Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Rainbow trout were introduced to New Zealand from North America in the late 1800s for sport fishing. Although sea run raimbows are found in New Zealand, here at Poronui they inhabit the pristine, well-aerated water of our back country rivers.
Rainbow Trout are generally olive-green to steely blue in color with a silvery white belly. The sides are lighter in color and there are numerous spots over the upper body, head and tail. The name comes from the pink, red or orange flash along both sides that darkens during spawning.
Rainbows in New Zealand tend to be larger than those found in Australia, growing up to 13kg in rivers and 20kg in lakes. The more typical fish size caught in the North Island is 2-3 kg and Poronui operates a strict catch and release policy which yields an average catch size of 4-5kg.
Rainbow trout have a varied diet. They are predators, eating smaller fish from nearly the time they are born. Insects make up a large portion of the diet, along with crayfish and other crustaceans, some lake dwelling species may become planktonic feeders.
Trout of all ages will eat nearly anything they can grab, and along with the brown trout
are near the top of the food chain at Poronui, taking more fish and fewer insects as they grow, although insects continue to be a part of their diet.
They prefer to feed in low light such as dawn and dusk and also at night. They will feed during the day but usually in an opportunistic fashion from cover.
Fly Fishing for Rainbow Trout
Active feeding generally occurs during subdued daylight, such as dawn and dusk and at night. Rainbows are often found under cover such as submerged logs and rocks, and undercut banks. In moving water they will generally let the food come to them holding their ground in pools and downstream of any current. Rainbows are generally less likely to take fright than Browns and also seem to like faster moving water.
Many North American and English patterns work very well in New Zealand, particularly dry flies. Information on the best flies and equipment to use for rainbow trout at Poronui, can be found under Clothing and Tackle
Come and experience for yourself rainbow trout fishing at Poronui. Please contact us
for inquiries or make a booking online now