Rainbow Trout History
Rainbow Trout are the best known trout in the world. Their fighting quality as a sports fish made them a favorite for most Fly Fisherman around the World. The Rainbow Trout originated in Western America. In about 1885 they were stocked all over the world in suitable cold water habitats.
There are two main varieties of Rainbow Trout, the inland with smaller scales and the coastal with larger scales and several sub-varieties according to the basins where they were first found. Because of stocking programs the native species is almost non existent, but the wild trout often are very close to the native. There are also sea run varieties such as the Steelhead
The coloration of the Rainbow varies according to the size of the body of water they live in. Small stream Rainbow are the most colorful. Because of camouflage adaptability of the fish they often have parr marks to blend in with the environment, They often have the parr marks up to 17” and they have the bright colorful rainbow stripes. In some areas like the Deschutes they are called Redsides and have a very red side especially on the male at spawning time. The high altitude lakes have Golden trout, with their very distinctive golden hue on the side. In Alaska they have the Leopard Trout with its very unusual interlocking spotting pattern.
All of these factors contribute to the variations of the Rainbow trout, and make it a challenge for carving and painting.