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Colorado Wilderness Cutthroat on a Killer Blue

by Paul Vertrees
(Canon City, CO)

In mid-July, a friend and I horse and mule packed about 12 miles up into the headwaters of a wilderness stream, high in the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. I was taking a test run with a potential horsepacker for future guided fly fishing trips offered by the fly shop I guide for. We spent the first day riding up a nice trout stream and topping out over 12,000 feet before dropping down into the next drainage. Just below our hidden camp ran the upper reaches of a wonderful canyon stream filled with feisty brook trout, and some surprisingly big Snake River Cutthroats. The morning of the second day we dropped about a quarter mile below and started fishing. Both of us had packed along our tenkara rods, and I had tied up a blue variation of Chris Stewart's Killer Kebari, using his blue yarn, blue hackle, and blue thread. Matter of fact, even the hooks I used had been supplied by Chris! After just an hour of fishing, we had both caught cutts in the 18-19" range. We were totally blown away by the size of these trout, given the very small size of the stream and the elevation, which was over 11,200'. Here's just one of several cutts caught that morning. The Killer Blue took them all!

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Jul 30, 2013
Nice Catch
by: Levi Cain

Now that is a beautiful trout. The size is nice but the colorations on that fish are awesome. Really gets me itching to catch myself a cutthroat by taking a trip to Colorado. Heck, next year Im out of the military and going back to Oklahoma. It looks like Im going to be taking a road/fishing trip to Colorado.

Jul 30, 2013
Nice Cutt!
by: TenkaraBum

That is truly a nice fish. I guess they get that big from eating baby brookies.

I don't have a "certified" guide program, but if any readers want a guide for a tenkara fishing trip in southwestern Colorado, give Paul a call at RIGS Fly Shop in Ridgway, CO (970-626-4460). Tell 'em the Bum sent you.

You might not catch fish like the cutt shown above, but then again, you might.

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