Wyoming Cutt Slam Trip – Day 5

Our last day of fishing in Wyoming was quite the encore.  We had yet to hike-in and fish anywhere the whole trip, but this would be the day to buck that trend.  We had the time and it looked like we might have the best weather of the trip that day.  We packed our daypacks and took off for “Shangri-La”.  After about a mile of walking uphill we were greeted with this site.

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It was beautiful.  If I had the energy to just run straight down the hill to the creek I would have.  Once on the water it didn’t take Blake long to figure out a pattern.  Fish were crushing a nymph he had tied and after sharing one with me we were catching fish at a silly rate.  They were hitting on top too, but the sub-surface flies were killing it.  It wasn’t all cutthroat though, in fact, it was mostly whitefish.

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Cutthroat were the stars though and they were mixed in too.  Sometimes they would be the first fish to hit while drifting through a run or a pool, other times you had pick your way through the whiteys before landing a cutty.

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Some of the cutts were better than others.  I was able to upgrade my Snake River cutt pretty early on and had back to back good fish in one of the first few runs.

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The fishing was incredible.

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In a beautiful place.

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With lots of rod bends to go around.

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I reached a point where I thought – “Gee, how could this get any better?”

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Then Blake catches a double and it just seems fitting.  And just for a bit of diversity he found a chunky brookie too.

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But still the Snake River cutts were what we were there for, and we caught several nice ones.

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We didn’t catch everything that lived in the creek though.  I pulled the hook from a good fish early on, but Blake really missed a beast right at the end.  A monster fish, it definitely would have been big fish on the day and probably rivaled big fish on the trip.  No trip is complete without the “big one that got away” story and unfortunately that is how we ended our days worth of fishing and really the entire trip.  This place really had it all and it was hard to walk back to the car and not snap a few more pics.

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You couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces as we made our way into Jackson.

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A stop at the Snake River Brewery for a flight and a burger was just what the doctor ordered after a long day of fishing.  After a bit of shopping for the kiddos and an obligatory elk arch pic we headed on down the road to our motel.  It was clean, cheap, 70’s chic and the shower and bed felt incredible.

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Our flight out wasn’t until later the next afternoon so we headed down to SLC with time to spare and decided to check out the Utes digs.

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This place looked tiny compared to 100,000+ Tiger Stadium.  A nice reminder that football(and tailgating) season is just around the corner.

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One last local beer before getting on the plane to reflect on a really special trip.  A lot of planning went into this trip to make sure we gave ourselves the best opportunity at the slam and it felt great to accomplish it.  A big thanks goes to Steven Brutger over at Stalking the Seam for all his help.  I put what I thought was a good plan of attack together and sent it his way and with a few tweaks we were able to get it dialed in.  I don’t think there is anything I would have wanted to do differently.  From the fishing to the scenic drives to the craft beer – everything about Wyoming was amazing.  If I could make this a yearly trip I would – it was that incredible.  Hope y’all enjoyed it as much as we did, until next time.

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6 comments
  1. Nate Shores said:

    Awesome story. I would like to do that same trip but wouldn’t even know where to start planning or where to go when there.

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  2. Billy said:

    Ben,
    Noticed the ECHO rod tube in one of the pictures, what are your thoughts on their glass rods?
    I was thinking of a 4 or 5 wt and ECHO and Fenwick were on the short list.

    BTW the Cutt Slam looked like an awesome trip would love to do that one!

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    • Blake said:

      Billy,
      I will preface my judgement by stating that I don’t have any other experience with fiberglass rods. After using the rod for the whole trip, in many various situations, I feel confident in stating that it’s a solid rod. It took a while to get used to the much slower action that the fiberglass gives you, but once I got the timing down, casting wasn’t a problem. I purchased the 4 weight for the trip and to fill a niche in my fly rod collection. For the majority of the fish, i felt like I was in control using this rod. Some of the bigger ones were a little stressful but I never lost a fish because of lack of power. The rod bends well into the butt section but still had enough power to turn good fish. I would buy another one if i needed one. The finish on the cork grip left a little to be desired (had a lot of filler), but i knew that was the case going into the purchase. I also hear mention of the weight of the fiberglass rods versus graphite, but i didnt notice it throughout the trip. The only real downfall i saw was that i had some trouble when casting some heavier nymphs under hoppers. That was probably more of a me issue than a rod issue.

      Hope that helps,
      Blake

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  3. Billy said:

    Blake (sorry!)
    That tells me a lot, I don’t know that I’m looking to fill a spot but more of a nostalgia thing. My grandfather taught me to fly fish with an old Heddon rod. The older I’ve gotten its less about how many I catch and enjoying the experience. I appreciate the feedback I’m trying to decide now between the Echo/Butterstick/Fenwick price range and the Blue Halo/Steffen/Orvis range.
    Once again I enjoy your post.

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    • BLAKE LEBLANC said:

      Holler if you have any other questions. Ben handles all the blog stuff. I just happen to get into a few pictures.

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  4. Billy, Ben here, yeah that was Blake’s rod so I passed along your question to him. I threw a 7′ 3wt Cabela’s CGR on that trip and loved it. If you don’t have a glass rod in your arsenal, definitely add one. After the trip I picked up another CGR in an 8wt and look forward to putting it to work on some slot reds.

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