Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Endearing Cutthroat

The next morning, we awoke from our slumber and struck out to the general store, located just down the street from our room. After picking up supplies and taking some pictures on the shoreline of Yellowstone Lake, we departed in the direction of the Yellowstone River in search of Cutthroat Trout.

Unfortunately, the river didn't fish well despite the presence of stone, caddis, and mayflies. Only later did we learn that the river is "dead." Lake Trout, first introduced into Yellowstone Lake in 1994, have had a severely negative impact on the fishery in the lake and river. The Lake Trout has caused the decimation of Cutthroat Trout in the lake, consequently causing a dramatic decline in the population of "cutties" in the river as well.

Ken, however, saved the day on the Yellowstone for us. He landed a HUGE cutt, probably in the area of 22". It was a truly great fish and moment, and one of the highlights of our trip.

In the afternoon, we made our way up to a well-known river about an hour away. When we arrived the skies looked gloomy but the river looked great. We put in and immediately began catching fish. Soon, however, rain began to fall, the river turned cloudy, and the fishing shut down. Little did I know how well this river would treat me the next day.

That night we had a good dinner and went to the room. Ken and Dane wanted to hike up a different stream, whereas I elected to limit my walking by fishing areas closer to the road (and thus, the car).

After dropping them off, I drove to the river we had fished the previous day. As it did the day before, the water looked beautifully clear, with a tint of green to it. As it was the day before, the fishing started off great. This time it got better. Starting around noon, I had tallied close to 20 trout by 3 o'clock. Shortly thereafter, I lost my fish count completely. It was truly an awesome day. My time there ended with a bang, catching four cutties and cutt/bow hybrids between 17 and 21 inches long.

It was about 7 o'clock when I left the stream, just about prime time for most. But with a sore arm from casting and fighting trout all day, I felt absolutely fulfilled and left to meet Ken and Dane who were just getting down the trail. After a solid dinner and some banter, we found a campsite. They also had a good time, catching many fish. In planning the next day's adventure, Dane, Ken, and I elected to go back as a trifecta to the stream they had just fished. We would not be disappointed.




Little river looking upstream

Bison were all over the place

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