sjs- There's no need to apologize, you're just expressing an opinion, and it's one that for the most part I agree with. There's a reason that the smallmouth has been described as "pound for pound, the gamest fish that swims". Fire away, Bob.
However, I think that a fish's vigor is closely related to water temperature. On this particular evening, the water was right in the comfort zone of the bass and a bit on the warm side for the rainbows, so the bass did indeed fight harder. But had the water been much cooler, I'm sure there's a very good chance that the trout would have fought harder than the bass.
It's an interesting river...in the spring, there's the trout while the water is cool, then summer there's primarily bass being caught during the warmer waters, and then in the fall as temps cool the trout turn on again and the bass still actively feed in preparation for winter.