When we started the quest for the Utah Cutthroat Slam we knew there would be some miles that we had to put in. Where we found the Colorado Cutthroat Trout was well worth the drive. The Scenery going to the location was fantastic as well as not seeing another soul for the entire day made it even better. If you know me, you know that I hate fishing in crowded areas. I am not a fan of walking down a river and seeing people, trash, and having other anglers with poor river etiquette come up to the spot you’re fishing and throw a line right over the top of your drift. Well with the solitude and high native trout density it made for close to a perfect day of fishing in the middle of October.
Most people would start their journey in the Salt Lake City area. If so, you’ll need to head east on I-80 toward Cheyenne and head toward Park City. North of Jordanelle Reservoir there is state road 248 that will take you into the south part of Kamas, UT. From there you’ll need to head south into Francis. From Francis you’ll head SE on state 35 for 39.5 miles to W Fork road AKA FR050. Hang a right and continue on the road until you’ve hit a cattle guard and you’ll see a Forest Service sign. If you look to your left you can see the river lined with willow trees and a fantastic valley directly in front of you. Before you get too excited and just jump in your truck and head out. The Colorado Cut is a spring spawner and the DWR has closed the stream from Jan1- Second Saturday in July. It is an artificial lure and fly only stream. You are allowed to keep up to 4 trout but only 2 Cutthroat. If you do find a Cutthroat I encourage you to release and others I encourage you to take to help with the restoration of native trout.
We decided to park right there and hit the river. There are some decent bends and holes that hold a couple nice trout in them on this lower section. The fish seem to be a bit bigger but the density is not as high. If you continue up the road you can find a diversion dam with a holding pond right behind it. There were trout rising everywhere in the pond but we could barely get them to eat. We decided to head above the dam and this is where we found the highest density of Colorado Cutthroat Trout.
We got into some beaver ponds that were holding anywhere from 30-50 fish in each of them ranging from 16 inches to 6 inches.
Riffles that came into nice holding pools that contained 10+ trout all ranging in the 14-18 inch range
I started off the day with my Sage Z-axis 5wt because I had heard rumors of 5+lbs trout in the stream. Toward the end of the day I had busted out my Sage Dart 0wt. When I got there I had seen a couple grasshoppers roaming around but only had one taker on a hopper pattern.
So if you’re looking for a high density population of Colorado Cutthroat and some with good size and a healthy stream to boot. You can’t beat the West Fork of the Duchense. If you end up enjoying this river, please let us know how you did. If you’re looking for more up to date fishing adventures follow us on Instagram