Cutthroat Surprise

“I’m gonna win. There’s no way I’m goin’ down. I don’t go down for nobody”.

-1940’s Boxer, Jake LaMotta

20 cutthroat

A local tailwater river that I frequently dry-fly on has a healthy population of sizeable rainbow trout. This is not surprising as they are the predominant trout species in my region. It also has a good population of brown trout. Also not surprising.

What is surprising is that in spite of this river section being a fair distance from the mountains and the water quality being far from pristine, it has some very healthy Cutthroat and the hybridized Cuttbow trout. These fish can be quite large but what is extraordinary is that they are especially robust. Hook into one on a broad section of the river and they race for the horizon, and can take you into your backing.

yes1

I go there when I expect a hatch and look for surface disturbances. It is  “technical” water: whether it is rainbows, browns or cutthroat, or a hybridized version, you have to pay attention to what the fish are focused on (eating) and also their rise forms to figure out whether you fish on top, in the film, or have to go slightly subsurface. I sometimes get the subsurface feeders to tip up and take a dangling, klinkhammer style fly, or a helpless easy floating target such as a cripple pattern. Some people have success using soft hackles in this situation.

cutt2 (1)

The river has very impressive rainbows and brown trout but I consider the cutthroat and their hybridized brethren to be the “Raging Bulls” of this neighbourhood. Think Jake LaMotta… they just don’t give up.

broadside

Here are some pictures of these fish caught (this and last summer) on small dries: size 16 and 18 pmd’s and one fish on a tiny beetle. All fish photographed on this blog have been released.

angle cutt

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6 thoughts on “Cutthroat Surprise

    • Lightline:
      Thanks for comment on the in-the-water photos…it is a nice way to get a pic with minimum handling of the trout…of course some bolt before I get my click in. Yes, lots of fun…light line(4wt), and small flies.
      bob

  1. Very nice Bob. I agree…treat ’em right, keep ’em in the water. As for the cutthroats, they’re always a pleasant surprise, especially when they are of such proportions. I’ve caught more on our local spring creek this year too, some quite nice, also on a dry.

    • Les: When I started taking photos of trout 4 or so yrs ago I purchased a net to cradle and control them safely in the water. When ready for a photo I slide the net away and hope they stick around, sometimes gently supporting the belly or gripping tail. I suspect everyone has their method. The net really assists; less intrusive.

      Thanks for dropping in.
      bob

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