Rainbow Trout & Steel Head

David Nair
3 min readMay 10, 2022


The other day I was eating sushi with some friends, and we were sitting at the Sushi Bar watching the owner prepare sushi. The owner of this Sushi Bar is quite a talkative guy, a well-seasoned traveller. Once he gets started, it’s hard to get a word in, but he does have some interesting stories of his travels to share.

He started by telling us about the fish for the day that he had available and which ones were the freshest and tastiest. He was sharing about the Rainbow Trout and then he said one thing that really caught my attention. He mentioned the Rainbow Trout (which is a freshwater fish) is the same species as the Steel Head (which lives most of its life at sea). They are the same fish, but one specie of freshwater stays in rivers and streams, while the other lives in seas and oceans go to the rivers to breed. They both start off their lives in the same way in freshwater streams rivers and lakes.

He concluded by making the comment, “your exposure can make you or break you. It determines who you become. Just like the fish, it depends on which turn in the river, or stream you decide to take upstream and live in the river or downstream and head for the ocean.” Your Life is pivoted on that decision.

Wow! I didn’t know fish were that complex.

At the beginning of their life the rainbow trout and steelhead hatch in rivers. They live in these rivers, freshwater lakes, or creeks where they are hatched. As they grow, something happens to these fishes, that can lead to some of them staying in that habitat throughout their lives and others seeking new homes out to sea.

The Steelheads that go into the ocean grow to be much bigger than the Rainbow Trout because there is so much more to eat in the ocean than in the streams. The abundance of prey at their disposal. Herring and sardines had better watch out when the steelhead is around. Crustaceans such as crab and shrimp are also consumed by steelhead, contributing to their immense size. Rainbow trout, on the other hand, tend to eat aquatic insects such as midges and mayflies, as well as aquatic larvae. Meanwhile, they’ll also eat fish, including minnows, gobies, and shiners.

As I got to thinking about this, it occurred to me that these fish’s behaviour is a lot like our behaviour.

Some people stay close to home and are content with where they are in life and others will go out and seek their fortune and reap life’s bounty, just like the Steel Head. Coupled with that, the environment makes the fish what it is. Similarly, so do the Steel Head and Rainbow Trout.

Hence make sure you are conscious of “hanging out” in an environment that is in line with the type of life you want. This percolator into all areas of our growth, finance, career, business, family, recreation, social and spiritual. Hence be selective with the friends and books that you associate with for it will determine what your life outcome will be.

David Nair,



David Nair

Mentor| Author of the book “IeXceL”| Life Coach| Corporate Strategist| Speaker| Peak Performance Strategist | Youtuber | Podcaster | Blogger