The rainbow has received three classifications, Salmo irideus, Salmo gairdneri, and finally in 1988 Orcorhynchus mykiss. Which classifies its origins closer to the Pacific salmon. The most distinctive identifying mark is the red band that runs along its side. The rainbow is a hardy fish making it easier to raise in hatcheries. Because of this it provides the angler with trout in a diverse range of water quality. They prefer fast cold water but they are extremely adaptable.
The anadromous form of the rainbow is the steelhead. Although not sea-run the steelhead fishery through the great lakes is firmly established and offers great sport. Sea-runs are found in the pacific northwest with some populations making extremely long journeys to the interior; as far as Idaho. They are spring spawners and have the instinct to move downstream in search of the sea.
The western rivers are famous for big shouldered rainbows, but the Delaware river holds its own when it comes to size and strength. I am currently investigating the facts about the Delaware’s claim to have the McCloud strain, which were supposedly released by a train conductor due to a broke down locomotive. Recently I was told this is not true. Please contact me if you have information on the validity of this legend.