• Rainbow or steelhead?

  • A place for readers to talk about river fishing in Washington.
A place for readers to talk about river fishing in Washington.
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 #239459  by 510aaron
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:16 am
Hey all,

New to fly fishing. Caught this in the creek in my backyard last week. What is it?

Thanks
Attachments
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 #239460  by Amx
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:27 am
Lunch.
 #239461  by riverhunter
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:18 pm
It's a rainbow and to be more specific a steelhead. Steelhead are rainbows just the searun version of a rainbow. Wdfw considers steelhead as searun rainbows 20" or greater. That fish has the look of a searun trout especially if caught in a creek. It is rare to see resident rainbows in creeks over 14". They do exist bigger but very rare
 #239465  by Eglseder
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:38 pm
My first impression is a resident bow or maybe a smolt escapee that decided to stay in the river. Hard to say, really.
 #239466  by riverhunter
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:02 pm
Eglseder wrote:My first impression is a resident bow or maybe a smolt escapee that decided to stay in the river. Hard to say, really.

It is hard to say but looks a lot more like a steelhead. What makes me think that is the silvery shine on it. Steelhead get that chrome color to better suit them for life in the ocean. The other thing that I think might give it away is it's jaw being past the eye. Most resident rainbows don't get that although some might. The last thing is that things looks to be at least pound if not a couple. Definitely not an escapee as the adipose fin is still intact. Either way it's a beautiful fish and technically a rainbow whether searun or not [thumbsup]
 #239469  by jonb
 Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:16 pm
My vote is steelhead. As others have mentioned, resident trout in coastal rivers usually don't get that big. Nice fish!
 #239614  by Matt
 Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:31 pm
Do you have a photo of the tail?
 #239619  by rseas
 Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:06 pm
Wild and a hen? Looks like she may have just spawned. A kelt heading back to sea.