Big Tiger Trout / Fat Cutthroat

Originally planning to head south for pig brookies, my buddy Keoni and I made a wise decision to avoid the big storm forecast for that area.  Instead of trying to jig and fly fish in gusting winds and snow at a small pond, we ultimately chose to go and hassle some test tube babies and beautiful cutthroat at another lake with a better weather outlook.

Arriving very early, we were the first people at the lake.  The air was very cold and frost covered the ground.  Ice had formed at the inlet and extended out about thirty feet.  The float tubes would remain in the car, we decided.

Not wasting any time, we got busy throwing hardware in the shallows near the outflow, but couldn't get anything to strike.  A second vehicle motored in and parked at a spot near mid-lake when we thought it best to relocate near the inlet.  It was a good move.

Right away, I picked up several healthy cutthroat on the Blue Fox.

They're really putting on weight, these days.  That last one was the smallest fish of the day for me.  I'm used to catching much smaller cutts from the lake.

It was too shallow and weedy for Keoni to work his Lucky Craft, so he moved to an area with a better drop off, where many fish were visible and cruising close to shore.

Joining Keoni, the cruisers weren't cooperating with either of us and I chose to make my way down the shore to my favorite hump, where I'd previously had a lot of success for big tiger trout.

The tigers didn't want to bite anything for quite awhile, but many were cruising by in groups of up to four at a time.  The smallest tiger I saw was likely about 18" and many were substantially larger.

Finally, I got one to bite a J-11 Rapala (firetiger pattern) that I had found on the shoreline of Deer Creek, the week before.

Not bad.  Not the biggest one in the lake, but it gave a good tug and filled up my hand nicely.

The other fish in the area would only give chase without striking, so I switched to the fly rod and did some sight fishing.  

Dropping a tiny black chironomid below a killer caddis, I was able to get another female of similar size and a brightly colored male before my lucky 'mid broke.

Once my productive fly broke in half, I sifted through my fly box in search of another.  Sadly, my supply of those was exhausted and nothing else I had seemed to work.

Meanwhile up the shoreline, Dr. Kauwe was putting on a clinic (Keoni's a professor at BYU):

Nice fish!  Looks like it's been caught a few times already with that crooked smile.

He had been catching quite a few fish while I was away, so I missed a lot of photo ops.  Apparently, his largest catch was even bigger than the last one pictured.  He had a very good day and caught his personal best tigers, twice over.

The rest of my time at the lake was a frustrating bout of rejection with the picky tigers.  Bouncing flies off their snouts couldn't even provoke a reaction.  It was rough and my bugs weren't doing the trick.

Finally, I switched back to the trusty Blue Fox and picked up one last cutthroat before we took off.

It was a great day and we were both glad to have avoided the awful weather we initially planned to endure at the brookie pond.  Thanks to Keoni for the good company on another excellent adventure in Utah.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

Some Background...


Why not go jogging, hit the gym, start a garden or whatever it is that normal humans do? What's so fascinating about these slimy little creatures that live in the water?

Fishing is a bit more to me than a hobby or a sport. It's an essential part of life that helps me connect with the Earth in ways similar to the long-practiced traditions of mankind. Wherever man has had a water source, there has been fishing.

It's only natural.

Happy Fishing, Humans.