Restrictive regulations, skinny water, and unmarked dirt roads had kept us away for far too long. Under the influence of countless fire-side cocktails, my brother and I sauntered back to our tents for the evening, determined to document the beauty of the Sierra Nevada and it's native trout the next morning.
Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the clarity of the water, coupled with its depth made for some extremely spooky little trout. Each time I saw my bushy sized 14 X-Caddis hit the surface of the water, I would see little shadows dart from the riffles to their well rehearsed hiding spots. Fine...lesson learned!
Two-weight rod in hand and a size 18 Mercer's Missing Link now fastened to my tippet, I crouched behind a fallen log. As slowly as I could, my head came up from behind the obstruction and I spotted my next target. One delicate cast and the slow, drawn out rise of a cutthroat had my heart thumping and hand ready to set the hook. A few seconds later, my first Lohontan Cutthroat was in the net. Collectively, we let out a celebratory "Whoop!". The mission had been accomplished.
That day, my brother and I fooled a handful of cutties before deciding to leave the delicate stream to its own devices. We weren't there for the numbers, or the size. We were there for the friendship, adventure, and a rare encounter with one of California's Heritage Trout.