Sunday’s Classic / Are there Really Any Trash Fish?

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Golden Rainbow Trout "Palomino Trout" - Photo By: Louis Cahill

I don’t know about you but if a fish will eat a fly I generally have no problem fly fishing for it. And I don’t consider there to be any trash fish, because they all provide enjoyment and opportunity for anglers to learn. Some people out there I’m sure would argue if it’s not completely wild, they don’t want any part. That’s cool with me and I understand where they’re coming from, I just don’t think and feel that way in my fly fishing. Heck, I remember when I was in middle school I actually got a real kick out of catching big channel catfish in my best friends farm pond with woolly buggers. Back then, it was all about getting my rod bent and watching that fly line being pulled off the reel. There was nothing pretty or serene about landing those catfish. Trash fish or not, I didn’t care because I was in it for the fight, and a 6-12 pound catfish puts up a good fight on a 5 weight fly rod. Furthermore, it was still more sporting than me breaking out my spinning rod, bobber and can of chicken livers like most kids my age.

Take the golden rainbow trout, a.k.a. “Palomino Trout”, that you can find in North Carolina for instance. Many fly anglers would jump on the bandwagon to call it a trash fish. It looks like a Koi Asian Goldfish at first glance, but it’s actually a real rainbow trout created through selective breeding. It originated from a single rainbow trout that was spawned in the fall of 1954 in West Virginia. Apparently a female rainbow trout was caught that carried a rare genetic mutation giving her a pale golden color. It was then spawned with a normal colored male rainbow trout and the palomino trout was created.

For fly anglers out there that haven’t had the opportunity to fish for this rare species of rainbow trout I highly recommend it. Particularly, if your one of those know it all anglers out there, who’s laughing at the notion and shouting trash fish. Please come visit me, and I’ll gladly point you in the right direction. I’d love to witness your frustrations and vulgar language coming out of your mouth when you fail to land the majority of the palomino’s you sight fish to.

Fly fishing for palomino trout. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Palomino trout are often a real challenge to catch on the fly. They honestly humble most anglers, and can be the toughest trout in the river to catch at times. You can easily spot them in the river but you usually have a hard time catching them. Because of this I think they make a great species for fly fishermen to chase after. They seem to be hard wired differently from other trout and carry their own unique behaviors. They often sit high in the water column and regularly ignore flies drifted in front them. Persistence is my best advice to anglers searching out this unique trout. You better be ready to change flies and switch fly fishing methods to increase your chances at landing one of them.  When you do though, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to view a trout up close that looks different from anything you’ve caught in the past. It’s really a pretty cool experience.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline

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9 thoughts on “Sunday’s Classic / Are there Really Any Trash Fish?

  1. Amen. When someone can give me a definition of “trash fish” that wouldn’t also apply to many species that anglers have traditionally lusted after, the first round is on me.

  2. Yeah, Palomino trout are cool looking fish, but in our parts where eagles and osprey feed on fishies, those fish would be a big blinking “eat me” sign in the river. Although, I would love to catch one myself. Agreed, no trash fish. They’re all fun to catch on a fly.

  3. I’m with you Kent, if it will eat a fly, it is a fish worth fishing for. For that matter, I find a that a fish that does not seem to want a fly might be worth fishing for as well. I often think I need a fly for mullet. They get big, they jump and they are all over the place. Maybe a algae fly?

  4. Pingback: Trash On The Flats | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

  5. The Goldie’s are by far the finkiest of trout. They are tough to get a hit and might take 2 to 3 hours working on a smart one..I love them they fight hard too

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