|Brown Trout... seriously. Spring River, AR, 29 January 2011|
If the fish had been any bigger, I imagine it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable... maybe if it was a real lunker, but a 12" fish would not have elicited such comments as "I think it's a Brown Trout" followed quickly by "it's definitely a Brown Trout" and "I think they let this one out of the hatchery too early."
At first she thought it was a small chub, Stoneroller, or some other "minnow" species as it lightly tugged on the line. When brought to hand, the little guy was so tiny that it was hard to see his distinctive red spots. She caught it in a shallow riffle where there is usually a fish or two, albeit a larger one, but most of those will be Rainbows. The Spring River doesn't have very many Browns in it (limited stocking and no natural reproduction), and it's funny that it turned out to be the river where Kelly caught her first.
The other Arkansas trout rivers where we fish are known for their naturally-reproducing Brown Trout populations. These are the Little Red, Norfork, and White Rivers. The White and Little Red have both been home to the World Record Brown Trout. The Little Red recently lost the title to the Manistee River in Michigan.
Kelly "decided" to catch her first Brown where she had her first close encounter almost a year ago... at least I assume that's how she planned it. On 17 March 2010, Kelly missed what she thought "certain was a good Brown Trout" at the Spring River according to our fishing journal. I've told her it's much easier to catch a Brown on those other rivers, but I guess she wanted her revenge at the original scene of the crime.
I'd say she got her revenge... in not so grand, but highly memorable fashion.