Karen and I along with our buddy Leon just got back from a fabulous trip to Colorado where we were in pursuit of the three subspecies of cutthroat trout that inhabitant the waters of the State! Our trip began with lots of planning and reading. We were all extremely fortunate enough to be able to connect with Jim Kilpatrick who lives in Loveland, Colorado! Jim is a passionate fly fisher who also has a great interest in cutthroat trout! He made a video about these special trout. Take a look:
Well after a long drive from Thompson Falls, Montana; we were finally set up to fly fish! Karen and I tied a lot of tiny flies for the trip. Yes size 18 to size 22 flies were definitely needed. Our best fly was a size 18 red copper john. We used it in all parts of Colorado!
Jim owns a company called High on Natives. Jim helped our planning a great deal and he was kind enough to come and meet us at our first stop in northern Colorado. He drove 6 hours. Now that made the start of our trip special!
It was a long drive to get to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area to begin our adventure. We drove in my buddy, Leon's, truck and camper. We were well equipped!
We meet Jim the evening that we arrived and of course we were excited. We made a plan for the following day. Our goal over the course of the next week was to catch all three subspecies of cutthroat trout: the Colorado, the Rio Grande and the Greenback! We wanted to add the Rio Grande and the Greenback to the 6 subspecies of cutthroat we had already caught. We hope to catch all 11 subspecies that exist although there is talk that perhaps a 12th subspecies previously thought to be extinct may actually still exist!
Well we meet up with Jim along with his buddies, Greg and Bill. We spent the day hiking to a lake at 10 000 feet that contained pure strain Colorado cutthroat trout. The lake has never been stocked and the pure strain Colorado cutthroat were a real treat to fly fish for. We had already caught the Colorado cutthroat in Wyoming but the quality of these pure strain Colorado cutthroat was amazing.
After a short hike we set up to fly fish. I used a 4 weight fly rod while Karen and Leon used 5 weights! We used size 18 red copper johns. Leon caught the first one. We had excellent action all morning and well into the afternoon.
Half way through the afternoon, we headed back to the camper to look at maps and make a plan for the next week. Jim was awesome. He gave us great details about where to go! We had a great plan.
After a short break, Karen and I headed back to fly fish. We also discovered that the Colorado cutthroats likes micro leeches. We had a lot of success. We were all off to a great start!
Check back to my blog in the next several days as we continue our journey! We learned a lot and had a great time!
Colorado strain cutthroats are beautiful!
A short video I took of a creek full off spawning cutthroat! The area was closed to fishing but it was sure interesting to visit and observe the cutthroat trout!
My buddy Leon taking a look at his trophy after Jim netted it!
Bill with a big cutthroat on!
Karen caught so many!
Leon with another!
The planning on the hood of Leon's truck was so valuable!