Rainbows Trout and Cutthroat Trout are true to their name, being true trout and are very closely related.

Despite being true trout, the cutthroat is very closely related to the Pacific Salmon.

Both Cutthroat Trout and Rainbow Trout spawn in the spring and often cross spawn creating a hybridized species know to many as the cutt-bow. The Hybrid has a smaller mouth and fewer spots but still has those characteristic faint red slashes under the lower jaw.

Coastal Cutthroat Trout in Ponds

Coastal Cutthroat Trout can survive quite well in small land locked ponds and small lakes in addition to large lakes and the ocean. In places where they are left alone, like any species, they can grow quite large. The best places to find large isolated Coastal Cutthroat Trout are in British Columbia, Canada and Alaska.

Bait casting is the best method to fish for them in this habitat. Fly fishing also works very well. Coastal Cutthroat Trout do not require any special baits, lures or flies. Simple worms, leeches and minnows are sufficient. Check out small ponds, beaver ponds and a great habitat for them and other small lakes in the interior of British Columbia, Alberta and Alaska. Montana and Wyoming also offer great habitats for catching them.

One pattern that is very successful at catch Cutthroat Trout in small ponds and lakes is the stickleback pattern or small silver spinners.

Lake Fishing Lures

The best pattern to use when fishing for Coastal Cutthroat Trout include the ever popular stickleback, the black woolly bugger, black and silver flatfish and the silver Panther Martin. Fish these lures deep in the summer, but in the spring, make sure you fish the shallow, especially in the early spring.

Cutthroat Trout Fly fishing

Coastal Cutthroat Trout are not overly fussy in most of their distribution. They can be caught during the morning, high noon and through the afternoon into the afternoon. It is hard to go wrong with flit selections. Any nymph fly will work as will any fly that is designed to look like insects like damsel flies, mayflies and midges.

Dry flies are the easiest flies to learn and work with. Dry flies are also the best to use for catching Cutthroat Trout in the spring in all there habitats. In addition to the flies mentioned above, stoneflies and caddis flies also prove successful.

Cutthroat Trout Fly Selection

Again, Coastal Cutthroat Trout Cutthroat do not require expensive lures to catch them. Where you will need to spend some time on fly selection is on the other sub species. See our page on food preferences for more on which sub-species likes what fly or bait.

For Westslope and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, fly selection is critical to a successful outing. For Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, stoneflies make up 90 percent of their diet with the remaining 10 percent being that of mayflies and caddies flies. Using anything else and you will not catch them.

Other Successful Patterns

For most Cutthroat Trout, streamer patterns work well as do wooly buggers, which are a top lure for any trout, charr or salmon. Leech patterns also work well.

Cutthroat Trout and the Weather

Sunlight is not a factor in the feeding habits of cutthroat trout. They actively feed on sunny or overcast days. The only days that slow them down is when it rains and stirs the water up. Light rain has little effect on them, but heavy rain will certainly slow things down. Unless you love the rain, you are better to wait a few days until the water settles down.