Hi, How Can We Help You?


Types of trout- Guide to all the trout species

This post may contain affiliate links which means Fin Slayer, LLC may receive a commission for purchases made through links. Please contact us if you have any questions or review our Privacy Policy page.

Trout is one of the most beautiful fish not only outside but also has many health benefits which makes it beautiful from the inside too. It’s always an achievement to catch the trout for anglers as landing one of the smartest fish isn’t something usual. This specie has many types and sizes, not every trout you catch are same, each one has unique features and skin that differentiate them from others. So it’s a good thing to be fully aware of them.

Many people are confused about different types of trout on the other hand many even don’t know about them. There is a fun fact many species you think is a trout are actually not. To clear up this confusion, I am introducing some of the popular types of trout for a comprehensive understanding next time you fish.

Trout Fish

Just like “Bass” trout isn’t the name of single specie instead it’s a generic name for freshwater species belonging to the Oncorhynchus, Salmo, and, Salvelinus. A big part of the world’s trout population is found in North America, which it is also famous for.

Rainbow trout

types of trout

The very first name that pops in mind when talking about trout is “Rainbow trout”. It is the most common and popularly known among anglers and recreational ones. This strong fighting fish is a native species to North American and Asian, Pacific Ocean watershed portions.

Keeping in view its popularity and being a trophy fish for tournament anglers, stocking rainbow trout in water bodies is now commonly adapted in areas around the world where it is rare.

They are caught in streams and lakes all around the year so wouldn’t have to wait for the specific season. Rainbow trout are generally recognized by the pink strap on their skin. But for a confirmed identification of this type of dorsal fin with dark black spots, white gums, and inner mouth, and a clear sign for differentiation from salmon, the heavily spotted wide tail. It has greenish-colored skin with black spots all over it.

Rainbow trout usually range from a minimum of 11 inches to a maximum of 22-23 inches. Regarding their age, a 12 inches trout is almost 4-5 years old. The average life span is 6 years but the maximum age of 11 years has also been calculated. Rainbow trout usually weigh 5-15 lbs. but in their native area, they can be the size of 40 lbs.

If you are interested to catch trout with one of your spinning rods then to trick this smart fish you should use worms or small fish as live baits as rainbow trout isn’t much picky about its diet and eats insects, small fish, worms, snails, smallmouth bass and also the other specie eggs.

Cutthroat Trout

types of fishing rods

Black dots all over the skin is general identification of a trout fish but it is not a general rule of thumb. Cutthroat trout has a unique red-colored lower jaw and throat which gives an impression that it is bleeding. This distinctive appearance leads to naming this fish “Cutthroat Trout”. You may be not familiar with this type of trout as it’s not as popular as the rainbow.

The places to find cutthroat trout are

  • United States (western part)
  • United States (Northeastern part through stocking)
  • Canada (Quebec)

Cutthroat is a Pacific ocean’s cold water native species. For reproduction, this type of trout chooses cold and deep water lakes. It has a big family of a total of 11 subspecies some popular of them are

  • Bonneville
  • Paiute Cutthroat Trout
  • Yellowstone
  • Coastal cutthroat
  • Greenback cutthroat
  • West slope cutthroat
  • Lahontan cutthroat
  • Rio Grande


Cutthroat does have a long life span as compared to rainbow trout the average years estimated are 3-4 years or a maximum of 6 years but chances are rare. As it has a wide range of multiple subspecies so they are 8 to 25 inches in length, and can be 38 lbs. maximum in weight.

It is one of the hardest fish to catch you must be professional in your fishing skills and use the right bait to trap this type of trout. It is a mobile fish that eats small aquatic insects, grasshoppers, crickets, other small fish, and natural eggs.

You can use soft baits, grasshoppers, and flies as bait to catch cutthroat trout. In case you can’t distinguish between rainbow and cutthroat, the latter has the upper jaw that reaches the eye’s outer corner.

Apache Trout

differerent types of trout

Introducing you to a very uncommon type of trout that is only available in the White Mountain lakes and streams of Arizona. They are the native species of Arizona and are also called “Yellow bellies”. In 1973, they were declared an endangered species, however, were saved by restricting fishing in those areas.

Apache trout has an olive-yellow upper side body with black spots and a golden yellow belly. It is usually identified due to its unique color. The tip (border-side) of the dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are white to orange in color which is the clear sign of an apache trout. Moreover, there seems to be a black stripe through each eye which are a clear sign of this unique type of trout.

The length of this fish isn’t as long as the above-mentioned two are. It is a small to medium-sized fish which reaches a maximum of 20-24 inches in length. It’s a famous fly fishing target and using a black, brown, or green colored bait is recommended to catch it. It also preys on small minnows so it’s a great opportunity to use minnow as live bait.

Catching apache is no less than a victory.

Lake Trout

types of fishing rods

Each trout has a unique and distinctive spotty pattern skin that distinguishes them from each other. This one doesn’t have any colorful spots or stripes even though it is one of the least colorful trout listed here. It has a green-brownish colored skin with white beans shaped spots.

