Well, I can cross the Wyoming Cutt Slam off my “to do” list. The official certificate of completion arrived in the mail earlier this week documenting Jamie and my achievement. It may be the only certificate I’ve ever gotten kind of excited about.
For those that don’t know, the Wyoming Cutt Slam is a challenge put forth by the WY Game and Fish in which anglers are challenged to catch (and document) the four Wyoming native cutthroat trout species. Each species resides in its own specific region/drainage, making it a really fun fly fishing adventure!
Jamie and I, along with Sage, began our Cutt Slam quest back in 2012, journeying to the Tri- Basin divide area to camp and fish. Our first stop was a small stream that had an abundant population of Bonneville Cuttroat Trout. While I had caught the Bonneville before, both in the Bear River in Evanston, and also fishing this same water, I hadn’t documented it, so it never happened. It didn’t take Jamie and I long to both catch and photograph our first fish of the Slam.
Jamie showing off a beautiful gem of a trout; the Bonneville
An architypal Wyoming high country trout stream.
On to find a Colorado…. This didn’t happen despite some fairly serious fishing. You can read more about it here. Fast forward to early last summer (2013). We had two free days together and a desire to get out of town, camp and shake off the Colorado Cutthroat slump. Off we drove again, me, my lady and a fourteen year old Labrador. We fished some new water, exploring numerous dirt forest roads and eventually finding our prize.
The elusive Colorado Cutthroat; once plentiful in the Green River drainage
Fishing alongside some western history. Wonder if the pioneers did any fishing along the way?
Sage and I are on a mission...
With time ticking, off we spend to a place where Yellowstone Cutthroat are plentiful. Here we found some willing participants, documented the catches and headed back to hot Jackson.
A beautiful Yellowstone Cutt fell for a well presented peacock soft-hackle fly.
The Snake River Finespotted cutthroat is what we catch while fishing around home here in Jackson. Even though we had tons of Fine Spotted pictures already, we decided to make things official. We'd go out and hunt a few local fish. This proved to be easy, with Jamie and I catching numerous fish over the course of the past summer and fall.
Finally (with some prodding from the lady) I got around to sending in our completed cuttslam forms this December. I requested that Sage be listed on my certificate since she was along for all the fish we caught, not to mention the thousands of others during her life. Our certificates are a cool reminder of the great times we had fishing our Wyoming waters for native cutthroat trout. If you ever get the chance, take on the Cutt Slam challenge too!