Scientific Name: Oncorhyncus mykiss
Classification: Game Fish
Abundance: Mountain region in the western part of the state.

Sport Fish Profile (pdf)

 

     

The rainbow trout is named for the broad, lateral stripe on its sides, which ranges from pink to red. Its back is olive-green, and its belly is whitish with heavy black speckling on all fins and the entire body. Rainbow trout are native to the Pacific drainages of western North America but have been introduced throughout mountain streams in North Carolina. As with other trout, rainbows inhabit streams, rivers, ponds and lakes with good water quality and temperatures that rarely exceed 70 F. They have a tendency to hang out in faster currents, such as riffles and swift runs, more so than brook or brown trout. Young rainbow trout feed on small aquatic and terrestrial insects. Adults eat a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, as well as crustaceans, fish and other small vertebrates.

 

North Carolina offers some great fishing opportunities. If you are a resident or visitor to the state, please review the links below to ensure that you understand the rules, regulations and other guidelines.

The following fishing regulations are effective August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.

Inland Fishing

Inland Fishing Regulations
Regulatory authority between the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries. Inland game fish regulations include Manner of Taking, Seasons and Using Trotlines and Set-hooks.

 

 

Saltwater Fishing

Fishing Techniques:

Fishing dry flies, streamers, and nymphs that imitate natural foods works well. This method is especially popular in North Carolina’s many streams that support wild trout. Fishing baits, such as worms and corn, are highly effective for catching hatchery-reared rainbow trout. Spin casting small spinners, spoons and crankbaits can be productive as well. Be sure to check the current trout fishing regulations on the type of lures allowed as well as the size limit and creel limit for a particular trout water before fishing.

Good places to fish: 

Check out the interactive Public Mountain Trout Waters map to find good places to catch trout.