Saturday, 29 December 2012


Respectfully submitted by : The Discoverer of THE MILLS FUR-BEARING TROUT,  Edwin W. Mills and reprinted here by permission of his son Ted.

The discoverer of this rare type of trout was made during the course of one of the writer's recent trips into Northern Canada.

Long suspected, the fur-bearing trout was finally verified through an authentic catch which was immediately photographed as shown. ( the photo would not scan ..ed.... but it is a lovely picture)

Some of the circumstances under which the catch was made may be of interest to trout fishermen, viz:

The water in the lake in which these fish are found is very cold, in fact it was below freezing. Nature had therefore taken care of her own by providing the fish with a thick coat of fur.  Before a fish could be taken we had to solve the problem of steel hooks, which had a tendency to break upon hitting the water. Finally, this was overcome by heating a hook and when this made contact with the water, the temperature tempered the hook with the result that one fish was finally landed.

The best bait, of course, is an ice worm, but once hooked the fish make an extraordinary fight due to the fact that they ruffle their fur which creates a resistance in the water, making it practically impossible to land them. Contrariwise the fur also acts as an accelerator and when they really step on the gas with tail and fins and fur acting in unison their speed is beyond comprehension, the fur acting as nature intended it to do, as a body insulator from the extreme heat generated by the friction of rapid passage through the cold, heavy water.

The change in pressure and temperature from the water in this lake to the atmosphere above it is so extreme that this species of trout has a tendency to explode upon being taken from the water, the fur and skin coming off in one piece, making it available for tanning and commercial purposes and leaving the body of the fish for refrigeration or eating as desired.

Tests have shown that the body of this fish placed in an ordinary refrigerator will keep the refrigerator cold for two to three months in mid-summer heat without the addition of ice. It might be added that if the fish itself is required for eating purposes, it will require two or three days' cooking to reduce the temperature to a point where ordinary people can dispose of it.

If the fur is made into a neckpiece, it has been found to be an excellent cure for goiter and tonsillitis, the fur stimulating circulation to such an extent that all impurities are removed.

Several persons have pointed to the forked tail and queried as to whether this could be a true species of trout. The answer is that although the fish has been so recently discovered that information regarding its habits are still very meager, nevertheless it has been definitely established that it is a man-eating type and the supposition is therefore that each time a fish eats a man it puts a notch in its own tail.

Taken from page 64-65 of Paddle Pack and Speckled Trout by Edwin W. Mills Tales of Fishing in Northern Ontario in the 1930's and 1940's
First printing Banff Crag & Canyon 1985
Second printing Cowichan Press 2001

Available from the Nipigon Historical Museum gift shop through a generous donation by son Ted Mills.

1 comment:

  1. Very glad you like the blog, and thank you for the nice comment.

    tilt pad bearings