Caught the same fish twice!

What are the odds of catching the same cutthroat 2 weeks apart, and 12 miles away?
We were amazed when on our first outing 2 weeks ago I hooked an 18" cut with one of it's gill plates gone, and the gills exposed ( appeared healed over). It was very frisky, and when released it swam away with great vigor.

Yesterday we fished a different area about 12 miles away from the 1st location,and caught another 18" cut with it's gill plate missing. We joked that it was the same fish, but when we got home and compared photos from both trips. The spot pattern was absolutely identical!

It seems cutthroat have a pretty extensive range, and although they travel great distances they seem to frequent and school in certain locations rather than spread out. Case in point...As most of you know who fish SRC frequently there is always that one spot on your favorite beach that 99% of the time at least one, if not several fish will be hooked within a couple casts until they are on to your antics!
Usually later in the summer they become more sporatic in location, rather than concentrated in the same holes. This has already been discussed on the forum, but thought I would add my own two cents here to add to the collective.


Sculpin Enterprises
Wow, how cool! That would seem to be like finding a needle is a very diffuse haystack. Given the likely total number of fish within that 12 mile stretch, what is the chance that you could land the same individual twice in two weeks? Pretty low odds, I guess, but rare events (like being dealt a royal straight flush) do happen if you have enough repetitions. While I wouldn't be too surprised that migrating salmon would cover such a wide distance, I would have thought that searun cutthroats would localize, as they do in streams, to a smaller home range than 12+ miles. Your observations drove me to reread the first few chapters in Les Johnson's book, Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout. He certainly shares your thought that searun cutthroat are inveterate wanderers.

Thanks for sharing,

That is amazing. I once caught the same cutt in MT twice in about 45min. It had a huge chunk missing out of its lip and was eating skwalas. Cought him in the exact same place though. Not as amazing as your catch.
Before Mt. St. Helens erupted, I caught the same steelhead twice in two days right at the mouth of the Green River. (tributary of the Toutle). He took the same pattern two days in a row. The first day he broke off so when I got him in the second day I unhooked him twice.

Twelve miles apart--that's much more amazing.


Native Trout Hunter
I still can't beleive that we had that happen. I have to say it is one of the coolest things that I have every seen, it definetly made an awesome day on the water even more rewarding.

I believe I recall reading that the New York state record bass (at the time, it may have since been broken) was caught by an angler who released the fish, then caught it again the same day, kept it, and it turned out to be the state record. Pretty cool to catch the state record twice in a day!