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One of the important aspects of fly fishing is getting to know your adversary in sport. Here we have put together some pictures and information on some of the more popular game fish that are sought by fly fishermen. Each of these fish is caught differently so it's vital to get local information on what kind of fish you can expect to find in the area and what kinds of flys they are taking.

Strongly colored, active fish of cold or temperate lakes and rapid streams, the approximately 15 species of trout are grouped with the SALMON in the family Salmonidae. All but two of the genus Salmo are regarded as trout. Once limited to the Northern Hemisphere, they are valued as game and food fish and have been introduced into a number of areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Although predominantly a freshwater fish, some species migrate to the ocean after spawning upriver. Trout generally thrive in water temperatures below 10 degrees-18 degrees C (50 degrees-65 degrees F).

The trout has a moderately long, unspecialized body that is laterally compressed, smooth, and muscular. Axial and paired fins are without spines. The softer, fleshy adipose fin, between the dorsal and caudal fin, is an indicator that the trout is a salmonid. All scales are small except for the elongated axial scale at the base of each pelvic fin.

The trout's diet changes with age. Fry, or newly hatched fish, feed on aquatic insect larvae for the most part. They progress to eating winged insects. As adults, small fishes, shrimp, and winged insects constitute the bulk of their diet.

Many male and female trout return after maturing (3 to 4 years) to the same place they were hatched in order to spawn. Most trout breed in early spring in running water. The female lays her eggs in a depression she makes by vigorously vibrating her tail in the gravelly shallows. The nearby male discharges his sperm, fertilizing approximately 200 eggs, which hatch in about 40 days. As many as 10,000 eggs may be laid per season by a single female. More than 90 percent of fry are killed during the first 3 or 4 months of life by predators such as the water shrew, mink, and larger trout.

One of the best-known trout is the brown trout, or sea trout, S. trutta, of Europe. They keep to the deeper pools and overhanging shelter of mountain streams. In the Terek and Kura rivers, brown trout support a commercial fishery.

The Seven lake trout, S. ischchan, and the cutthroat trout, S. clarkii, have both been able to adapt to special environments. Their genetic plasticity has enabled them to invade new and changing mountain drainages and occupy ephemeral lakes. Both species have been subjected to severe recent modifications of habitat and reduction of population by dams and other human constructions.

One of the most popular gamefish is the rainbow trout, Onchorhynchus mykiss, now considered part of the salmon family. Several forms are native to American Pacific Coast streams. The rainbow trout gets its name from the broad band of red along its side.

For most trout populations, government agencies and associations have established control and conservation measures. Rivers and lakes are stocked with farm-raised fish to provide extra catches for more anglers. Trout fishing is very popular, and in some countries, including the United States, a tax is placed on fishing equipment, boats, and clothing to help fund research and fisheries management.