Lochsa Cutthroats

6 November 2006 By Dan Bachman • Fishing-Spots • Comments (1)

Lochsa Morning About a month ago I was in the Clearwater region of Idaho and spent a day fishing the Lochsa near the Montana border. I spent the night at the 3 Rivers Resort where the folks from Fly Anglers Online were having their annual Fish-In and eagerly gave me pointers on a couple spots that fished well the day before. Leaving early in the morning, fog filled the small canyon and the river and rising sun peaked through around the various bends.

Lochsa and Selway converge to become the Clearwater Middle Fork 50 miles upstream I came to a nice hole that looked pretty much like quite a few holes I saw while driving upstream. It was cold but there was already a little action on the top when I pulled over to survey the long deep section of river guarded by large boulders. A few large caddis flitted around as I strung my rod and pulled on my waders.

Tying an October Caddis on the end of my tippet seemed the obvious choice. But after making my way down to the water and surveying the situation for a few minutes, (something that I force myself to do every time before I start fishing) I saw that the Caddis were going untouched. The breakfast item of choice for the feeding cutthroats were the tiny midges that were out in force on the water. Size 22 seemed a bit big, but it was the smallest hanging midge in my box.

Lochsa Cutthroat The crystal clear water required the cleanest downstream presentation to be effective. On the first take a beautiful 13 inch cutthroat thrashed wildly and a bulltrout that dwarfed all the cutts in the vicinity charged from an overhang and nipped the hooked fish. Every fish in the pool dissappeared almost instantaneously as the bull trout took another swipe before hiding as quickly as it had come out.

I worked the entire length of the pool for several hours and caught a dozen nice, healthy and beautiful cutts on the only a single fly. In the early afternoon a stronger showing of caddis had some of fish feeding on them with takes that were more aggressive than they were on midges. After landing another 4 or 5 cutts I left a midge pattern with young kid with Oregon plates that wasn’t having much luck. He told me about a hot springs just around the corner where I soaked my aching back.

Lochsa afternoon



  1. 10 November 2006 Ed.

    Awesome photographs! That shot of the cutthroat is absolutely beautiful.

Back Cast
Feed: Back Cast