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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yep - PA. Flew into Cleveland and drove back east to Conneaut and fished out of PA on Saturday/Sunday. Great short trip - first time for Steelhead. Great fish to catch on a fly rig.

Lost quite a few hookups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yep - PA. Flew into Cleveland and drove back east to Conneaut and fished out of PA on Saturday/Sunday. Great short trip - first time for Steelhead. Great fish to catch on a fly rig.

Lost quite a few hookups.
 

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Nice looking stealhead! Unfortunately when it comes to trout genetics in the US, the rainbow has suffered the most from hatchery rearing. That is what is leading to so many variations in the same species in the same river system. If those were true heritage strain fish, they'd all look the same.

There is a great newer book out called An Entirely Synthetic Fish: How Rainbow Trout Beguiled America and Overran the World by Anders Halverson that goes into great depth on this topic if you or others has an interest in a good read.
 

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Bucksnbows:

Although the color variations from different strains & genetics definitely comes into play in most river systems. These three fish have 3 different colors for reasons other than strictly genetics.

The 1st fish shows a "dime bright" fresh fish that has just entered the river system from the lake. They have this coloration almost exclusively when they are in cold, clear lakes and their diet is made up almpost entirely of alewives and other baitfish. As they spend time in the river, they will morph into more close approximations to the fish in photos # 2 & #3.

Both of the fish in the 2nd & 3rd pictures have obviously been in the river system longer where they have been feeding more heavily on salmon eggs, brown trout eggs, and both terrestrial & aquatic insects. They have also already taken on their spawning colors, so they are obviously readying themselves for procreation.

Additonally fish #2 is distinctly different than fish #3, because fish #2 is a female while fish #3 is a large male. The blunt nose and lighter coloration of the female fish in fish #2 is a dead give away while the extended bottom jaw(or kype) of the 3rd fish clearly shows that it is a male.

Most of the steelhead in the Eastern Great Lakes were derived from Pacific strains of the Skamania & Garanaska rainbows/steelhead, and they were produced from only a handful of Great Lakes tributary hatcheries. Consequently, there isn't as much genetic diversity as there is across the country where domestic rainbows from other strains such as Kamloops and others were introduced for diffferent reasons such as size, growth rate, spawning seasons, temperature tolerance, etc.

All that being said, these are some great shots of some truly hard-fighting and beautiful fish. Thanks for sharing bgood & congrats on a successful adventure tackling one of the East Coast's most magnificent and challenging fish! [up]

- Gr8ful
 

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congrats nice steelhead[up][up] round valley has kamloops stocked by rvtra they grow faster then normal bows and are alittle more agresive and there more slender shaped regular bows foot ball as they get bigger
 

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Thanks for the "lesson" Gr8fl, I guess you don't know what I do for a living [hihi][hihi]

But you are correct,such as bright chrome typically means fresh from the sea (or lake, in this instance). Still, our rainbow stocks are a genetic mess across the country and it is getting increasingly difficult to find pure strain bows. But I get your point.
 
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