Just to cement that there are cutties in Swift/North Fork. The only time I've ever seen them is late in the season. I wonder if they are moving up the river to spawn (old searun instinct?)out of the reservoir.
Nice cuttie, maybe a cutbow. The jaw and slash say cutthroat, but the spotting is more "rainbow-ish"? I would think there would be more spotting near it's belly if it was a pure cutt. Meh- doesn't matter though cause it's a beautiful fish.
Cuttie or cutbow, it's not unusual by a long shot- uncommon maybe. There are plenty of cutthroats in the Upper Lewis System- they're mostly in certain tribs but they drop down late season into the mainstem when the water gets low. Then, they probably shoot back up in the winter to prepare for spawning. To my knowledge there aren't alot of lake-run coastal cutthroat in Swift Res- but I'm sure they're there.
Out of the few cutties I've caught, all of them were at or near the Muddy River confluence- most of the cutthroat probably come from there I imagine. Fish Interaction studies from '02 cite fish survey results detailing cutties in several of NFL tributaries- Muddy River, Rush Creek and Big Creek being the ones that stand out in my mind.
There are Coastal cutts in all of the Lewis River Reservoirs. That is most definetly a Coastal Variety. SRC and Coastal Cutts spawn in the fall while the rainbows up there spawn in the spring. In past years you would see pics of them in the Coagar Shell station up near Yale. There were pics of some big ones too. I have also caught cutts in the river from the Res up to Ben's Run. It has been a few years though. Clear Creek in the Giff also has them in it. If you look at the Gifford Pinchot website, you will find what species have been found and where.