|McCloud River Redband Trout|
Out of the six heritage trout on my list the one I looked forward to catching the most was the McCloud River Redband Trout. I had already caught a Lahontan Cutthroat from the Upper Truckee and now I was off to my second heritage trout. The McCloud River Redband was once the only trout native to the McCloud River system above Middle Falls. Natural barriers in the form of impassable waterfalls have separated this sub-species from their coastal rainbow cousins for thousands of years. This allowed Mother Nature to take her place on the easel and paint the bright red band we see today on these beautiful fish.
The McCloud River Redband is one of rarest sub-species of rainbow trout in the world due to it's small population. I would categorize the McCloud River Redband as the second rarest trout in California after the Paiute Cutthroat. Unlike the California Golden Trout and the Little Kern Golden Trout, many of the tributaries that hold populations of McCloud River Redbands are closed to fishing all year. The only place in the world where you can catch a McCloud River Redband legitimately is Trout Creek and Swamp Creek.
|McCloud Redband Territory|