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Introduction to Cutthroat Patterns by Greg Leche

Cutthroat trout can be a challenge for the fly fisherman. At times Cutthroat will bite just about any fly you throw at them but there are more times when they can be finicky as hell.

Cutthroat generally enter rivers when the Salmon begin there spawning run. When Salmon begin to spawn, eager Cutthroat and other fish such as Dolly Varden wait behind for loose eggs that are swept down by the current. From October to December Cutthroat main food source will be the eggs and also the flesh from the rotting salmon. Late December to about Mid March or early April is the transition period when Cutthroat don’t really have a huge food source to feed on. Your best flies for this period of time would be buck tail streamer patterns such as the Mickey Finn or any other bright fly will generally work.

By April, you will start to see good numbers of Salmon fry beginning to hatch. The first fry to hatch are that of the Chum Salmon. Minnow patterns with a dark olive back work well. As the season progresses, increase the size of your fry patterns to match the actual size of the real thing.