Another common silver fish that occurs naturally in many canals and, like dace, favour the upper layers of the water. They are easy to catch and just as easy to identify, their lower lip pointing upwards rather like a miniature tarpon.
Admittedly, they will be only of passing interest to most anglers, although for match fishers and youngsters they can offer bite-a-chuck fishing where present, using fine float tackle and maggots. They can also signal the whereabouts of predators; on the Kennet and Avon Canal, for example, I once found an area teeming with these fish that proved to be an excellent pike spot.
You could spend a long time looking for trout on a typical canal, but it very much depends on the setting. The once-in-a-decade freak capture is one thing, but some canals have a sizeable population of brown trout.
Hood Canal Fishing Gallery Photos
Hood Canal Fishing
The most reliable trout fishing on canals is surely in Scotland: the Caledonian Canal has many brownies, which come from the adjoining lochs.
It sounds like a euphemism, but this Huddersfield trout came from the grittiest of canal settings – much to my complete astonishment.
Rural Wales also has the odd canal trout, as do some English canals that connect to streams and rivers. Not all are tiny, greedy things either and the Lee Navigation, to give just one example, has occasionally thrown up large trout.
Where reasonable populations are encountered, these greedy fish are not hard to catch. Flies or spinners are fun ways to proceed, but the fastest way to see if there are trout present is with a simple float-fished worm.