Yellowstone cutthroats are such beautiful fish! It’s great to see them again in some of their natural habitats. For many years they were either gone or very scarce and while the West Slope Cutthroat is still trying to come back in some places the Yellowstone Cuttie seems to be doing okay. For those that have spent a lot of time fishing for this species then you know how delicate they can be and short handling time is essential. A couple of quick picks and then away they go.
There’s always a risk when you go on the water of something go into the water but sometimes you just have to take the risk. This past weekend when I ran into a camera issue, I instinctively pulled out the iPhone and kept shooting. The iPhone 11 Pro actually has a really good camera in it and in the moment it works really well to capture those moments you don’t won’t to forget.
We’ve been chasing them for years but the Cutthroat Trout doesn’t give up its secrets that easily. There are enough known spots these days to catch Yellowstone Cutthroats but finding big ones is still rare so I was pretty stoked to catch this 14″ female. Needles to say I had to get a photo with the D5, 24-70 AF-S and SB5000. Something I learned long ago was that it’s always best to find a shallow spot with a nice background. This grassy bank made for an interesting backdrop to go along with the net as a prop.
Cutthroat Trout were once found all across the west before other species were introduced to compete for habitat and food supply. Now, while the Cutthroat species and various subspecies still persist, their numbers and sizes are dramatically different then what was once prevalent. What you see above, in most places throughout Montana, is a standard size Cutthroat, in this case a Yellowstone Cutthroat. Why did I take this shot? I was asked this by the guy holding the fish because he thought it was a little boring until he saw the photo, but simply put it was a new species and a great looking subject. Now most of the time I use flash in my fish images but seeing the light, looking at the dark background and bright subject, a simple click with the D5 and 24-70 AF-S did the trick.