This specimen resembled several others of around the same size and perhaps the same species, which were pretty common in my February sample from the upper Yakima. Unfortunately, I misplaced the specimen before I could get it under a microscope for a definitive ID.
PaulRoberts on Jan 12, 2011January 12th, 2011, 7:10 am EST
In the small to mid-sized streams I fished back east, rainbow production was pretty good. But...most bows have a penchant to grow fast (too big for natal streams) and willingness to drop out downstream -more so than other species. They generally like larger water than many eastern and midwestern streams offer. If there's a big cold river or coldwater lake below they'd return BIGGER! But otherwise, they were gone and would simply not be stocked in such waters.
In the streams with cold lakes below, there were subpopulations of "resident" bows in the upper reaches that hit about 11 inches -most smaller -mixed in with the browns. In some streams I fished I located good numbers of bows downstream nearer the warmer mid-reaches that averaged a bit larger -mostly in the 11 to 13inch range. These stretches were notable in that there were very few other trout species there. These were "bow stretches" that were larger with deeper pools than upstream brown trout waters. If I wanted to catch "big" bows I had to go to the big waters -like the Delaware, or wait until lake fish ran into tribs. This is similar here in CO too -the big bows are caught in big waters.
I'm sure your state stream biologists could tell you the particulars in your waters. Likely it's the same there, unless your state has experimented with other rainbow stocks.