What Do Trout Eat?

In this article, we will go over the different types of food trout eat

Trout and cover in general what is a trout, where they are mostly located and other interesting facts.

A Trout is a species mainly known to freshwater habitats. It belongs to the genre “Oncorhynchus,” “Salvelinus,” and “Salmon.” Trout are related to char or salmon. They are of the same genre and most trout live in freshwater and in the sea and their diet tends to revolve around food and prey they can catch in these habitats

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Trout

The Types of Food trout eat

If you’re wondering what do trout eat? Well, as trout live mainly in freshwater, they tend to eat a variety of food such as:

  1. Terrestrial insects
  2. Other fish (smaller than them in size or weaker than them)
  3. Aquatic insects
  4. Worms
  5. Crustaceans
  6. Leeches
  7. Mayflies
  8. Caddisflies
  9. Stoneflies
  10. Midges
  1. Mayflies

Mayflies are the best source of food and a popular fly in the sport of fly fishing for trout. The lifecycle of mayflies passes from nymph to dun (pre-adult), dun to spinner and spinner to egg. As soon as the mayfly becomes adult, the trout hunts for it and consumes it as they are large in and plentiful during this season in number.

  1. Caddisflies

Caddisflies have ten-like formation. They are easy to catch when they are taking a rest. The lifecycle of caddisfly passes from egg to larva, larva to pupa, and from pupa to adult. Trout wait for the adult to be vulnerable ie usually when taking a rest and soon as they see them in this form, they hunt them down and consume them.

  1. Stoneflies

The stonefly is a complex insect that cannot breathe underwater very easily. It waits for the water to pass oxygen through its gills so it can breathe. They need as high-quality water for habitat as trout in order to survive and is one of the main food sources for trout in their habitat. They have three main stages of life:  egg to nymph, nymph to adult. On average they take 2 to 4 years to complete their lifecycle.

  1. Midges

Midges hatch from early spring to late-fall. They resemble mosquitoes but are different. You can say they belong to the same genre but are in fact a different species. Trout tend to consume more midges than any other insect in the water as they are in abundance. The life cycle of midges and caddisfly is quite long hence they are also a popular source of food for trout as they exist and roam around the habitat of the trout frequently.

  1. Dragon and Damselflies

Dragon and damselflies are the most favorite food of trout in the water. Dragon and damselflies are nearly two inches in length. These insects have longer lives than the rest of the aquatic insects and are a generous and healthy meal for the fish. Both of them have the same lifecycle, i.e., egg to nymph, nymph to adult however their life cycle period varies. I.e., damselflies lifecycle varies from one to two years, whereas dragonfly’s lifecycle is two to four years.

  1. Terrestrials

Terrestrial insects are the ones who fly, hop, and stay on land and water both. Grasshoppers are one of the examples. They vary in sizes and are one of the largest food items for a fish which as they are full of nutrition.

  1. Crustaceans

Crayfish, shrimps, sow bugs and scuds are not insects; they are known as crustaceans and are also a popular source of food for trout.

Fly Fishing Fly

Where are Trout found?

Trout are usually found in freshwater clear streams, rivers or lakes  which have cool (10-16 Celsius) temperature. Young trout are called troutling or troutlet. Their natural habitat is north Asia, North America, and Europe.

Fish Fillet

Nutrition value in a Trout Fillet

According to a Nutrition Foundation, a healthy trout contains:

  1. Energy: 490 kJ (117 kcal)
  2. Fat (g): 5.22
  3. Carbohydrates: 0g
  4. Fibers: 0g
  5. Protein: 16.41g
  6. Cholesterol: 46mg

These are the nutrients one fillet of trout (79g) contains. Trout is a popular freshwater fish consunmed by humans as it is a good source of protein.

How to Catch Trout?

Methods used to catch trout normally revolve around using a fly fishing rod, reel and artificial fly representing an insect or with spinning fishing tackle using a lure or spinner. These methods work well in streams and rivers with an abundant amount of trout located in them as the natural flow of the water reflects that of their prey movement, the more natural their prey looks, the more enticed they are to eat it.

As trout is a cold water fish it moves from up-deep to shallow under the ice usually found in depths of 4-9 ft. Brook, rainbow and brown trout are the most common species of trout found in rivers, streams and lakes and can vary depending on the international geographical location of the waters. 

Trouth have a number of teeth to assist them in consuming their prey.

Bait used to catch fish?

  1. Corn worms
  2. Muddler minnow
  3. Egg pattern works great to catch steelhead and trout in river
  4. Salmon roe
  5. Red caviar
  6. Worms. The best and the cheapest bait
  7. Wax worms
  8. Nymph of a golden stonefly
  9. Nymph mayfly
  10. Wooly buggers

Some Of The First Trout Fishing Records

  • Dr. W. Cook caught a Brook trout in the Nipigon River, Canada on July 1, 1961, that weighed in at 6.57 kg (14lbs. 0 oz.)
  • A Cutthroat trout caught by John Skimmer Horn in Pyramid Lake located in Nevada, USA on December 1, 1925, that weighed 18.59 kg (41 lbs. 0 oz.)
  • N. Higgins caught a Bull Trout in Lake Pend Oreille located in Idaho, USA on October 27, 1949, that weighed 14.51 kg (32 lbs. 0 oz.).
  • Chas Reed caught a Golden Trout in Cooks Lake located in Wyoming, USA on August 5, 1948, that weighed 4.98 kg (11 lbs. 0 oz.).
  • Sean Konrad caught a Rainbow Trout in Lake Diefenbaker, Canada on September 5, 2009, that weighed 21.77 kg (48 lbs. 0 oz.).
  • Lake trout caught by Lloyd Bull in Great Bear Lake, Canada on August 19, 1995, that weighed 32.65 kg (72 lbs. 0 oz.).

This article was written to provide you some further insight into the Trout species as a whole and I hope you found the above article helped to answer your question of  what do trout eat?

They are a beautiful fish to look at as well as catching and are one of my favourite fish to catch on Fly!

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Related Reading: Best Bait For Trout In Rivers