The 16 Types of Trout Species (2023)

Trout fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the United States. There are many different types of trout species to choose from, each with its own unique fly or lure pattern. This article will introduce you to four of the most popular freshwater trout species in the United States.

Table of Contents

How to Choose the Right Freshwater Trout Species?

There are many types of trout out there, and it can be quite confusing to know which one to choose. In this article, we will discuss four of the most popular freshwater trout species and how to decide which one is right for you.

Brown Trout

Brown trout are a beautiful fish, with a reddish-brown body and fins. They are a popular choice for beginner fly fishers because they are easy to catch on flies and have a respectable taste.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are perhaps the most popular type of trout in the world. They come in all sorts of colors, from bright red to iridescent green, and can reach sizes up to 25 inches long. They are also some of the most versatile trout out there; they can eat just about anything that swims!

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon are another popular choice for beginner fly fishers. They are well known for their leaping abilities – once hooked, a sockeye will leap out of the water in an attempt to escape. These fish can grow up to 10 pounds and have a mild flavor that is perfect for those new to trout fishing.

The Different Types of Trout Fishes

Different types of trout offer fisherman a diverse array of fishing opportunities, from sporty fly-fishing for small, cool water trout to catch-and-release for larger, warm water species. In this article, we’ll take a look at the four most common types of trout and their respective fishing opportunities.

The smallest and most common type of trout is the brown Trout. These fish are found in nearly every freshwater stream and river in North America. Brown Trout are easy to catch with a fly rod and can be caught all year long by using a variety of flies. Because they are so common, many states have regulations limiting the size of brown Trout that can be taken.

The next most common type of trout is the rainbow Trout. These fish are found only in certain parts of North America, primarily in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains. Rainbow Trout are very difficult to catch with a fly rod, as they prefer to stay near the bottom of the river or stream where they feed on smaller fish. For this reason, they are best fished using medium-sized lures like spinners or worms.

No matter what type of trout fishing you choose to do, make sure you have the right gear by investing in some quality fly fishing gear.

16 Types of Trout Species

#1. Rainbow Trout

The rainbow trout is North America’s most well-known trout species.Therainbow trout (oncorhynchus mykiss),is named for the visible pink stripe on its side. However, this is not the only way to identify them.The black spots on the dorsal fin of the trout and its body and square-shaped tail are another clue.

Rainbow trout are a popular type of trout because they are easy to catch and maintain. They have bright colors that make them visible in water. Some common rainbow trout species include the brook, brown, and cutthroat.

#2. Cutthroat Trout

There are many different types of trout, but the most popular is the cutthroat trout. Cutthroats are found in many different parts of the world and can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. Cutthroats are native to North America, but they are now found all over the world.

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Cutthroats generally have a green or silver body with black spots on their sides. They have a narrow head with a slightly protruding lower jaw. They have small eyes and long barbels on the sides of their head. They have sharp teeth that help them eat aquatic insects.

The cutthroat trout is one of the most popular freshwater fish because it is easy to catch and has a high quality flesh. The best way to catch a cutthroat trout is with a fly rod and fly reel. You can also use a Casting Rod for smaller fish or spinners for bigger fish.

#3. Golden Trout

There are many types of freshwater trout, but the most well known is the golden trout. These trout are native to North America and can be found in many different places, including rivers, lakes, and ponds.

Golden trout are a beautiful species of trout and have a metallic sheen to their scales. They can vary in color from bright gold to a light copper, with some individuals having darker patches on their bodies.

Golden trout are usually small in size, reaching only about six inches in length. They have a slender body with a pointed head and fearless nature. They are active predators that feed mainly on insects and other small animals.

The golden trout is an easy fish to catch and is considered by many to be one of the best tasting freshwater fish available. They can be caught using either fly or bait fishing methods and can be enjoyed fresh or cooked.

#4. Brown Trout

Brown trout are a popular fish for both fresh and salt water fishing. This species can be found in many different regions of the country, making it a versatile choice for anglers. Brown trout are typically easy to catch, and they provide good sport for both novice and experienced anglers.

Some important facts about brown trout include their average weight and length. The average weight for a brown trout is around six pounds, but they can grow up to 22 inches long. The length range is typically from 10 to 14 inches, but some specimens can reach up to 18 inches in length.

Brown trout are classified as an Arctic charmer because of their torpedo-shaped body shape and their dark chocolatecolored skin. They have a few distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other trout species. For example, brown trout have two dorsal fins located behind their head, which gives them more power when swimming. Additionally, brown trout have a row of tiny teeth along the front of their upper jaw that helps them eat small prey items underwater.