This is one of the largest trout fish species which is also its distinguishing mark as no other trout has ever weighed over 100 pounds. So next you caught a large-sized and heavy-weight fish with creamy spots on the skin in the large lakes of North- America, without any doubt it’s a Lake trout. They are also commonly found in northern Canadian lakes and Alaska.  

Lake trout reaches the average length of 20 to 35 inches normally with 10-40 lbs. weight. A record was set by catching the largest lake trout of 50 inches in length and the record weight of 102 pounds. This big giant is the famous game fish and tastes great as the food.

It can live up to 25 years or more as it’s a slow-growing fish that matures very late. To target this monster catch dive in a large deep water lake with one of your best spinning or casting rod.

This aggressive adult fish mostly prey on other relatively large fish like sculpins, minnows, and other fish of almost the same size while the younger ones eat sponges, worms, snails, and other small freshwater invertebrates.

For catching this big-sized trout fish type pick 7 to 9 inches long trolling fishing rod of fast action and medium to heavy power. Here live baits work more effectively than artificial ones.

Golden Trout

types of trout fish

Jumping from the largest to the smallest of trout on the list, the Golden trout is one of the smallest-sized trout. It’s usually the size of your hand. As the name suggests, this specie is popular because of its appealing golden-colored skin. They may vary in spot pattern but the unique distinguishing mark is the red stripes all along the lateral line.

They are the native fish of Golden Trout Creek which is a long tributary to the South Fork Kern River. It is predicted that the Californian Trout will be extinct in the next 50 years so keeping in view their popularity and for saving the specie they are also widely distributed and secured via Stocking to other places and are now found in mountain lakes and streams of Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.

As it is the smallest type of trout it maximum reaches a length of 12 inches. They relatively grow larger in lakes with a maximum weight of 10-11 pounds. This freshwater small specie prey on small aquatic insects.

To catch this popular gamefish, scented baits are recommended.

Brown Trout

Brown trout, the largest type of trout

You may have heard about the sea trout in the United Kingdom and the Brown trout in North America don’t be confused both are the same ones. Brown trout is native to Germany and UK but was later introduced in the States. It is one of the widely found trout species in the lakes, rivers, and seas of

  • New Zeeland
  • Canada
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • The United States
  • Argentina
  • Pakistan

They are one of the strongest types of trout as they quickly adapt to the environments and migrate from cold freshwater lakes to saltwater rivers and seas. It is very easy to identify brown trout as they have white circle spots with red or orange inner small spots. They are spotted in different color variations like olive, brown-yellow, golden-brown, or dark brown.

A variety of brown trout lengths are available from the smallest of 8 inches to the largest 50 inches. They weigh up to 45 lbs. An aggressive fish but one of the least picky eaters in the trout family. Along with aquatic insects and small fish, they also eat land invertebrates.

It’s an easy catch for anglers as it quickly rushes towards the baits but gives a tough fight so one of your best fishing rod and reel combo with a braided fishing line will be a perfect setup. Small minnows or worms will end with a hook stuck in the fish’s mouth.

Tiger Trout

tiger trout, a hybrid type of trout whose skin pattern matchs with a tigers' skin

The result of the hybridization of a female brown trout with a male brook trout is the Tiger Trout. It is named “Tiger trout” because of its skin pattern that exactly matches the tiger’s skin. It has greenish-yellow skin color, a plain yellow belly, and a white outer line on the anal fins. They are stocked in private hatcheries in Nevada and are now stocked throughout the US where brown and brook trout are present. As they can’t reproduce so only catch and release is followed in the case of tiger trout.

They are a maximum of 21 inches long with an average weight of 6-7 pounds but the world is full of miracles and a record trout of 27 pounds have been caught.

One of the challenging fish to catch because of its aggressive nature obviously which it derives from its parents. A perfect bait casting rod of fast action with spoons and spinner baits will be an ideal cast. Minnows will also be a wiser option in case of live baits.

Marble Trout

marble trout, an aggressive type of trout

The marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) is a freshwater species found in limited basins and rivers of the Adriatic basin. Each trout is named in accordance with its skin patterns, this one also has a unique marble pattern on its skin. Adults measure up to 50 cm in length and have a cylindrical body shape.

Marble trout are notoriously aggressive and will not hesitate to bite when hooked. However, they are extremely sensitive to angling pressure and overfishing has reduced their population in the wild to less than 5% of its original size.

This type of trout thrives in waters with cool temperatures and low oxygen. They are one of the few freshwater fish species that can survive in these harsh conditions. They eat aquatic plants, small insects, and even smaller fish.

Final Thoughts

Trout is a type of fish that can be found in many different locations around the world. Some live in large, slow-moving rivers others prefer smaller streams and tributaries. They range in size from small “feeder” specie to large game fish such as Atlantic salmon. The main reason for writing an article on different types of trout is to introduce the anglers properly to trout species and how you can catch them by using the pitching bait. Because a fully aware angler how its catch is far much better than highly skilled.