by Fly Fisherman

The “Native” trout of the great Northwest, the cutthroat is found in every suitable stream and lake on both eastern and western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, north of, and including the northern part of California, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, the Great Basin of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington and extending through British Columbia and Southwest Alaska to Bristol Bay.
This colorful trout, like the other members of the trout and char families, is classified, or divided, into fourteen groups. Starting with salmo clarkii lewisi we find it named salmo smaragdus, clarkii bouvieri, clarkii utah, clarkii stomias, macdonaldi, jordani, declivifrons, virginalis (Rio Grande), pleuriticus (Colorado), henshawi (Truckee River), regalis (Lake Tahoe), clarkii seleneris (Piute trout) and mykiss (some researchers say that this particular fish should not be in the cutthroat family but should be listed with the Brown trout, salmo trutta tribe). His better known “street” names are Silver trout, Black-spotted trout, Colorado trout, Red-throated trout, Red Throat, Yellow Fin, Spotted trout, Salmon trout, Rocky Mountain Brook trout, Native, True trout, Harvest trout and Bluebacks.
The cutthroat is a spring spawner, particularly on waters that empty directly into salt water. On the inland waters its spawning periods widen from March to early June in different localities. It is not too popular with the hatcheries. The slowest growing trout and one of the most troublesome and worrisome to raise, and plantings have not been too successful.
One strong identification that the family carries is the scarlet slash on the sides of its throat. It is considered second only to the brook trout in beauty of the four main trout species. It ranks low in gameness and fighting ability but above the rainbow and brown in edibility. Considered to be easily caught by general comparison with the other trouts. It is a good “Fly” fish.

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