Lahontan Cuts

The Lahontan Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) is the stuff of legends. I well remember, as a kid in the early 1950s, reading stories of the monsters that came out of Pyramid Lake. And then in the lat 50s and through the 60s, the population crashed and the legends disappeared from the lake, completely. This was primarily attributable to dam and diversion structures, habitat fragmentation and degradation throughout the species range, in addition to the the introduction of non-native trout species.

The Lahontans are also found in a three lakes in Washington, Omak. Grimes, and Lenore. These fish get big, but not genetically matched to the legends of Pyramid. So, those interested in adding the species to a life list often headed north to the eastern side of Washington to fulfill their dream.

But then in 1970s, biologists found a few small cutthroat in a stream near Pilot Peak along the Utah border. They were a genetic match for the original monsters of Pyramid Lake. Four decades of work has the lake producing its legends again. At the Fly Fishing Shows this year, I talked to several guides, anglers, and outfitters that regularly fish the lake, and was told that the big boys are indeed back. Not yet the 41 pound monster that holds the world record, but certain those in the 20 pounds range—with every possibility that they will get even larger in years to come. Keep you eye on this one. This is one of several sites you can explore.

Bluesman Keith Scott with an very nice Lahontan Cut from Omak in Washington.

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