Tips for Rocky Mountain cutthroat

The best flies, gear, tactics and locations for the Rockies' native trout
Photo: Chris Hunt

Throughout the West, in hidden streams and backcountry rivers, one of the continent’s signature trout is busy looking up.

With July comes cutthroat trout season.

Certainly, some of us have been catching cutties for weeks—even months if we braved the snow and the cold on rivers that remain open all year. But between now and the middle of September here in the Rockies, cutthroats on big, gaudy dry flies don’t get much easier to catch.

Hatch Magazine honored with four 'Excellence in Craft' awards

Writing and photography recognized by the OWAA
One of the award winning shots in Earl Harper's photo essay, 'Greenland Rising' (photo: Earl Harper).

Each year for what will soon be a century, many of the nation's best outdoor writers, editors and publishers gather for the Outdoor Writers Association of America's (OWAA) annual conference. The OWAA, founded in 1927, is the largest and oldest association of professional outdoor communicators.

Winston intros new PURE dry fly rod and saltwater AIR

Two new rods are coming from Winston for 2019
Photo: Winston Rods.

Earlier this week, R.L. Winston announced two new rod models in advance of this years International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) show in Orlando, Florida. Winston's new offerings include its new "light line" PURE series, and a saltwater-focused version of its popular AIR rods, which debuted at IFTD in 2016.

Ditch the lead

Loon intros new line of tin split shot
Loon's new eco-friendly, tin Camo Drops (photo: Loon Outdoors).

Lead stinks. It's bad for fish. It's bad for birds. It's bad for people. It's toxic, nasty stuff that we shouldn't be happily tossing into our rivers and streams or sticking in our mouths. This is a fact that's been public knowledge for more than half a century and yet walk into your local fly shop today and chances are you'll still find lead split shot hanging on the wall and weighting down the weighted flies in the fly bin.

The old fart bar

Where you’re a stranger for as long as it takes you to sit down at the bar
Photo: Michael Cory / cc by 2.0

I stepped into the air-conditioned bar just off the main drag in Grand Isle, La., and was greeted with a familiar aura.

Dimly lit by sketchy beer lamps and neon, a haze of blue-gray cigarette smoke hovered at eye level. Most of the barstools were occupied by locals, all donning caps and shirts depicting fish or fishing of some sort. Mostly men, but a few women, too.