Trout fishing is very popular and attracts visitor from all over the world. Trout is a delicious food fish, and sport fishers appreciate the good fight that it puts up when caught with hook and line.
Many different freshwater fish species are referred to as trout in everyday language. All trout species belong to the salmon family. All the true trout species are included in the subfamily Salmoninae, but the name is also casually used for all fish species belonging to the subfamily Salmo.
One of the most popular trout species caught during Alaska trout fishing is the Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). This species is also known as Steelhead trout. A steelhead trout will spend most of its life in the Pacific Ocean and only return to freshwater to breed. The Rainbow trout is a bit smaller than the Steelhead trout, and spend its entire life in freshwater rivers and lakes in North America. They are however considered to be the same species. Steelhead trouts can reach a length of 40 inches/100 centimeters, while the Rainbow trout seldom grow larger than 18 inches/45 centimeters. They Steelhead trout is also much heavier with a weight ranging from 2.5 to 10 kilograms.
Since sport-fishers love the Rainbow trout so much, it has been deliberately introduced to many countries and can today be found on all continents except Antarctica. Alaska trout fishing does, however, continue to be many anglers dream vacation due to the outstanding quality of the Alaskan trout, the pure Alaskan environment, and the amazing wildlife experience. Alaska can also boast a well-developed tourism sector where a number of trip arrangers provide fish enthusiasts from all over the world with Alaska trout fishing package trips and take care of everything, from lodging and dining to transportation and equipment. You can even go river kayak fishing in order to catch trout.
An important part of Alaska trout fishing is of course to devour the catch. The Rainbow trout is a delicious food fish that features a mild and almost nutty taste. The flesh is tender, and wild caught Rainbow trout is considered to be a much better food fish than farmed specimens. Farmed specimens will frequently acquire a somewhat muddy taste. This muddy taste can also be found in Rainbow trout found in a few North American lakes.
The Rainbow and Steelhead trouts have a coloration that can vary from blue and greenish to brown and yellow-green. They both feature tiny black spots along their back, caudal fin and dorsal fin. The Rainbow trout is decorated with a pink streak that is visible from the gill cover to the caudal fin. This streak is usually nonexistent in Steelhead trout, with the exception of very young or spawning fish.
The lifecycle of the trout is important for Alaska trout fishing, since many anglers like to catch the large Steelhead trouts that return from the Pacific Ocean to spawn. Just like its close relative, the salmon, trout return to their native waters to breed. Steelhead trout will migrate up the Alaskan rivers to find the place where they were born. When this migration occurs will depend on the specific trout population. Summer-run steelhead trout migrate from May to October, and stay in freshwater waiting for their reproductive organs to mature. They will then commence spawning in early spring. Winter-run steelhead will instead stay in the Pacific Ocean much longer and their reproductive organs will mature in saltwater. They will migrate upstream between November and April, and are generally ready to begin spawning as soon as they arrive. Unlike salmon, the trout is an iteroparous animal which means that it can spawn many times during its lifetime. It can, therefore, make many migration trips upstream and downstream.