The Beautiful Rainbow Wrasse

Have You Ever Seen Anything Quite Like This?

This is the Rainbow Wrasse (caught off Christmas Island).

You’ll find many species of wrasses in the Mediterranean, western Pacific Ocean (Japan to Australia) and eastern Pacific Ocean (Baja California to Peru) and also in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans – but the Rainbow must be one of the top contenders for sheer beauty.

(Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean, is a territory of Australia, and as the article notes “virtually everything is far away from Christmas Island”).

This is an extract from an article by Joe Rotter, the “blogger in chief” at Red’s Fly Shop (also the guide service manager) who was writing about a trip to Christmas Island.

I have noted to more folks than I can count that I find trout — a grouping I casually expand, solely for the purposes of that discussion, to include most salmon and char — to be indisputable as the most beautiful fish in the world.

It truly is hard to imagine fish more beautiful than the likes of the Alaskan leopard rainbow, a brook trout in full spawning colors and so on.

That is, until you see the rainbow wrasse (above).

Add in the fact that wrasse can be taken on the fly and they become even more alluring. The wrasse pictured above was caught off the beaches of Christmas Island, which lures anglers from far away — given that virtually everything is far away from Christmas Island — to chase bonefish and giant trevally.

While the rainbow wrasse’s penchant for the dramatic will likely keep me coming back to the trout’s more reserved, classy aesthetic, it’s hard to deny that rainbow wrasse is truly a sight to behold.

Thanks to Hatch for this extract.

Photo: Earl Harper, Harper Studios