The Rainbow Trout

The Rainbow trout, also referred to as the redband trout, is one of the world’s most sought after freshwater game fish. The fish has gained a reputation for being a hard-hitting game fish and its satisfying taste. Originally from the cool waters west of the Rocky Mountains in North America, the Rainbow trout is now a resident in all continents of the world except Antarctica. Introduced for sport fishing, the Rainbow trout is now considered an invasive species in many parts of the world. This article will provide some interesting information about Rainbow trout and will conclude with fishing tips on how to catch this thrill fighting fish.


Rainbow trout are members of the Salmon family and typically grow to be about eight pounds and twenty to thirty inches in length. The largest Rainbow trout ever recorded was caught in Canada and weighed forty-eight pounds! Trout prefer to live in cool lakes and rivers that measure to be fifty-five to sixty degrees Celsius. While their anatomy is like other trout species, the color of their skin distinguishes them as unique. Their coloring depends on their habitat and diet, some regional Rainbow trait being more vibrant than others, but despite the hue of their color they all have the same characteristics that make them Rainbow trout. Rainbow trout have dark blue or dark green backs and have small black dots on their backs and fins. They get their name, however, from the colorful red stripe on the side of their bodies.

Not only are Rainbow trout freshwater fish, but they are able to adapt to saltwater when necessary. If a Rainbow trout finds its way into the ocean through a river outlet, it will eat a mollusks, worms, and crustaceans to survive. The diet of a freshwater trout is not all that different, mainly consisting of much of the same things such as insects, worms, crustaceans, small fish, fish eggs, and may even scavenge other dead fish. In their lifetime, a Rainbow trout will swim great distances from where it originally was hatched. The fascinating thing about trout is that they have an innate desire to return to the same spawning grounds in which they were hatched so that they can breed.

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Photo by Emre Can on

Spawning female Rainbow trout will then search for small inlets where they can safely dig small holes into the ground. These holes will become the home for hundreds of their eggs. Once the eggs are safely in their hole, the female trout will then leave and never see her eggs again. The eggs will then wait for a male Rainbow trout to fertilize them, who to will leave. Of the two hundred to eight hundred eggs that will hatch, only a fraction of them will survive into adulthood and repeat the spawning process.

The newborn rainbow trout will face several challenges as they grow up. They must evade the many predators that rely on them for nutrients such as bears, wolves, birds of prey, and people. The young trout will have a difficult life ahead of them, but their ability to survive in most cool bodies of water will be in their favor as they age. Many will not make it out of their first year of life, but for those who do, they will pass on the traits of survival that has marked their species as one of the most reproduced species of fish around the world.

Here are some tips on how to catch a wild Rainbow trout! Provided by American Expedition at

Trout Fish Tips:

  • Fly-fishing is the most popular fishing method for rainbow trout.
  • Steelhead trout are oftentimes caught by casting and trolling spoons.
  • One of the most effective ways of catching a rainbow trout is to use live bait, such as an egg sac or a worm.
  • There are two main pole choices: the fly rod, and the ultra light rod.
  • The best way to carry your tackle when fishing is in a fishing vest.
  • Dress appropriately when trout fishing. Most fishermen tend to wade into the cold water to get a better cast, so hip or chest waders are suggested.
  • Each state has varying fishing regulations. It is important to educate yourself on them before going out to fish.
  • Remember to acquire a fishing permit if taking up trout fishing. Fishing without a permit is illegal and could result in a fine.
  • Look at your state’s regulations to find out when you are allowed to fish.
  • Most states have a length limit for their fish. If the fish you caught does not measure the minimum, it is required that you let it go. There are sometimes maximum limits for certain fish as well.
  • Most states also have daily limits, or the amount of a certain fish you can keep in one day.
  • A fun hobby for off duty fisherman is fly-tying. You can make your own homemade flies to use next time you go fishing!
  • Most states have parks and campgrounds dedicated to trout fishing.
  • Mix ground dog or cat food with flour and water to create simple homemade trout bait for your fishing trip.



“Rainbow Trout.” National Geographic, 21 Sept. 2018,

“Rainbow Trout.” American Expedition,





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