A question we get asked a lot from newbies to the fly fishing world and those intrigued about trout in general is does trout have scales. The simple answer is yes trout does have scales and plenty of them which run through its out body and along its skin.
Other species of trout that also have scales are brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout and lake trout.
In general the scales are extremely tiny and you can hardly notice them at first. If you run your hand along a trout one way along its body it feels smooth to the touch yet if you run your hand the other way, you will feel the roughness of the sin and this is the scales on the trout.
Do trout have scales and fins?
As well as having scales, trout also have fins, these fins are used for a few things but in general they help the fish to move through the water and swim or to allow the fish to stay in one location.
Perhaps when the current of the river they are in is pushing them in one direction but in fact they want to sit and not move. Having fins allows them to hold themselves in one position and stay where they are.
Trout usually like doing this when they are feeding on prey that is passing in a current.
Do Trout have teeth
Pretty much most of the trout species have teeth, the location of these varies in each species of trout. Bigger and more mature trout tend to have stronger jaws and a lot more power and aggressiveness to feed on their prey.
Smaller trout also have teeth however due to their maturity; they are much smaller and have less power in their jaws at an early age.
The trout species usually have vomerine teeth which are found in the middle of the upper jaw. These teeth help the fish to grab and hold on the food they are trying to eat.
It also helps it to take the food down the trout’s throat. A great way to recognize a trout from a salmon is by using these vomerine teeth. A salmon would have a single row of teeth whereas a trout would have two.
Generally, two types of teeth are found in trout. Rainbow trout have teeth located along the roof of the upper jaw whereas brown trout also known as cutthroat trout would have teeth located along the gill and behind the base of the tongue. Understanding the location of teeth can also help you identify the particular species of the trout.
Do you scale trout before cooking?
If you are going to cook a trout for dinner then I usually like to de-scale the trout as form past experience I have had times when ive been eating a beautifully cooked trout only to get some loose scales in my mouth! So in answer to this question id highly recommend you scale a trout before cooking it for your dinner.
Most fish mongers can do this for you if you prefer not to do it yourself. It’s also a pretty straight forward process to scale a trout and any household utensil fish scaler will easily scale a trout.
How do you debone a trout?
The best way to debone a trout is to first ensure you cut the fillet of the trout cleanly and as close to its main backbone and ribs as possible.
Once you have cut the fillets away from either side of the fish you can then simply look over the fish and either use tweezers or the edge of the knife to pull them loose and remove them.
Having eaten trout a lot, I personally don’t find it necessary to remove every single bone as they are quiet small and usually don’t not bother me as I tend to get a good clean cut fillet during my preparation process.
Again, if you prefer not too prepare the fish yourself, you can get this done for you at the local fish monger who can do this easily for you.
How do you gut trout?
Gutting a trout is a very simple process. I usually start by turning the fish onto its back and insert the knife close the where the rectum is and push the knife inside. I then simply slice the fish all the way up its belly and then open it up.
I then take the knife and scrape out the insides and cut up around the head and gills removing any leftover guts.
Simply then run the tap and place the trout under the water and using your fingers (where a glove if you are squeamish) pull and remove any leftover guts.
What do trout eat
In general most trout feed on insects, smaller fish, plants and crustaceans. It really depends on the time of year in question and what natural food is around that the trout can consume.
If we think if flies for example which is a staple part of the trout’s diet, flies tend to go through various stages of life cycle ie from a fly egg, to being hatched etc and then there are different kinds of flies such as the Mayfly or caddis fly which are extremely popular trout food.
What goes good with trout?
There are many ingredients that goes good with trout, this is really down to your own personal preference and how you wish to cook it.
Personally I like to put my trout fillets inside a piece of tin foil and play around with ingredients I put inside such as dill, coriander, turmeric, ginger powder and lemon juice or fresh sliced lemons.
I tend to then place the wrapped up fish in the tin foil with the ingredients inside and place it into an oven on 180c for about 15 mins. This I find cooks the fish nice and slow and in a way steam cooks the fish.
The ingredients then infuse the fish and provide additional flavor. My favorite side is to have some creamy mashed potatoes with a cheese or parsley sauce and voila, you have a nice trout dish!