How Do You Identify Redd Trout?

Redd trout, also known as “redband” trout, are a popular and elusive species among anglers. These fish are native to the western United States and are known for their vibrant colors and fierce fighting abilities.

But how do you identify them? In this article, we’ll explore the key characteristics of redd trout that will help you distinguish them from other fish.


One of the most distinct features of redd trout is their coloring. As their name suggests, these fish have a reddish hue on their sides and belly.

They also have vibrant pink or red spots on their sides that are surrounded by a light blue halo. Their backs are typically olive or brown in color and may have darker spots along the dorsal fin.


Redd trout can vary in size depending on their habitat and diet. On average, they range from 12 to 20 inches in length, but larger specimens have been caught. The world record for a redd trout caught on a fly rod is 29 inches long.


Redd trout prefer cool, clear streams with gravel or rocky bottoms. They can be found in both small mountain creeks and large rivers throughout the western United States. These fish require clean water to survive, so they are often an indicator species for healthy aquatic ecosystems.


Redd trout are known for being aggressive feeders and strong fighters when hooked. They typically feed on insects, small fish, and crustaceans. These fish also tend to be more active in the early morning or late evening hours when water temperatures are cooler.

Identification Tips

When trying to identify a redd trout, there are several key features to look for:

  • Their distinctive red coloring with pink or red spots surrounded by a light blue halo.
  • Their olive or brown backs with darker spots along the dorsal fin.
  • Their size, which typically ranges from 12 to 20 inches in length.
  • Their habitat in cool, clear streams with gravel or rocky bottoms.


Redd trout are a unique and beautiful species that can be found in many western streams and rivers. By knowing their distinct characteristics, you’ll be able to identify them with ease and appreciate their beauty even more. Remember to always practice catch-and-release fishing to help preserve these important fish for future generations.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins