Vermont January 19, 2017
This Urban Legend In Vermont Has Been Baffling Locals For Decades
If you thought this Vermont urban legend was going to be about Champ, the monster in Lake Champlain, you’d be wrong. There is yet another mythical beast that supposedly lurks in the waters found in the NEK, and people have been trying to catch them for centuries. Let’s take a look at the mysterious fur bearing trout and the legends that surround it.
It has been said you can find the fur bearing trout in extremely cold parts of North America and Iceland.
Supposedly the trout creates a thick coat of fur to maintain its body heat.
The legends around the fur bearing trout date back to the 17th century.
A supposed specimen was even stuffed, mounted and displayed at the National Museum of Scotland! It was found to be a trout with white white rabbit fur "ingeniously" attached.
No other real examples of the fur bearing trout species has ever been produced, but some fishermen still try to catch one while on Lake Memphremagog.
Hey, stranger things have happened!
While the fur bearing trout has never been proven to exist, there are fantastic legends that surround its origins.
Some believe that the fish grows a coat of fur due to the extremely cold temperatures.
The original origins of the beast vary, but one of the earlier claims dates back to a 17th-century Scottish immigrant's letter to his relatives referring to "furried animals and fish" being plentiful in the New World.
It was followed by a request to procure a specimen of these "furried fish" and one was supposedly sent back.
One theory states that the coat of fur is due to four jugs (or two bottles) of hair tonic being spilled into the river.
To catch hairy trout, fisherman would act as barbers and lure fish from the waters with the offer of a free trim or shave. How, exactly is anyone's guess.
According to Icelandic legend, there is a furry trout known as the Lodsilungur that is the creation of demons and giants.
They are described as inedible fish that overwhelm rivers and are a form of punishment for human wickedness.
Sjón, a popular Icelandic writer, became obsessed with the folktale when he was nine. Sjón recounted that “if a man were to eat the furry trout he would become pregnant and that his scrotum would have to be cut open to deliver the baby.”
Sjón noted that the story "might explain why I was later propelled towards surrealism."
Its earliest American claim came from an article in Montana Wildlife published in 1929 by J.H. Hicken.
Hicken's account states that when the fish is caught "the change of temperature from this water to atmosphere is so great that the fish explodes upon being taken from the water, and fur and skin come off in one perfect piece, making it available for commercial purposes, and leaving the body of the fish for refrigerator purposes or eating, as desired."
An intentionally fantastical story claimed hairy trout were under catch and release policy that was enforced by wardens.
It said that if a fur bearing trout was caught, the warden would measure it against the fisher's foot. If the fish's length matched the fisher's foot size, the fish could be eaten and the fur made into slippers.
While the fur bearing trout may be a tall tale, do you know the
story behind the slanted windows in Vermont? The question is: do you call them witch windows, coffin windows, lazy windows or something entirely different?