It’s a serious question: why are fish afraid of humans?
I was thinking about trout mentality and physiology the other day, and a questioned popped in my mind: what it is about the appearance of humans that triggers a trout’s flight response?
I certainly don’t believe that somewhere, in those tiny little brains of theirs, they have the ability to comprehend that humans carry those long sticks that cast fake flies with hooks in them.
Incredible Fish Story
So, what is it about humans that scares a trout so bad that the mere sight of one sends them scurrying for the nearest cover, cowering in fear until the perceived danger has passed?
This is a question that I have pondered for many years now, and I believe that I may have finally discovered the answer. However, to say that my theory is a bit unconventional would be quite an understatement because I have never read any other author who professes such an idea (probably because they are afraid of getting laughed out of the business!).
However, stop and think about it for a minute. Obviously, trout simply do not have enough room in their heads for anything more than a miniscule-sized brain. It stands to reason that those tiny little brains also have a very limited amount of storage capacity for tasks like food or danger recognition.
Consequently, this limited memory capacity means that only the most important memories get reinforced often enough to become automatic reflexes. Those reflexes are then passed down to offspring as genetic memories (aka instinct).
Thus, while I will admit that it is possible that Man has been hunting trout for enough millennia that our physical outline has become imbedded in their genetic memories, I believe that it is far more likely that bears have been hunting trout a lot longer than us.
As I mentioned, because trout are not very smart, I suspect that it is far more likely that trout perceive humans to be bears, since our outline is very similar to that of a bear standing on its hind legs.
So, although some of you undoubtedly think I have been out in the sun too long, this is the only logical explanation that I can come up with for why trout are so spooked by humans. A bear is the only animal in the kingdom that I am aware of that has our height, and is also capable of standing on its hind legs.
If you feel like you have a better explanation, I’d love to hear it in comments below.