Last month, at the Utah Fly Tying and Fishing Expo, the Utah Division of Natural Resources and Trout Unlimited debuted the Utah Cutthroat Slam. The Utah Cutthroat Slam is a fishing challenge to encourage people to donate to conservation and get out and fish.
From their website,
The Utah Cutthroat Slam is a way to have an angling adventure and support our native trout legacy. For jut $20, you can register to embark on the challenge. Money raised will be used to help fund native cutthroat trout conservation projects across the state. Can you catch and release each of the four Utah cutthroat trout subspecies in their native waters?”
In fact, and as mentioned in the quote above, there are four sub-species of Cutthroat Trout that call Utah home: the Bear River, Bonneville, Colorado, and Yellowstone. From the extreme Northwest corner of the State and along the Wasatch front, from top to bottom, these four Trout can be located in their native waterways, requiring the fly-fisherman who wants to take on this challenge to prepare for a lot of work and perseverance to complete.
Native waterways is key to the program. One of the stipulations of the challenge is that any of the fish that you "turn in" for completion must have been caught in its native home. The UDWR has, at times, planted cutthroat trout in water-systems that were not part of their native range. For example, Strawberry Reservoir has been planted with both Bear River and Yellowstone Cutthroats. If you catch a Cutthroat at Strawberry Reservoir, and even though it might be a pure strain Bear River Cutt, it does not count as one for the challenge. You have to catch these fish in their native homes, which can mean lots of miles and some bushwhacking.
How to Get Involved:
Getting involved in the Utah Cutthroat Slam is super simple.
It is really that simple!
So, we have signed up for the Slam and are looking forward to getting out and fishing for these beautiful fish. We are also planning on keeping a record of all of our trips, hopefully giving tips and tricks for each water along the way.
Look for our next installment of articles for the Utah Cutthroat Slam, where we discuss our search for the remote Yellowstone Cutthroat.
Growing up along the Provo River in Utah, I've seen countless numbers of Fly Fishermen search for the Tug. It's in the small streams that the dream is realized.