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Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout: Cutthroat Trout are generally found only in high alpine lakes or in some selected areas of the Pacific Northwest.

The Cutthroat Trout is the original trout of the Rocky Mountains. Unlike Brown Trout which were originally introduced to the Eastern United States, Cutthroat Trout are originally from the Western half of the United States.

What separates the Cutthroat Trout from other trout is that Cutthroat Trout are found primarily in remote and pristine locations. Unlike their larger cousins, the rainbows and the browns, Cutthroat Trout tend to fare poorly in highly competitive environments - especially when predatory fish like Pike are introduced into their waters. As such, the range of the Cutthroat Trout has been driven back over the years.

While Cutthroat Trout are still found in good numbers in many of the rivers in Montana (such as the Yellowstone), the best Cutthroat Trout fishing will usually now be found deep in the backcountry - in isolated mountain lakes and streams. This requires lots of effort by the angler just to reach the CutthroatTrout, because they are often found in very remote areas. Cutthroat Trout do not receive as much fly fishing pressure as their rainbow and Brown Trout cousins. As such, they are generally easier to catch and found in greater numbers. However,Cutthroat Trout do not get as large as rainbow or Brown Trout,and generally lack the aerial abilities that other trout display when hooked.

Cutthroat Trout can be easily identified by the two red slashesunder and on the outside of its lower jaw. The sides of theCutthroat Trout are brownish yellow and are highlighted withblack spots. Other colorings of Cutthroat Trout can occur, butonly as a result of crossbreeding between Rainbow Trout and BrownTrout, and are called cut-bow trout.