Fly Fishing for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

Fly Fishing for Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

Any true fisherman can appreciate that there are countless kinds of fish in the sea, in rivers, lakes, and other waterways. But the real love of fishing comes with knowing about specific species, such as cutthroat trout. There are various species in different regions of the world. One specific kind is the Rio Grande Cutthroat trout, which is the state fish of New Mexico. It’s the only one among the species that originated in the state. Get your own Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout T-Shirt for your next fishing trip. I’ve already got mine. Learn more below, for interesting facts about the species.

Size Isn’t Everything: Ask the Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout

The Rio Grande Cutthroat is the smallest in its species, growing to a maximum of about 13 inches. Obviously, it’s not as sizable as Lahontan trout, which have weighed as much as 40-plus pounds. But it’s a fish that makes a trip to New Mexico worthwhile anytime. Rio Grande Cutthroat trout make good eating. Catching a trout when fly-fishing is always a reward in itself. It’s a technique that requires a certain amount of skill.

The identifying marks of a cutthroat is the orange on the lower folding of the gill plate, underneath the mandibles. This is how the species got it’s name—the orange marks are also called “cuts.”

An important aspect of the Rio Grande Cutthroat in New Mexico is that it doesn’t have the negatives associated with non-native species. The following are ways non-native trout have had an effect on cutthroat populations:

  • Competing for food sources
  • Competition for a habitat in which to breed and spawn
  • Heavy predation on the cutthroat
  • Extreme interbreeding, resulting in hybridization that dilutes the gene pool, which is especially common among rainbow trout

Manmade Effects on Cutthroat Trout

As you can see on the t-shirt, Rio Grande Cutthroat trout are beautiful. It’s a tragedy when any fish becomes threatened by the environment, and there are some negative effects caused by mankind that have affected the species, the following included: Mining, pollution, heavy logging, and irrigation problems.

Get the T-Shirt

Get a great fish discussion going by wearing this Rio Grande Cutthroat T-Shirt. If you get a chance, go to New Mexico and catch your own. If you catch one, try Gill McFinn’s recipe. Wrap the fish in foil; season with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and garlic; and tuck the packet into campfire embers, Holy mackerel! It’s good. 

Leave a reply