#5. Lake Trout

There are many different types of freshwater trout, including the popular lake trout. Here are some of the most common types:

Brown Trout: The brown trout is the most popular type of trout in North America. This fish averages between 12 and 22 inches in length and has a brownish color with a slightly metallic sheen. They are an avid feeder and will eat anything from small bait fish to crayfish.

Rainbow Trout: The rainbow trout is the second most common type of trout in North America. These fish average between 24 and 36 inches long and have a bright spectrum of colors ranging from red to orange to green. Like the brown trout, they are an avid feeder and will eat anything from small bait fish to crayfish.

Creek Chub: The creek chub is a small freshwater fish that is found only in creeks and rivers near the mountainous areas of the United States. They average between 2 and 4 inches in length and have a reddish-brown color with black spots on their skin. They are an opportunistic feeder, eating anything they can find, including insects, aquatic worms, and crustaceans.

#6. Brook Trout

Brook trout are a popular choice for trout fishing because they are widespread and can be found in many different habitats. Brook trout are typically found in small to medium-sized streams and rivers, and can be successfully caught using a wide range of fly patterns.

#7. Dolly Varden Trout

The Dolly Varden trout is a popular freshwater trout species. These fish are native to the cold, high-altitude rivers of the Rocky Mountains. The Dolly Varden is an aggressive fighter and can be found in both large and small streams.

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#8. Bull Trout

Bull trout are a popular type of trout. They are found in many different environments, but are especially common in warm, clear waters. They can be quite large, up to 30 inches long, and weigh up to six pounds. Bull trout are not often seen in the wild, but they are a popular recreational fish.

#9. Tiger Trout

The cross between a female brown trout (or brook trout) creates a tiger trout.These offspring are not very similar to either of their parents or to any other fish.Their bodies are characterized by a work-like pattern.

They are thicker than many trout species and will throw their bodies around, making it a formidable opponent to your rod.They are a popular choice for sporting anglers.

Although you might not see a tiger-trout in the wild, it is possible.Although they can be found throughout the US, they are not sterile and don’t produce eggs.This type of fish can be caught best by visiting a watershed that is stocked.You will never forget the fish if you find it.

#9. Splake

Types of Freshwater Trout Species

There are a wide variety of trout species in freshwater, from small, delicate brookies to hearty rainbows. Knowing the type of trout you’re targeting is essential for successful fly fishing.

#10. Small Stream Trout

The small stream trout is the most common type of trout found in fresh waters. These fish are usually less than 24 inches long and have a thin, bluish-gray body. Their lower jaw is shorter than their upper jaw and they have three pairs of barbels on their cheeks. These barbels are used to taste and smell food, which helps these trout locate prey in murky water.

Small stream trout feed on insects, crustaceans, and other small creatures that live in fast-moving water. They can be taken on flies or using a baitcaster with a dropper setup.

#11. Mountain Brook Trout

The mountain Brook trout is found in high mountain streams and cold-water tributaries. This species can reach lengths of up to 36 inches and has a reddish-brown body with a cream-colored head and dorsal fin. Like the small stream trout, the mountain Brook has barbels on its cheeks that it uses to taste and smell food.

#12. Palomino Trout

The Palomino Trout is a beautiful fish that can be found in many parts of the United States. They are a great trout to start with if you are new to fly fishing because they are very easy to catch and require little training. They are also one of the more common trout species, so you’re likely to find them in most waterways.

#13. Gila Trout

Gila trout are a type of fresh water trout that is native to the Gila River in New Mexico and Arizona. They are also found in the vicinity of the Pecos River in Texas. Gila trout have a reddish-orange body with a green head and green eyes. The males have a distinctive black spot on their behind. The females have smaller spots on their backs.

Gila trout are considered to be among the best tasting freshwater trout because they have a mild flavor that can be enhanced by cooking methods such as steaming, baking, or poaching.

#14. Apache Trout

Apache trout are a popular type of trout because they have a good flavor and can be cooked in many different ways. They are also a good choice for beginner anglers.

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#15. Marble Trout

Marble trout are a type of coldwater trout found in the eastern United States. They have a reddish-orange body with black stripes, and can grow up to 18 inches long.

#16. Steelhead Trout

Steelhead trout are a type of trout found in cold, freshwater streams and rivers. They are one of the most popular types of trout because they are relatively easy to catch and have a mild, delicate flavor.

Trout: Where can you find it?

Trout can be found in many different types of freshwater habitats, including rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. The most popular place to find trout is in rivers and streams.

