Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cutt-Slam Complete!

      I love this time of year. Fall. The leaves are the most beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. The good Lord and a Tikka .270 packed my freezer with little white packages. Last, but not least, I was present when one of the greatest fishermen I know finished up a Cutt-Slam.
    After a successful antelope hunt, six-year old G-Baby and I drove up to...let’s see...yup...No Tellum Lake 2 to catch his final cutthroat. Two years ago, he caught his Bonneville, Colorado and Snake River cutthroat in just three days. This year, with a little help
from Game and Fish biologists, we found the perfect spot for him to catch his last cutthroat. The Yellowstone. Probably my
second favorite to the Bonneville. After only one wrong turn, we arrived in a valley surrounded by trees and mountains. There is a little trail that goes around the crystal clear lake. The water was so still it was hard to differentiate between the real mountain and the reflection. Fall perfection.
      I set G-Baby up with a lure and gave the little guy a tutorial, since most of his fishing has been the ole garden tackle standby. As I am explaining the importance of reeling in the line as opposed to letting it sit, I feel a hard strike. It was a fighter and G-Baby was a solid match. He pulled in one of the most beautiful red spawn colored fish I have ever seen. He popped off the line right as he hit the shore, swimming into the deep. We knew we were in the right spot as anytime you catch something on the first cast, it is good luck.  
     I watched my son eyeball the lake, channeling the great Bambino as he pointed to a sweet spot and cast out. It wasn't
minutes later that he had a fish on, yelling for help and reeling as his little arms got tired. G was not about to back down and would
go headfirst into the lake before letting the Cutt best him. With a
little coaching and a lot of persistence, he managed to reel that fish right to shore. This Yellowstone put all other Yellowstone’s I have caught to shame. G-Baby grinned ear to ear as he held up his trophy while I snapped a picture. We released it back into the clear blue lake, in awe of the majesty of creature and country.
      We fished for another hour or so and caught one more sizable Yellowstone. It was a perfect day to spend some time in the great outdoors. I may not be the best parent – patience is not my strong suit, but when I am fishing with my kids, I feel myself becoming a better dad. Nothing beats a guys trip with one of your sons, hunting, fishing and just being grateful for what we have.

-Long Rifle