Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Island, BC
Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Do you like to fish for big fighters, then this is the fish for you. These lake and river fish are smaller than steelhead, with an average length of 40 to 60 cm. They fight like they are much larger though.

Rainbow is known worldwide for its bold red stripe that runs down its body, which is usually darker in river fish than in lake dwellers. Rainbows are caught easily with fly and gear angling. They actively go for both flies and spinner gear.

The pacific northwest region has an abundance of rainbow trout in its rivers and lakes. I have fished over most of the coast over the years and I find that the rainbow trout is by far the best fighter of them all. They like fast-running cold streams.

Rainbow trout are carnivores and feed on insects, leeches, small fish, crayfish, and mussels. These fish prefer to live in cool freshwater but some of them migrate into saltwater, they are known as steelhead trout. Steelhead is the same as rainbow trout except they tend to grow bigger, up to 20 kilos.

To lay her eggs, a female rainbow trout digs a nest in the gravel at the bottom of the body of water. To build this nest, called a redd, the female turns her body to the side and flaps her tail, creating a depression in the gravel. She then lays many thousands of eggs in multiple redds. As she is doing this, one or more male rainbow trout fertilize the eggs with their milt.

The rainbow is native to the North America West, but they are such a great fighting sport fish that they have been introduced to many places worldwide. Not only is it a great sport fish, but it is quite impressive to look at.

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