Big Beautiful Cutthroat

Having been on so many family trips lately, this week was reserved for a solo trip to a favorite area of mine.

The mountains are so rich and green this time of year and the fishing is excellent, so off I went into the world of giant quaking aspen, green grass, and shaded trails.

 My hike wasn't too long, but my first stop required a little trail blazing.  It was a small beaver pond that I've fished a couple of times, always full of little cutthroat.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

The pond was completely stacked with spawning cutts.  From the looks of it, most were between 16 and 20 inches.

There must have been 40 or more in the pond.  What a find!

Sneaking up as carefully as possible, I made my way to within reach and watched for a few minutes to observe their behavior.  They seemed very aggressive, feeding in the deeper area as the others churned vigorously in the gravel.

Not knowing which fly to choose and not wanting to spook the fish with anything, I tied on a red killer caddis and carefully placed my first cast.

It didn't take long and I had a big bend in my rod with a 22" pig of a female on the fly.

She fought very hard and took awhile to get in, causing her a lot of stress.  I nursed her back to health carefully in the clean flowing water coming in behind me and sent her back to drop off those eggs.

The first fish of the day was quite the start.  Better than I could have asked for.  What really surprised me after the long battle in a small hole, was hooking right into another nice fish, this time a male.

These are Bonneville cutts, though the colors they exhibit would tempt many to believe they're Colorado's.

Even more surprising, they just kept rolling in, one after another.

Pardon the itchy trigger finger, but I really only took pics of the prettiest ones.

Another couple of big ones:

They were hitting flies on top, but I couldn't tell what they were.  The smallest dries I had were Parachute Adams, so I tried my luck with that for awhile.  No dice.

Once the fly got wet and started sinking, they were all over it.  That led to plenty more fish.

This was the smallest cutt that I caught in the pond, and the only one under 14".

I couldn't believe how great the fishing was and how nice the fish were this time.

After so many fish, I felt like taking a break and ate some lunch.  It was nice to just sit and listen to the world go 'round.  I took my time, but eventually needed to start thinking about going home.  Promising myself to only fish a little bit longer, I started throwing some jigs and hardware.

They were still hitting everything.  Just nuts!

This was my only bleeder and I took it home.  The fillets actually looked pretty good, considering it was a spawning male.

It taped at 19".

More came and went, like before.  Again, pic overload, but they were all just so pretty.  They deserved a photo.

Especially this one.

So many great fish.  I can't believe they still kept on hitting my gear.  Better fishing than that is hard to come by and it's just the kind of day that I've needed.

Another pond was somewhat close, and happened to be in the direction of my car, so I really had no choice but to fish it.  Just like my little beaver pond, this one was also fed by a spring, just up the hill.

These fish were almost as eager as the ones I had been catching already.  Another blowout ensued for about a half hour and these cutts were also very colorful, though a bit smaller.

Check out that pepper:

There were quite a few that had some irregularities with their gill plates.  They looked otherwise great.


Most of them looked just fine though.

Here's my biggest from that pond:

 It's all about a hike through the aspens.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

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.