Stocked Trout vs. Wild Trout: How To Tell The Difference

When it comes to trout fishing, there are a few things you need to know if you want to catch wild or stocked fish. If you’re targeting wild trout, the first thing you need to do is determine whether or not they’re in season. The best way to do this is by checking with your state fish and game department. Once you know the season, the next step is to identify the type of trout that are available. There are five main types of trout found in North America- browns, rainbows, cutthroats, steelhead, and char. Each has its own unique hunting characteristics that you’ll need to learn if you want to take one down.

If you’re targeting stocked trout, the first thing you need to do is figure out where they’re coming from. This can be done by checking with your local fishing club or retailer. Once you have their location, the next step is to identify the type of trout that’s being stocked. There are three main types of trout- rainbow, brook, and brown. Again, each has its own specific hunting habits that you’ll need to learn if you want to take one down.

The Coloring

Types of Freshwater Trout Species

Trout fishing is a great way to spend a day outdoors and catch some delicious fish. There are many different types of trout that can be caught in freshwater, so it’s important to know which ones you’re targeting. This guide will discuss the different types of trout and how to catch them.

The three main types of trout are rainbow, brown, and cutthroat. Rainbow trout are the most common type found in North America, and they come in many different colors including red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. Brown trout are similar to rainbow trout but are slightly larger and have a more intense flavor. Cutthroat trout are the most popular type of trout worldwide, and their name comes from their razor sharp teeth. They can be any color but are typically black or silver with a reddish tinge.

To catch a trout, you will need a good fly rod, reel with enough backing for your weight and line size (15-40 lb test), leader material (9-12 foot length), insect repellent if desired, hat, sunglasses if desired, sunscreen if desired (especially if fishing during summer months) and water bottle.

Fins or skin that is damaged

Freshwater trout have fin or skin that can be damaged, either from fighting or when trying to avoid obstacles. The fins can be dented and distorted and the skin may be ripped or even completely removed. Because of this, it is important to take proper precautions when fishing for these fish.

Fat Content in Fish

Types of Freshwater Trout Species

There are many different types of trout, but all share some common characteristics. All trout are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature varies depending on the environment. They have four pairs of barbels – special sensory organs around the mouth – that they use to taste food. Trout can detect small differences in water temperature and pH, which helps them find food and avoid predators.

Trout are classified according to their geographic location: North American trout belong to the family Salmonidae and are usually found in lakes and rivers near the North Pole. European trout belong to the family Cottidae and live primarily in rivers and streams in Europe. East Asian trout belong to the family Oncorhynchus and can be found in rivers throughout south-east Asia. Some of these species also live in western North America, but are not considered true trout. South American trout belong to the family Salmo and can be found in a wide variety of habitats, including both fresh and salt water.

Trout vary widely in size, ranging from about two inches long up to thirty inches long. Most species are reddish-brown or black with a distinctive golden hue on their sides.

How to eat well?

Types of freshwater trout species and how to eat them well:

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When it comes to types of trout, there are a few things to keep in mind. For the most part, trout can be divided into two main categories: streamers and cutthroats.

Streamers are typically smaller fish that live in fast moving water. They are usually caught on small flies or baitfish imitations.

Cutthroats, on the other hand, are larger fish that inhabit slower moving streams and rivers. They are usually taken with larger flies or lures.

Local Regulations and Geographical Information

Trout fishing is a popular sport in many parts of the world, but it can be tricky to find the right spot and catch the right fish. This is especially true if you are looking for freshwater trout, which differ in size, color, and behavior from their saltwater cousins.

When fishing for freshwater trout, it is important to consult local regulations in your area. Many countries have designated trout-fishing areas where specific types of trout can be caught. In some cases, these areas may only be open to residents of a particular region or country.

To find out more about the different species of freshwater trout, consult regional fisheries management agencies or online resources. Additionally, explore your local area for streams and rivers that contain trout. Trout can be caught by casting heavy lures or fly rods into fast-moving water.

Trout fishing

There are many types of trout and each one has its own unique fishing opportunities. In this blog, we will discuss three different freshwater trout species: the rainbow trout, the cutthroat trout, and the brown trout.

The rainbow trout is the most common type of trout in North America. A rainbow trout’s natural habitat is in mountain streams and rivers that flow over moderately hard rocks. As a result, they are very good at resisting artificial lures. Rainbow trout can be caught on a wide variety of artificial baits, but they are usually best captured on sinking lines with small jigs or fly rods. Most rainbow trout are caught between 10 and 30 feet deep.

The cutthroat trout is found primarily in cold mountain streams and rivers in the western United States and Canada. Cutthroats favor moving water and can be difficult to catch using artificial. Like rainbow trout, cutthroats can be taken on a variety of baits, but their favorite food is worms. Fish caught on cutthroat rods using fly-rod techniques range from 8 to 24 inches long.

