Fly Fishing for Cutthroat Trout Print





Meet The Fish: Coastal Cutthroat

The smallest of Alaska's native trout species, the cutthroat is only found in the Southern portion of the state. From beaver ponds and back sloughs to big river estuaries and mountain lakes, the cutthroat is the most common trout in Southeast Alaska. Available from March to November with peak season in July and August, these trout can be found in both fresh and saltwater and are ready biters in either environment. Ranging from 10-16 inches with the occasional individual crossing the 24 inch mark, the cutthroat is an aggressive eater and can provide hours of entertainment for the fly angler. Some of the largest cutts are found in the land-locked trophy lakes of Southeast Alaska. Click here to view photos of coastal cuttroat in our photo gallary.
Gear and Flies
Cutthroat trout are small, scrappy fighters that are best suited to the lighter end of the fly rod spectrum. 3, 4, and 5wt rods are all appropriate, depending on the line type and size of fly chosen. Reels best suited for cutthroat fishing are characterized by their light weight and smooth performance. Depending upon the method of presentation, fly line choices include full-float weight-forward lines, sinking tip lines, and full sinking lines (in the lakes) to deliver your offering to the proper depth. Cutthroat are fairly aggressive eaters and often go for large prey, so flies don't have to be dainty to catch fish. The well-prepared cutthroat angler will have a large selection of leeches and attractors to draw from, and these should include the Beadhead Thin Mint, Pink StripTease, Lite Brite Zonkers, and several colors of Beadhead Buggers.

Winston B3x 9' 4 or 5wt
Sage VXP 8 1/2' 3wt
Sage Flight 9' 4 or 5wt
 Sage One 9' 4wt

Abel Super 4
Nautilus FWX 3/4 or 5/6
Lamson Velocity 1.5
Lamson Guru 1.5

Rio Grand Weight Forward Floating
Rio Avid Trout Line
Scientific Anglers GPX Floating Line
Scientific Angler Wet Tip Type III Sinking Line

Cutthroat Special
Bead Head Thin Mint
Bead Head Olive Electric Leech
Bead Head Lite Brite Zonker
Pink Strip Tease