The Trophy Fish of West Cumbria

The rivers and lakes of Cumbria boast a wide variety of fish species but a few stand out to fishermen as prize catches on fly or lure. These four fish continue to attract anglers from around the world, making them the true trophies of Cumbria.

Rainbow Trout

A salmonid, rainbow trout are one of the most commonly fished freshwater species in the world. Rainbow trout taken from a stream vary in size from .5 to 2.3 kg. Fish from the deep waters of lakes can exceed 9 kg although fish of that size are rare. Rainbows are known for their vibrant body colour and white bellies.

Brown Trout

Brown trout are easily identifiable by their uniquely speckled skin and brown body colour. Much larger than the rainbow variety, browns can grow to more than 140 cm with a weight of 60 kg in lakes. In smaller rivers and streams fish are much smaller, commonly weighting 1 kg or less.

Sea Trout

Brown trout who migrate to saltwater after spawning are called sea trout. When they reach the sea, these trout turn silver in colour with black speckles. Once they return to freshwater to spawn, they regain the traditional colour and markings of brown trout. Sea trout are smaller than freshwater browns, only growing to a maximum of 20 kg.

Atlantic Salmon

Like sea trout, Atlantic salmon can be found both in freshwater and salt water. Each year in the spring, these fish return from the sea to spawn in freshwater rivers. In the ocean, salmon are silver with black spots. Once inland their colouration changes, resulting in a mottled scheme, ideal for camouflage in streams and rivers. Atlantic salmon generally grow to 75 cm and weigh around 5 kg. However, salmon who spend four or more years feeding in the ocean can grow much larger, often exceeding 40 kg.

These are just a few of the fish you can expect to encounter in the rivers and lakes of Cumbria. Pike, char, and eels are also well represented in the region.