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Fly Fishing for Brook Trout and Cutthroat


While rainbow and brown trout often get most of the headlines, brook trout and cutthroat trout can be an equally rewarding catch on the fly.

In fact, if you catch a brook or cutthroat trout, there's a good chance that fish is wild and likely native to the water you're fishing, which usually makes for a good fight and more memorable catch as compared to stocked rainbow or brown trout.

Both species vary in size depending on the fishery and food supply.

Lake-dwellers are usually the biggest, although sea-run fish also grow quite large and can be anywhere between 10 and 20 inches.

Brook trout can be identified by their spectacular patterns on their sides, with pink and yellow spots on their sides that give way to an almost camo pattern on their backs.

Their bellies can give off shades of orange and pink, with reddish fins that are white tipped.

Brook trout also have elongated mouths to help swoop up baitfish and larger insects.

Cutthroat trout look more like a wild brown trout, and can have yellowish to golden sides with brown spots and a signature red, "cut" throat.

The size of the spots on these fish depend on the fishery. Yellowstone "cutts," for example, have large spots that are more frequent toward the tail end of the fish.

Cutthroat tend to stick to their home waters and aren't known as big migrators. Big ones can be found throughout the West, including Henry's Lake, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Snake River and in the Yellowstone as well.

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