One of the neat things about taking an epic fly fishing trip is that weeks later you can be taken back to certain place, a certain sip, and a certain particular trout brought to net after a battle that will not soon be forgotten.
Mike Carlson and I spent the first day of the week long Wyoming trip looking for Bonneville Cutthroat in a meadow stream broken here and there by beaver ponds. We had found fish willing to rise to the typical attractor flies. Admittedly each of us missed several very large trout that would materialize from the depths and undercuts to take feathered Hoppers, Wulff's, and Coachman's only to lift the line and fly before it had taken hold.
As afternoon was fading into evening I came around edge of the stream to find this run where the creek flowed around a small island. I knew that there had to be a fish or two in the run. I cast upstream to the tail of the run missing a cutthroat on the first cast. #*@%!!! Dried fly. I cast again and pulled the fly out of the mouth of the largest Bonneville I had seen that day. At this moment I am really frustrated and had a conversation in my head as I dried my fly, yet again, wondering if my "fishing karma" was all wrong or what!
These Bonneville Cutthroats have the laziest rises I've seen from a trout species. Instead a "porpoise" type rise where the trout will rise while moving forward, these trout seem to rise directly beneath a fly in a straight up and down fashion where the trout seems to be looking straight up into the sky.
With a size 14 yellow Wulff I cast upstream as far and near the overhanging willow branches that I could and watched as the dry fly danced downstream. Suddenly a set of jaws slowly rose and sucked the fly in. I lifted the line tight and immediately the Edgar Sealey started clicking as the trout ran downriver in haste.
After several minutes of the yellow fiberglass fly rod bent in half circles under the weight and flight of this fish I was able to slide him in the landing net. Both of us were exhausted.
Twenty inches of pure spotted gold just moments before release. This is a trout I will never forget.