Time for Cutthroats

If you’ve been holding off on a cutthroat foray in the northern Rockies, it’s go-time. I mean, September, in the Rockies with cool evenings and mornings and hot summerish days. What not to like?

The trout are a bonus and they’re scarfing all sorts of things right now. Mahogany duns are working although I’ve yet to see a mahogany. P-chute Adams’ and Hazes are crushing, as they always do, and in smaller sizes, down to 18s. If you go after cutthroats know that you’ll still get plenty of looks on the Chubby’s and hoppers. Hunt the shadows for the larger fish.

All the north Idaho streams, including the Lochsa (shown above) are prime right now and the pressure may not be what it was a few weeks ago. That’s because elk live in the woods and half the anglers I know are archery elk hunters, too. It’s a tough decision, but most of my friends forgo the trout until they kill an elk.

Montana is ripe, too. Spent some time on Rock Creek last week and simply crushed. Browns and cutts to 17 inches. Strange to me. I’ve thought Rock Creek to be the bastion of small trout for 20 years but things may have rebounded. A guide friend of mine said, “I don’t fish it, but all I hear is that Rock Creek is back.”

Same bugs on Rock Creek, along with the Little Blacksfoot, the Bitterroot Forks, Fish C, the Flathead, and elsewhere.

Here’s a plan: hunt elk in the morning; fish in the afternoon; hunt elk in the evening. Do that for 10 days and tell me if you’re tired or not. I did it for three days and it beat me down. Course, I was hiking 12 miles a day in elk country.

If you score, on the elk or the fish, send some pics.


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