Smaller Lakes and Ponds
There are some very good stocked lakes and ponds in the mountain regions. If you can find a good one with some cutthroat trout in it, enjoy the fishing because these aggressive trout are usually willing to eat a variety of baits.
There are some bigger lakes that have some very good fishing for cutthroat trout. Early in the year, you can find a lot of fish in the shallows, but as water temperatures warm up, you are going to have to find them in deeper water. Plan on breaking out the trolling gear if you want to consistently catch these fish on bigger lakes.
Cutthroat trout spawn in the spring. As water temperatures move into the upper 40s and into the low 50s, cutthroat trout will seek out the rivers and streams that run into a lake. For anglers fishing for cutthroat trout in lakes, you’re going to find them in the shallows in the spring and if your lake has a river or stream feeding it, seek out these areas to find fish moving into these areas.
Once the spawn is over, cutthroat trout will recover and go back to their normal feeding routines. You can usually fish shallower in the spring time if you’re fishing in lakes, but as water temperatures warm and it gets close to summer, expect these fish to be found deeper again. In the rivers and streams, the fishing is usually strong all the way through the spring as these fish can be counted on to eat many different presentations.
Cutthroat trout are an aggressive species of fish and they are still readily available to eat your fly, live bait or artificial lure. The big change in the summer is that the warmer water temperatures push cutthroat trout deeper. In rivers and streams, it’s not difficult to find them. Just seek out the deeper pools near moving water and you should be able to find some fish that are willing to eat one of your presentations. In lakes, they are a little harder to find. Anglers tend to troll open water and they use their electronics to help them find these fish in deeper water.
The fall usually provides excellent fishing opportunities for cutthroat trout. Water temperatures cool and these fish do well in colder water temperatures. Depending on the river or stream, other species of fish will spawn and that will bring thousands upon thousands of eggs into the water which will attract cutthroat trout. Egg patterns work great in many rivers as well as the typical fly patterns that worked for you all spring and summer too.
Depending on where you are fishing, the winter time can range from very slow to very good fishing for cutthroat trout. As water temperatures get downright chilly, there are 2 main keys: fish deeper and fish slower. Some guide services report excellent winter catches on lakes and they troll 100% of the time. On some rivers, the good fall bite carries right into the early part of the winter before slowing down. Do some research on the area you’re planning on fishing and you may be able to have some success fishing in the winter.