Trout fishing

If you are new to trout fishing, or don’t know what the rules and regulations are in your area, it is worth taking the time to find out.You will need a fishing license in many areas. If you don’t have one before you fish, you may face serious consequences and even fines.To avoid a negative experience, make sure you have the necessary documentation.

It can be fun and rewarding to fish for trout. However, you need to know more about the fish and where they live. Also, how to tell if a fish is wild or stocked.These features will enhance your fishing experience.

How to Hack a Trout Stream?

When it comes to fishing, there is no one right way to do it. The best way to hack a trout stream depends on the location and the type of stream you are fishing.

One popular hack for trout streams is to use a fly rod and artificial bait. Trout will feed almost constantly on artificial lures, so finding the right fly and matching the weight and size to your specific stream can provide consistent results. You can also try different tactics, such as low-percentage strikes or long casts.

Trout stream fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy nature. The key to success is being patient and experimenting with different techniques until you find what works best for you.

How to Catch a Trout?

Types of Freshwater Trout Species

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If you’re new to fishing, or just want to catch a trout without breaking the bank, there are several different types of trout you can try. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:

  1. Rainbow Trout: Most rainbow trout are found in cold, clear waters near mountain ranges. They’re often caught using artificial lures during early morning and evening hours.
  2. Brown Trout: Brown trout can be found in both cold and warm waters, but they prefer cooler streams and rivers. They’re usually caught using live bait, such as worms or minnows.
  3. Brook Trout: Brook trout can be found in many different types of water, but they favor flowing streams with fast currents. They’re usually caught using lures that imitate insects or other small critters.

The most important thing when trying to catch a trout is to have patience and know your fish. There’s no one right way to catch a trout; it all comes down to trial and error. So go out there and start catching some beauties!


What is the rarest trout species? ›

California's Paiute cutthroat trout – the rarest trout in North America – is finally back in its native high Sierra habitat thanks to a collaborative, multiagency effort to reintroduce the fish in Silver King Creek on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Which trout is not actually a trout? ›

Although brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) are both referred to as trout, they are actually two different genera (the plural of genus). While brown trout are closely related to Atlantic salmon, brook trout are actually a type of char (cold-freshwater fish).

What is the most common trout? ›

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Rainbow trout are the most common sportfish in North America. Native to the west coast, Alaska, and British Columbia, but now can be found in streams and lakes throughout North America. Rainbows are the most common hatchery fish and are stocked throughout the United States.

How many species of trout are there in the US? ›

Of the four major trout species in the United States—rainbow, brook, cutthroat and brown—only the brown trout was introduced from abroad, but any of the four might be considered invasive when introduced into a new watershed.

Do all trout have 2 Hearts? ›

That is, trout actually have two hearts. The first functions as the normal blood-pumping machine and, in most fish, sits right behind the throat. This four-chambered heart pumps deoxygenated blood to the gills where it fills small capillaries.

What is the hardest fighting trout? ›

There is a reason rainbow trout are so popular. They are one of the sportiest fish in the world. They are beautiful fish in the hand, and the fight of a big rainbow can only be described as frantic. They can switch directions on a dime, and their endurance is unmatched by just about any other freshwater fish.

What is the prettiest trout? ›

The California golden trout, with its vibrant orange and red color, is often called the most beautiful trout in the world.

What is the biggest trout in America? ›

Today, Pyramid Lake is one of the last places to find Lahontan cutthroat trout, the largest-growing trout native to North America and once thought to be extinct. Early Nevada settlers reported catching fish up to 60 pounds. The current world record is a 41-pounder landed in 1925.

What trout turns into salmon? ›

Steelhead: The trout that behaves like a salmon

While most trout live in freshwater throughout their lives, steelheads will migrate into the ocean change color, and then return to the streams they were born in to spawn. However, after spawning many steelhead will survive, and many will even return to the ocean.

Is a gator trout real? ›

In 50 years of chasing speckled trout (which represents thousands of fishing trips), I have caught 6 of what I consider trophy sized or “gator” speckled trout – those are trout over 7 pounds. Needless to say, that size fish are indeed rare along the northern Gulf Coast.

What is the biggest trout ever caught? ›

The world record brook trout record has stood for over 100 years! The current record is 14 pounds and was caught in the Nipigon River in Ontario, Canada.

