The Current Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 44

Spot Check

By Guest Columnist

CalTrout Ambassador, Tyler Graff

Wandering Blue Lines

A few years ago while on my family’s annual camping trip near Sonora Pass, my uncles had come back to the campfire with stories of Lohantan Cutthroat Trout in a small mountain stream. They went on to describe paired-off fish in tail outs and small pocket water holding eager trout. Although they didn’t do any fishing with the creek closed for the season, they had sparked my imagination for one of California’s Heritage Trout.

Since those first campfire stories of Lohantan Cutthroat trout I’ve explored Wolf Creek a few times. It’s a small creek, one you can fish without getting wet. Jumping from bank to bank, balancing on mid-creek rocks as you cast to actively rising wild fish. Its diminutive size probably fools most hunters that frequent the area. Upon first glance, Wolf Creek looks too small to hold fish, let alone strong numbers of native Lohantan Cutthroat.

A few weeks ago, with a free weekend on hand, I decided to head to the Sierras and see how Wolf Creek was fairing this summer. After a long drive over Sonora Pass and down a rugged dirt road, we crossed the tiny creek, parked the car, and laced up the 3wt rods. Before we started fishing, I walked down to the creek to take a closer look at the water conditions. I didn’t seen any of the spooky little LCT in the first hole but the water was cold and clear.

We walked the up the bank looking for one of my favorite spots. It’s one of the deeper pools in the creek with water cascading over boulders and the head of the pool and a large rock creating a deep undercut for trout to hide under. After just two casts, I had my first LCT in hand. With countless dark spots and characteristic deep orange slash on their throats, these may be some of the most beautiful trout in California. We snapped a quick photo and gently slid the beauty back into the creek.