Browns are native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. This species was introduced into North America in 1883. In 1893, brown trout embryos were brought to California and successfully reared fro planting in coastal streams. Since that time brown trout from various sources have been raised in California hatcheries and planted throughout the state. Brown trout are now present in a high percentage of coldwater fisheries, especially on both sides of the Sierra Nevada.


Mister Brown Trout

Brown trout are the only trout in California with both red and black spots on their bodies. Black spots tend to be larger and present on the gill covers, tail, head, adipose fin, dorsal fin, and sides. Red spots are present only the lower sides. Adults are usually dark to olive brown on the back, shading to yellow brown on the sides, and white to yellow on the belly.

Large monster wild Brown trout caught on the fly

Doral fin of a wild brown trout.

Big tail of East Walker River brown trout.

Michael Carl with wild brown trout caught fly fishing.

California Brown trout

Wild Brown trout

Brown Trout - California Range Map

Brown trout California Range Map

Range Map Provided by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Biology at UC Davis

Photo of California Golden Trout by P. Michael Carl © The Ecological Angler