″5 lbs 13 oz
25″6 lbs 6 oz
26″7 lbs 10 oz
27″8 lbs 4 oz
28″9 lbs 11 oz
29″10 lbs 7 oz
30″11 lbs 9 oz
31″12 lbs 12 oz
32″13 lbs 8 oz
33″14 lbs 13 oz
34″15 lbs 8 oz
35″16 lbs 15 oz

View World & State Brown Trout Records

Where Brown Trout Are Found

Brown trout are native to Europe, small areas of Africa and western Asia but have now introduced in every continent other than the Arctic and Antarctica.

In the United States Brownies are in 45 of the 50 states.

Brown trout can be found in lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and ponds where the water stays below 70 degrees year-round. They prefer well oxygenated water with overhead cover.

Lifespan of a Brown Trout

The lifespan of a brown trout is typically 4-6 years but can live up to 10 years old. Brown trout take 1-3 years to reach maturity. You can tell the general age of brownie by referring to the table below.

Brown Trout Age Chart

1 Years Old2 – 4 inches
2 Years Old5 – 9 inches
3 Years Old10 – 12 inches
4 Years Old13 – 15 inches
5 Years Old16 – 18 inches
6 Years Old19 – 23 inches
7 Years Old24 – 28 inches
8 Years Old29+ inches

Fishing for Brown Trout

Are brown trout hard to catch?

Brown trout are one of most difficult freshwater fish to catch. To make catching brownies easier target quicker moving water. This will give them less time to study your flies.

What size hook do you use for brown trout?

The best all around hook size for brown trout is a size 12 single barb hook.

What type of bait is for brown trout?

My favorite bait when fishing for brown trout is Berkley Powerbait.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What size brown trout is best to keep?

The best size brown trout to keep is 10-12 inches long. This is the best size to eat. Be sure to check your state’s size limit.

What do brown trout eat?

Brown trout eat insects, larvae, worms, and small fish.

Do brown trout have scales?

Brown trout have very small thin scales. Their scales are so thin you don’t need to remove them before eating.

Are brown trout good eating?

Brown trout are delicious They are one of the best tasting freshwater fish. Brown trout are lean and have a very mild fish flavor.

Do brown trout fish bite humans?

Brown trout have teeth and can bite humans. They aren’t aggressive or attack humans but they can cut you if aren’t careful when removing your hook. Bites from trout won’t cause any lasting damage.

Is brown trout a salmon?

A brown trout is not a salmon. They are both apart of the same Salmonidae family though.

What eats brown trout?

Bass, muskie, walleye, and other predator fish all eat brown trout. Herons, eagles, osprey, otters, racoon, and bears are also known to eat brownies.