A Book Review

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The Mind of the Trout by Thomas C. Grubb Jr.

ISBN: 0-299-18374-2

published 2003


Authored by a professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology you can rest assure that the information in this book has been reviewed and compiled with a very critical eye. This book is also not something that you will read just before going to bed. Packed with an incredible amount of information this book is definitely for the more serious and intense fly angler. There are many fascinating chapters just packed with information. Most importantly, the information includes insight into challenging fishing scenarios fly anglers have either had or will experience at some point. “The Mind of the Trout” covers in detail the sensory mechanisms of trout and how trout sense magnetic fields that allow them to navigate streams during migrations, water temperature, water chemistry, oxygen levels as well as how trout taste and smell. I was quite interested to learn that amino acids (building blocks of proteins) such as L-alanine are detected specifically by trout through smell and taste to initiate a feeding response. With chapters dedicated to learning and perception by trout, Thomas Grubb describes scientific studies on feeding behaviour. Have you ever wondered why trout simply ignore a certain food item even though there is a major hatch happening, but instead you discover that the trout is focusing on something that seem insignificant to us as anglers? This book provides excellent explanations by describing research in a manner that anyone can relate to. Thomas Grubb ends his book with guidelines on “Experimental Angling”. Any angler who has developed experimental fly patterns and would like to validate to their claims of success would do well reading this chapter. A great book, but definitely for the more serious and intense fly angler.