Amazing Trout Jumping Videos (You Won’t Believe It!)

Salmon are the better-known jumpers of the fish world, but their cousins, trout, are not too shabby at leaping through the streams either. Strong swimmers, trout can leap over waterfalls and many different obstacles with ease. 
jumping trout

Fly Fisher Pro is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

We’ve compiled a few videos that show the power and vaulting skills of these beautiful animals.  

How high can trout jump?

In a study of Brook Trout the researchers looked at jumping height and were amazed. The small, 10–15-cm Brook Trout could jump a 63.5-cm-high waterfall, that means up to 4.7 times their body length. The most important factor for the jump height was the depth of the plunge pool at the bottom. 

The larger the pool, the more height the trout jumping out of water was able to gather. The larger Brook Trout were jumping up to 73.5-cm waterfalls, or equivalent to 2.9–4.0 times the length of their body, but only if the plunge pools were at least 40 cm. The researchers also looked at what shallow plunge pools did to the height of the jumps, and it turns out that pools of 10 cm depth make it impossible for the fish of all sizes to jump up a waterfall of 43.5 cm or more.

You can also see our post here on World Record Brook Trout if you want to know the largest Brook Trout ever caught


Why are trout jumping?

This is a question that has puzzled ichthyology for a long time, and the answers are various and depend on the types of trout. 

To know more about the different types of trout, see our post on Trout Species here.

One major reason for Trout jumping is to get rid of Argulus, a type of fish louse. By violently jumping out of the water, the impact is often sufficient to dislodge the pesky parasite and free the trout. 

Trout may also be jumping to readjust their swimbladders or because they are attacking something under the surface of the water and don’t slow down, popping up mid-attack. Sometimes trout can jump to feed, but it is only occasionally and in certain conditions, such as Mayfly season. Trout usually like to conserve energy and feed from the surface of the water rather than consume precious calories leaping for something that’s not a sure thing. 
And finally, some say that trout can also be jumping because they are happy. Until we get a real trout psychologist on the case, this one may be nothing more than fanciful speculation.

And finally… a trout jump gone bad

At Decorah Fish Hatchery in Iowa, in 2013, a rainbow trout made a leaping mistake when it jumped in – 30-degree weather and got stuck to the side of its tank. The tank was lined with aluminium for easy cleaning, and because of its conductivity was extremely sticky to the unlucky fish. The fishcicle was discovered by biologist Brian Malaise and represents a serious case of vaulting skill meets bad luck. 


frozen jumping trout
Via Nerdist

What is your story of trout jumping? I’ve had plenty of trout jumping out of my hands, I know that. Leave your story in the comments below. If you’re looking for fly line reviews or trying to understand what is drag and how best to overcome it then check out our homepage and partners below:

Save Up To 50% At Trident Fly Fishing

We’ve partnered with Trident Fly Fishing to get you EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS on a huge selection of fly fishing gear. I highly recommend checking out their USED GEAR SECTION to save a ton on a premium rod and reel.

Trident Fly Fishing Deal

4 thoughts on “Amazing Trout Jumping Videos (You Won’t Believe It!)”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top