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GREAT LAKES RAINBOW TROUT (STEELHEAD)


Typical length:  35-60 centimetres (14-24 inches)
Typical weight:  2.27–6.8  kilograms (5-15 pounds)
Ontario record:  18.5 kilograms (40.7 pounds)

Key Identifying Characteristics:

  • White mouth and gums
  • Body silver with dark spots
  • Spots all over tail in radiating rows
  • Leading anal fin ray extends the length of the fin
  • Long, stocky caudal peduncle

Distribution/Habitat:

  • Rainbows (often called steelhead) are widely distributed in the Great Lakes and in many tributaries of the Great Lakes watershed, as well as in some inland lakes.

Angling Tips:
  • Rainbows trout, as with other trout, can be found in warmer, near-shore areas during the spring. In particular, seek them near river and harbour mouths and off sandy and gravely windward shorelines.
  • During the summer, fish disperse into deeper, cooler depths. Rainbow trout, unlike other trout, are spring spawners, moving up streams where the young remain, eventually leaving to the lake to feed and mature.

The rainbow is a popular fish because of its fighting ability, dash and beauty. It rises readily to a dry fly floated downstream with the current. It will also take a range of spinners and plugs, as well as various salmon egg baits and yarn flies.
In the Great Lakes, most rainbows are caught trolling spoons and minnow imitating plugs.

Common Baits:

  • Spoons red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Plugsred-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Roe
  • Worms
  • Spinners red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight
  • Flies red-ns-fish-bullet-highlight

* - Scientific information sourced from Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources

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Fishing Techniques (coming soon)

Downrigging/Trolling
Float FishingBead Fishing
Planar Boarding
Dipsey Diver
Lead Core
Fly Fishing
Drop Shotting

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