It has been a few months since I gave an update on our Trout Slam recognition program . With the weather cooling, one of the best times of year to catch our cold-water trout lies ahead of us. So, let me see if I can pique your interest to get out there and explore our trout waters.
Entries during the summer slowed to a trickle, and there were several weeks where I did not see any entries at all. I am starting to see a few again as the calendar has turned to September. As of now, we have had a few more than 80 anglers participate in our Trout Slam program and those anglers have registered over 150 fish. Those entries have included over seventy rainbow trout, 40 brown trout, 20 brookies and 18 cutties. Obviously, the brook trout and cutthroats are the least abundant and most challenging to catch, and that will not change. Cutthroats have been particularly scarce.
I spent some time in July trying to catch a cutthroat myself. I caught and released well over a dozen rainbows in the process, but no cutties. Many of you have been trying just as hard for a cutthroat. Hang on, I am not giving up and I know there are some cutthroats being raised in at least one of our state hatchery ponds right now–more cutthroats will be available probably sometime next spring.
By my count we have had three more anglers complete the Trout Slam, another husband and wife team, Jeff and Lori Scherer, and Scott Buss. Naturally, the Sherer’s completed their slams last May just after I posted my last Trout Slam update, so it has taken me too long to credit them. Scott got started on his Trout Slam early last spring, in March, and then finished up with a vacation out west to catch a brook and brown trout in August. What I appreciate about all three of those folks that I just mentioned is that they caught at least one of their trout species from Verdigre Creek and the Grove Wildlife Area (rainbows and/or cutthroats), and then finished up with the other species out in our Pine Ridge region (rainbows, browns, and brooks).
Let me share some of the photos of the Scherer’s and Scott’s fish. First of all, I love the hand-held “selfie” of Jeff Scherer’s cutthroat:
And Lori’s brown trout was a particularly nice fish!
I am going to post photos of all four of Scott’s fish, they are just great shots of beautiful trout–one of the biggest reasons we like to fish for trout!
Looking through the database of entries, I noticed something, or should I say someone, I need to mention, again. Previously, I had credited Donald Elliott as one of our first five anglers to complete the Trout Slam. Well, looking closer in the database, Donald has actually completed the trout slam twice! He also started off in early spring with fish from the Verdigre/Grove area and then finished with a brook trout out in the Pine Ridge. For good measure, he turned around and in another day of fishing out on Pine Ridge waters he did the slam again, all four species in one day! Oh yes, and all of those fish were released!
Got to show another picture of one of Donald’s fish, he caught a particularly nice brook trout!
I already mentioned some of my efforts to make progress on my own Trout Slam. I have entered a brown trout, worked on catching a cutthroat, but not yet. I have dried off several rainbows, but have not entered any of them yet because I believe I may be able to catch a bigger one this fall.
Congratulations to Jeff, Lori, Scott, and Donald again! Well done, thank you for releasing all of those fish, and yes, I am envious. The rest of us will keep trying!