Rainbow Trout

Piscifun fly fishing reels

Rainbow Trout Salmo irideus (Gibbons)

But the various forms of rainbow trout, wherever found may safely be said to have few if any, equals among the Salmonidae. In beauty of colour, gracefulness of form and movement sprightliness when in the water, reckless dash with which it springs from the water to meet the descending fly ere it strikes the surface, and the mad and repeated leaps from the water when hooked, the rainbow trout must ever hold a very high rank. The gamest fish we have ever seen was a 16-inch rainbow taken on a fly in a small spring branch tributary of Williamson River in southern Oregon. It was in a broad anti deep pool of exceedingly clear water . As the angler from behind a clump of willows made the cast the trout bounded from the water and met the fly in the air a foot or more above the surface; missing it he dropped upon the water only to turn about and strike viciously a second time at the fly just as it touched the surface; though he again missed the fly the hook caught him in the lower jaw from the outside, and then began a fight which would delight the heart of any angler. His first effort was to reach the bottom of the pool, then, doubling upon the line, he made 3 jumps from the water in quick succession, clearing the surface in each instance from 1 to 4 feet, and every time doing his utmost to free himself from the hook by shaking his head as vigorously as a dog shakes a rat. Then he would rush wildly about in the large pool, now attempting to go down over the riffle below the pool now trying the opposite direction, and often striving to hide under one or the other of the banks. It was easy to handle the fish when the dash was made up or down stream or for the opposite side but when he turned about and made a rush for the protection of the overhanging bank upon which the angler stood it was not easy to keep the line taut. Movements such as these were frequently repeated and 2 more leaps were made. But finally he was worn out after as honest a fight as trout ever made. The rainbow takes the fly so readily that there is no reason for resorting to grasshoppers, salmon-eggs or other bait. It is a fish whose gameness will satisfy the most exacting of expert anglers and whose readiness to take any proper lure will please the most impatient of inexperienced amateurs.


From American Game and Food Fishes. Jordan and Evermann, 1902.