Game Fishing

Rainbow Trout

Our brief, plain speaking guide to beautiful rainbow trout.

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Rainbow Trout


Rainbow trout are beautifully coloured, with patterns changing throughout their lifespan, and with their habitat and spawning conditions. It’s torpedo shaped with a slightly forked fin and very small scales, while colour varies from bluey- to yellowy-green, with a pinkish rainbow stripe along its sides, a white under belly, and little black spots on the back and fins.
 
Its head is more rounded that the brown trout, while sizes vary enormously, from typically just a few pounds in the UK, up to near-record 30lb.
 
 
Finding them
Rainbow trout originated in the rivers and lakes of North America, and thanks to being a tasty and nourishing feed, were actively spread worldwide. It’s hardy and able to put up a fight in its habitat, so it has easily adapted to many varying habitats. Its preference is for cold and clear waters, but you are as likely to find them in artificial lakes, reservoirs and some rivers these days. It’s not a fan of less clean or warmer waters.
 
Food and bait
Rainbow trout are aggressive feeders: insects, both airborne and waterborne, are its favourite, but it will also have a bite at crustaceans and other fish. In fact, some waters now regard them as non-native pest fish, since they consume a lot of the native species’ foods.
 
For all trout – and rainbow are easier than others - the top pick to land them is by fly fishing, but when they are hungry they will have a go at most things, so worms and maggots also work.
 
 
Breeding
Most UK rainbow trout are raised in hatcheries and then released, preparing to breed between January and April. Truly natural rainbow are not so common in the UK, but are out there.
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