Category Archives: Trout Tuesday

Arctic Grayling, Big Hole River

Fluvial Arctic Grayling, Big Hole River

We caught (and released) this very special Fluvial Arctic Grayling in the Big Hole River on a #16 bead head pheasant tail nymph.

Grayling from the Big Hole River! We caught this little gem (on a #16 bead head pheasant tail nymph) between Jerry Creek and George Grant Memorial on the Big Hole River. This is just the second Arctic Grayling I’ve had the pleasure to catch and release.

At this time, the last viable native populations of these Fluvial (river-dwelling) Arctic Grayling are found only in the Upper Big Hole River, so they are extremely special trout. Their outstanding characteristics are the large sail-like dorsal fin and black spots on the body.

For the past many years, they’ve been considered for the Endangered Species List, but through cooperative efforts their numbers have been sufficiently restored, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Trout Tuesday, Blackfoot River Cutthroat

Blackfoot River Westslope Cutthroat – Ron and I hit the Blackfoot late Sunday morning and had a rather slow day of it. We landed a few nice cutthroat like this one, several juvenile rainbows, and the usual handful of white fish. We were hoping for a landmark hopper day, but alas, the fish liked our nymph dropper more than anything on top.

 Blackfoot River Westslope Cutthroat

This Blackfoot River Westslope Cutthroat was caught in a riffle between Roundup and Corrick’s River Bend.

Trout Tuesday, Elk River Westslope Cutthroat

Elk River Westslope Cutthroat – This was one of the many wild, native beauties Ron and I caught on dry flies during our trip last weekend to Fernie, BC. This cutthroat was caught on the Elk River during a seven-mile float from Hosmer to Fernie.

We purchased a guided trip through Dave Brown Outfitters at this year’s Westslope Chapter, Trout Unlimited banquet in Missoula, and decided to make a five-day weekend out of it.

Fun fishing trip through breathtaking country.

Elk River Westslope Cutthroat

Elk River Westslope Cutthroat

Trout Tuesday, Big Hole River Brown Trout

German Brown Trout, Big Hole River

Spots of a German Brown Trout.

There are two types of brown trout in Montana – the German Brown and Scotland’s Loch Leven. Ron says German Browns have black spots as well as red or orange spots, often encircled by pale halos. Loch Leven do not have colored spots.

The territories of these two strains are also different. Again according to Ron, both can be found East of the Continental Divide, but only the German Brown can be found West of the Divide.

When I asked Ron how he knows all this he just said, “Well, I was born and raised in Montana!”

German Brown Trout, Big Hole River

German Brown Trout caught and released on the Big Hole River.

Trout Tuesday, Blackfoot River Westslope Cutthroat

Blackfoot River Westslope Cutthroat – The human hand-model in this picture needs some coaching (sorry Eric Kress!), as clearly does the photographer, but the beauty of this Westslope Cutthroat Trout is evident. We were thrilled to catch and release several of these strong colorful natives of the Blackfoot River last Sunday. This one has Ron’s latest sculpin pattern clutched in its jaws, but we were also successful with myriad other flies throughout our windy outing.

Blackfoot River Cutthroat Trout

Blackfoot River Cutthroat Trout

Trout Tuesday, Cutthroat on the Blackfoot

Cutthroat on the Blackfoot – This is my one of my happiest photos of a healthy Westslope Cutthroat I caught on the Blackfoot River with Ron several years back. I think it was the biggest fish I’d caught to date, and on my favorite river to boot! We’ve saved this picture on our camera’s “protected mode,” and every time I see it I’m thrilled all over again. Wonderful memories of great fish, beautiful rivers, and quality time together.

Westslope Cutthroat on the Blackfoot River

Westslope Cutthroat on the Blackfoot River