Had a first chat with Uncle Cutt today...

#1
As I posted earlier, until last Summer, I hadn't fished for about 15 years. Thanks to this group, I got my First Salmon earlier this Fall, shortly followed by my First Trout. That was pretty exciting but what actually got me fishing again was the prospect of sea-run cutthroat trout. Unfortunately, I had yet to catch one...

Conditions looked great this AM but the fishing was slow, I didn't note any sign of fish at all. I kept thinking that at the worst, it was a beautiful day and I needed the casting practice so life was good. However, it was about to get better. As I worked my way back up the beach, I saw a fish rise near a big rock. Then again a few minutes later. I worked my way to that spot and made a few casts with a baitfish pattern. As I stripped in the fly, I saw a nice SRC following, I used the 'distressed strip' idea from Les' book and bang, the SRC hit the fly only to be LDR'd a few seconds later. Aaargh...

I cast back down the beach and bam, fish on. Soon I had my very first SRC to hand, a silvery 12" blueback!

As I was getting my line organized, I saw another small rise in shallow water back down the beach about 50-60'. As I was stripping some line into the basket, a 13-15" SRC jumped 2 feet out of the water right in front of me. It was so close, I could hear its gills clattering as it shook in the air. I forgot the fish down the beach and started casting to one in front of me. Nothing, nada, nyet...

Switched flies, switched flies again. It's still swirling out there and the little one down the beach is still feeding on something too. No hits so switched flies again, this time to a brown/black reverse spider. Nope, not to be. By this time, I'm not seeing any more rises so I figure the bites off. No worries, I'm happy since I had already got my first SRC.

I try to cast a little to much directly offshore and hang a tree on my backcast. I decide it's time to call it a day so I point the rod at the tree and pull to break it off. Amazingly, the fly pops free and lands right on the rock on which I'm standing, about 10' off shore. Must be a sign...

I figure I'll practice my double haul a little before heading home and let loose down the beach with my cleanest cast of the day (not saying much) shooting my whole basket into about 2' of water where the little fish had been working. Strip, strip and tug - "Fish! I got the little wiggler!" I thought as I strip set and lifted the rod. "Aahh schitt, I'm hung on a rock" I thought as the line didn't move. Just then, the line is pulled between my fingers and my drag starts whining.

I was using a custom 5wt from a good builder in Ft. Lauderdale that was a gift from my mom about 16 years ago so I was scared I had managed to hook a dog and didn't want to break the rod. Just then, on the end of my line, a nice fish did a tailwalk in shallow water and I could see it wasn't big or ugly enough to be a chum. Another tailwalk and several runs later, I had it close but I still didn't know what it was. Just as it got into shallow water, it took off again, right for the barnacled rock I had been standing on while casting. Choosing broken over sliced tippet, I palmed the reel and horsed him away from the rock. A few seconds later, we had a face to face meeting, I took a quick snap or two, apologized for the interuption and sent him on his way. He gave me a little tail slap splash of water to the face as he sped off to let me know what he thought of my apology...

Uncle Cutt was right at 20" measured on my rod. The fish looked like a golden, spotted, swimming football. It was really fat, heavy for the length and healthy looking. Given the coloration, I'm guessing it was getting close to spawning. I kept him in the water while I snapped his pic and he seemed none the worse for wear as he jetted off which was fantastic. He definitely gave that 5wt a workout.

I decided it would be hard to end the day better than that so after Uncle Cutt swam away, I packed up and headed home. That was midday and I'm still excited...
 

Attachments

#4
Old Crow:

Great report and fish!

It is especially nice to see you leaving the sea-run cutthroat in the water while you were taking it's picture. Sea-run cutthroat are very delicate fish and cannot tolerate mishandling during their release. It is obvious that you showed great respect for that fish.

Roger
 
#7
Old Crow:

It is obvious that you showed great respect for that fish.
Absolutely Roger. Catching them is a privilege - something to be enjoyed but also respected and cherished.

Your posts, as well as Les', Preston's and the other SRChd's on this site deserve a lot of the credit. I've learned a lot in the last 4 months.

Thanks Again!

Thomas
 
#8
Roger beat me to it... Thanks again for keeping that fish in the water :thumb::thumb: Congrats for a nice fish. A buddy and I got a few today as well, but nothing that big!
 

Plecoptera

Active Member
#9
Nice Fish! Not only is that a huge cutt, but with some brilliant coloration. Those are the ones that make you keep going back for more.
 
#11
Excellent report/fish story Old Crow... congrats on a beautiful Cutthroat! Just look at that thing, what a great fish! :thumb:

-Jef
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#12
Congratulations Old Crow. Very nice photos of an awesome fish! That is one of the better reports I have read here!:thumb:

You know, though, that catching such a glorious hog so early in your SRC "career" sets you up for finding only little minnow sized fish for several sessions following this feat. Its karmic law. :clown: