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The endemic, southern, Speckled Trout, and its northern cousin the Book Trout, are widely considered to be western North Carolina's most beautiful Trout species and are, in fact, the only Trout species known to be native to North America. On the other hand, the origins of the Rainbow Trout are significantly more obscures since some biologists believe that because they are Salmonoids, they must have migrated from the sea to fresh water while, others believe that they are an endemic freshwater species like the Book Trout. However, the Brown Trout is known to be endemic to Europe and Asia and it was first imported to the U.S. from Germany for the 1883 World's Fair and then released into the Baldwin River in Michigan the following year. Thus, three of these Trout species can now be found throughout the entire Appalachian Mountain chain which stretches across the Eastern United States from Maine to Georgia. However, even though you may encounter all four species within a single stream when fly fishing in western North Carolina, each species does have its own particular preferences for suitable habitat. Therefore, in the accompanying pages you will find helpful information about Eastern Trout species, how to identify each species, each species preferred habitat within a given stream, trout mentality, and the common types of trout lies:
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