Trout, Rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Trout, Rainbow (local name)

Coloration varies greatly with size, habitat and spawning periods. For example, stream dwellers and spawners usually show the darkest and most vivid colors and markings, The cutthroat can usually be distinguished by the yellow, orange, or red streak in the skin fold on each side under the lower jaw. In some waters rainbow trout may faintly display this streak in the skin fold, but most do not.The rainbow and its closest relatives in the Pacific salmon group (cutthroat, golden, Mexican golden, Arizona native or Apache, and gila trout) are known as the black-spotted trouts because they are covered with numerous prominent black spots. These spots may cover the entire body or may be more abundant near the tail. The spots characteristically extend onto the dorsal fin, the adipose fin, and the tail. Those on the tail radiate outward in an even, orderly pattern. Spots may or may not be present on any of the lower fins and there are never any red spots such as occur on freshwater and spawning specimens of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (S. salar). The rainbow trout readily hybridizes with other black-spotted trout, especially with the cutthroat and golden trout. In fact, all these trout hybridize wherever they occur together producing fertile offspring with all manner of confusing color combinations and intermediate characteristics.Dorsal spines (total): 3 – 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 – 12; Anal spines: 3 – 4; Anal soft rays: 8 – 12; Vertebrae: 60 – 66. Body elongate, somewhat compressed especially in larger fish. No nuptial tubercles but minor changes to head, mouth and color occur especially in spawning males. Coloration varies with habitat, size, and sexual condition. Stream residents and spawners darker, colors more intense. Lake residents lighter, brighter, and more silvery. Caudal fin with 19 rays.

Grows up-to  Max. published weight: 97.68 lbs.
Where to Catch Northern Pakistan
When to Catch Jun – Oct


The natural habitat of the species is fresh water with about 12°C in summer. It is unclear whether its anadromy is a truly genetic adaptation or simply an opportunistic behavior. It seems that any stock of rainbow trout is capable of migrating, They require moderate to fast flowing, well oxygenated waters for breeding, but they also live in cold lakes. Rainbow trout survive better in lakes than in streams. Enters the rivers of Chitral and Gilgit from September to October, spawns in spring. Generally feeds close to the bottom. Adults feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish eggs, minnows, and other small fishes (including other trout); young feed predominantly on zooplankton.Utilized fresh, smoked, canned, and frozen; eaten steamed, fried, broiled, boiled, microwaved and baked. Rainbow trout is cultured in many pounds all over Chitral and Gilgit and is often hatched and stocked into rivers and lakes especially to attract recreational fishers.


Scottish Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) were introduced into what is today Pakistan by the British in the early twentieth century, it is today widely found through out the streams and lakes of the Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges in Northern Pakistan.The Government of Pakistan also introduced the Kamloops strain of Rainbow Trout(Oncorhynchus Mykiss) in the 1960’s. Although rainbows are the most popular variety to be found in trout farms and private ponds but it has failed to take hold in the wild, you can do fishing for Rainbows in Private farms.

Angling Methods

This is an extremely valuable species in any and all of its forms. It is the fly fishermens delight as it takes a fly readily, leaps often, and fights hard.Fly Fishing is not very popular in Pakistan and their are very few local anglers who know this art. The most popular methods for catching trout are by using spinning gear with either spinners or bait. In a few lakes larger lures may be used for big, aggressive predatory browns that may grow to in excess of twenty pounds.

Fight Characteristics

After you have a fish on, there are many techniques necessary for playing and landing a trout, and several are very important. Keep your rod tip high, so the impact of a sudden run is on the rod and not the line. Do not allow or encourage a large fish to swim downstream; it will only prolong the battle from the current. If this happens, the best advice is to follow the trout along the bank. Trout tire easily, especially if they have to work in the current in an upstream direction or the fish is allowed to make several runs. If you intend on releasing the fish — don’t overplay it — stress may kill the fish. Fish intended for release should be landed quickly and netted. Release the fish while it is underwater and in the pool where it was caught.Freshwater fishes are valuable stock of our ponds, lakes and streams in Pakistan, The over fishing can damage the stock forever, so if you go up there for Trout Fishing please release the fish. for the sake of trouts in Pakistan, future generations or that may be you next time fishing for trouts

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