What is the best eating trout? ›

Rainbow Trout (and some types of Lake)

Rainbow trout (also referred to as steelhead trout), is one of the best fish to eat when it's farmed in the U.S. or indoor recirculating tanks, according to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

What is a yellow trout called? ›


The golden rainbow is also known as a palomino trout. A golden rainbow's body is deep-yellow or orange-like. The sides are unmarked, but some golden rainbows have a darker-orange lateral line. The tail is nearly square.

What is a male trout called? ›

Buck: A male fish, or a male deer. They're called the same thing.

What trout is silver? ›

The silver seatrout (Cynoscion nothus), also known as white trout, sugar trout, and silver weakfish, is a marine fish of the drum family Sciaenidae.

Is a rainbow trout a real trout? ›

Rainbow trout are members of the Pacific trout and salmon subgroup of the salmon family (Salmonidae) which also includes the redband trout, cutthroat trout and golden trout.

Do trout feel pain when hooked? ›

Fish do feel pain. It's likely different from what humans feel, but it is still a kind of pain.” At the anatomical level, fish have neurons known as nociceptors, which detect potential harm, such as high temperatures, intense pressure, and caustic chemicals.

Which animal has 32 hearts? ›

To many, leeches are horrifying creatures. To a few, they're impressive and miraculous. They have 32 brains, 2 hearts, 300 teeth grouped in 3 jaws, five pairs of eyes...

Which animal has 8 hearts? ›

Such an enormous pressure would require a very large, strong and slow-beating heart. But, they postulate, instead of a single large heart, the Barosaurus probably had some eight hearts.

What is the most aggressive trout species? ›

Brown Trout - Possibly the most aggressive of all trout species, brown trout are located in most of our local water. They will provide the opportunity to fish with streamers, nymphs, wets, dries, and anything in between depending on the situation.

Do all trout become steelhead? ›

Once a Rainbow trout enters the saltwater their bodies will change to adapt to the saltwater. When they return to the freshwater for spawning their bodies do not revert and remain as Steelhead trout. The offspring though can become Rainbow trout if the fish are content with remaining in a freshwater habitat.

What is the most beautiful trout? ›

The California golden trout, with its vibrant orange and red color, is often called the most beautiful trout in the world.

Can a salmon mate with a trout? ›

Salmon-trout hybrids

In the wild, Atlantic salmon very occasionally mate with the brown trout, successfully producing offspring. But the researchers found that in the laboratory, the genetically modified salmon could do the same.

Why is it called steelhead trout? ›

The body of the steelhead trout is silvery and streamlined with a rounder head. There are black dots and a red or pink stripe running horizontally down the sides of the fish. This silver color and round head is what gives the steelhead its name.

Which trout is the hardiest? ›

Rainbow Trout can tolerate warmer water (55-65 degrees F. is optimal) and tend to be somewhat hardier. The rainbow trout is gamier than the brook trout often leaping from the water to strike a fly and is also excellent eating. Brown Trout are also very hardy and more resistant to warmer water temperatures.

Which fly catches the most trout? ›

As a general rule, nymphs, streamers, dry flies, and emergers will be the most successful types of fly patterns to catch trout. Some of the best flies to use will imitate different species like: Midges. Mayflies.

Why is steelhead fishing so hard? ›

Steelhead prefer rocky or gravelly areas with current that are at least a few feet deep. Boulders and rocky areas are going to hold more fish than areas without any cover. Steelhead holding in shallower water also like some riffles on the top of the stream to make them harder to spot.

How do you tell if a trout is a steelhead? ›

Identification characteristics:
  1. Head blunt, jaw short - does not extend past the eye.
  2. Distinct dark spots on dorsal fin.
  3. Square-shaped tail fin with radiating pattern of spots.
  4. Often has reddish stripe along sides, gill cover reddish.
  5. Length up to 45 inches.
Nov 10, 2016

Is a steelhead just a rainbow trout? ›

Rainbow trout and steelhead are the same species, but they have different lifestyles. Steelhead are anadromous—meaning they spend part of their lives in the sea before going to rivers to breed—while rainbow trout spend their lives mostly or entirely in freshwater.

What is the smartest trout? ›

For instance, anglers generally categorize trout as such: Brown trout are the "smartest," followed by wild — as opposed to hatchery-planted — rainbow trout, brook trout and then cutthroat trout.

What state has the biggest trout? ›

Alaska. It is only fitting that the country's largest state is also home to a ridiculous amount of water that is home to an even larger amount of massive rainbow trout and wild steelhead.

What is the biggest trout in the US? ›

Today, Pyramid Lake is one of the last places to find Lahontan cutthroat trout, the largest-growing trout native to North America and once thought to be extinct. Early Nevada settlers reported catching fish up to 60 pounds. The current world record is a 41-pounder landed in 1925.


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