Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Joys of Trout...Cutthroat that is!

With apologies to Arnold Gingrich for plagiarizing the title of his classic fly fishing book I felt compelled to discuss with the myriad of you fans of the "Quiet Pool" why I am attracted to these fish!

First of all they are the last wild coastal trout on the west coast not counting Alaska. Very little is really known about their habits and whether some or maybe all try to migrate to saltwater. And just what do they do in salt water? Do they stay in the estuary or do the full ocean thing of their salmonid cousins. Again not much data there for us to cling to except for the volumes of information we do not know about these wonderful trout.
For you that have actively fly fished for them know the ferocity they will attack a fly whether it be on the surface or sub-surface or deeply sunk. For the life of me I cannot fathom the need to fish a deeply sunken fly for these fish but to each his own I guess.
What I do know is what they mean to me. They mean a warm summer evening on my favorite coastal tributary where I can lose myself pursuing them. I seldom see any one else fishing for them and that is just fine although I like nothing better than introducing other fly fishers to them....go figure!
They also mean the wistful end of summer when the leviathans of west coast fresh water fishing, namely chinook salmon, start their death journey up their rivers of birth.
It signals the end of the cutthroat season on the north coast and the beginning of the long dreary months of fall and winter in the Pacific Northwest. It's a time of year I dread and find myself getting nostalgic at that time of year because it also marks the conclusion of those warm days on the Deschutes.
So here I am about two or so months away from the Memorial Day opener. There won't be any big rush to the coast by the Portland Metro hordes (Thank God) but the fact that there are some who think this trout should be made harvestable makes me sick! As does those who think it's great sport to use bait and small hooks for these fish!
This winter I've seen many large and robust cutthroat trout as I pursue winter steelhead so that makes me optimistic for the coming season. So it's back to the tying bench because you never know how many Reverse Spiders I might need this year.

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