The Ferox Trout.
How does a fish species actually count as mythical and mysterious? Well, you always have to swim deeply, at the bottom, where it is dark and eerie, in lakes as large as possible, in secluded areas; and then you have to surface every now and then. You should then look totally wild. And one should be as rare as possible and, above all, different from other trout, perhaps not with run-of-the-mill red and orange patches, but, for example, with exclusively black ones. If you pursue this lifestyle persistently for about 10,000 years, paying attention to your genetic integrity, you become so legendary in certain circles that even exceptional personages such as, for example, Peter Steele could still learn a lot from you (he’s to be reborn certainly as a Ferox Trout, which would not be without its allure in strictly fishing terms).
Ferox: The Aquatic Wolf from the Ice Age
The Ferox Trout was already ennobled in 1835 by Scottish zoologists with the Latin title ferox (having the appearance of a wild animal). Similarly early on, this fish also earned its remarkable reputation among anglers. Charles St John(1809-1856) respectfully recalls one particular day of ferox fishing: “I was crossing Loch Ness alone one evening with my rod at the stern of the boat, with my trolling-tackle on it trailing behind. Suddenly a large trout seized it, and before I could do anything but take hold of my rod he had run out eighty yards of line and bent my stiff trolling rod like a willow.” St John lost the fish. But the latter could not have made a better contribution to the reputation of its kind. Anyone who travels through Scotland today and goes there for fly fishing will soon learn something about this fabulous fish. To read the adventurous story that connects us personally to this trout species, check out “About The Logo”.
Ferox and Conservation
When in 1985 a Scottish whiskey distillery invited several anglers to a one-week fishing expedition, no legendary fish was captured, but the stories of a historic whiskey were consumed and ,above all, the “Ferox 85 Group” was founded. To this day, the “Ferox 85 Group” serves as an association of fish biologists who champion the protection and study of especially the Ferox Trout. Since this fish has been on a red list of endangered species since 2008, it should not be specifically targeted except for conservation-oriented research. If, however, by some incredibly great coincidence a Ferox Trout catches your fly, gently return it to the water. Even if your gut feeling in the face of this great catch tells you otherwise, skip the whole photo act because it only wastes precious time. May this special fish still swim the deep, dark waters for a long time to come!
If you would like to get into the subject in depth, check out this very recommendable introduction and further links:
P.S. Bruce Sandison, renowned angler and writer who has already been described as legendary, has called the Ferox Trout “Scotland’s most noble freshwater fish”. A beautiful dig at the occasionally outrageous arrogance of some exclusive-route salmon fishermen.