Glory of Cut-Throat Trout: Fierce Beauties of the Coast Range County of the West, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-13


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GLORY OF CUT-THROAT TROUT Fierce Beauties of the Coast Range . Country of the West. ICinety-tliree in One Tool arid the Blearest Comes for the Finish. The section of country I fish, writes S. J. Smith in Outdoor Life, is in the Coast Range Mountains, lving about sixty miles west of Portland, Oregon,; in Tillamook Countv. These mountains average about thirty miles in width, covered with dense forest of fir, cedar and hemlock. Many streams rNe in them and find their outlet in the numerous small bays along the coast, there being five of them flowing into Tillamook Bay.. The meaning of the word Tillamook Indian word "Killa-muck is "gathering of the waters." . , These streams are the habitat of salmon trout and cut-throat or speckled mountain trout. There, under natural conditions, they attain a length of from twenty- to twenty-four inches, and weigh often over four pounds. I heard of one being taken that measured twenty-eight inches in length. A great many people persist in calling a cutthroat or speckled trout a salmon trout. Now, to one well versed in "troutology" a cut-throat is nothing but a speckled or mountain trout, although on some specimens the red blotch on the under jawis more brightly colored than on others. They are strictly a fresh water trout, but may be found in and have been taken from salt water. AVhen taken in salt water the belly and sides are almost silverv. with black specks showing over the entire body, fins and tail, while on the other hand a salmon trout is always of a bright silvery sheen from the middle of the sides down and in the belly, with no specks at any place on the body except the back, which is of a dark blue color. The head of a salmon trout is different in shape and color from the head of a speckled trout; the mouth is smaller, the nose more rounding and the cheeks of a delicate -pink color. Tlie tail is not so pointed and the under fins of a light pink. You will often find on a cut-throat trout a splotch or two of yellow as though some one had hit him with a yellow paint, brush. That is something you will never find on a salmon trout, furthermore, a salmon trout is not a species of salmon or char. HABITS OF THE TRUE SALMON. All true salmon when they enter fresh water for spawning never return to the sea, but die. They are fat, red meated and gamy when first in from the sea, and of a bright silver color; but they quit taking food, and as a result get poor, a provision of nature, as it enables the spawn from the femals to grow and detach from the spongy leaf which holds them, each egg then being separate. The color changes to a dirty red and reddish blue, the flesh shrinks from the jaws, exposing the teeth, which are used in fighting. These teeth aYe often three-miarters of an inch in length, resembling canine teeth, hence the name applied to some salmon of "Dog Salmon." . , As I once before said, a salmon trout is a salt water trout, and only enters fresh water to deposit its spawn. During their spawning season on this coast June and July they will take an artificial fir. but I have always had the best luck with a spinner. And when I mention spinners or spoon hooks, I am reminded of a day in June not long ago regarding which I must tell you. My wife and I were camped on the Wilson River during the summer of 1913, and along with others who were fishing and hunting there that sum-ier, we were surely enjoying ourselves. One day I received word from a Portland friend of mine, Henry Williams, that he was coming over on the iver and wanted me to take a days trip with him fishing, as he desired to take home several large trout. One Sundav morning 0 oclock found Henry and 1 in his buckboard bound down the rivert about four miles, where the best fishing was. Arriving at Q"r destination we tethered the horses in. an orchard on an abandoned homestead, rigged our tackle and hit the stream. I was trving out a bucktnil fly which I had made from the hair of a summer killed deer hide, and in the first pool I raised two or three big trout and succeeded in landing one ten-incher. Finding the trout half-hearted in their attacks upon my fly. I removed it and attached a "Pf lueger No. 3 nickel plated spinner with a No. 1 Royal Coachman -yed fly. NINETY-THREE IN THE POOL. Making a cast of nearly thirty feet, I believe thit I can honestly say the spoon had hardly touched the water before a salmon trout that measured twenty inches seized it and nearly fifty yards of line left niv reel like chain lightning. After about ten minutes thi-i fish was landed, and Hehry vowed then and there that he could and would produce a longer and heavier trout before the day was over or he would exhaust his surplus of energy and profanity. That pool yielded up three more trout, two to Henry and one to me. He had put on a spinner by the time I had landed my first. By noon Henry had three fish fewpr than I and mine numbered forty-eight, none of which were under twelve inches in length. We left the stream, and after a short walk came into the road, and there we ate our lunch, had a pipe and scooped out a hole in the ground near a big low and cached our trout, for we were to try our luck again on tlie river about a mile farther down. At J oclock we started down the stream, and bv 4 oclock were ready to quit, having all the fish that Henry cared to take home. I had Him beaten in weight and number of fish, but his largest was an even twenty-two inches in length. Now come? what IXnry said was a "bit of fool s luck." We had unjointed our rods and swung our creels upon our shoulders and were filling our pipes for o little smoke when Henry grabbed me by the arm with a grip like that of a grizzly bear and said: "Oh! Ye gods and little fishes!. Look at that trout!" BIGGEST TROUT FOR A FINISH? Looking out where he was pointing I sure saw "that trout." not one, but three great big speckled fellows. Tliev were in alwut four feet of water and about twenty feet from sJorc nosing in the crevices between the rocks in the stream bed for crawfish. For me to rig my rod took but a moments time, and with luck on my tdde I dropped my spinner about six feet beyond one of the larsest fish, which was standing on its head as I might say looking for a meal. Waiting a second until his business was finished, I started my spoon. Instantly ho was at attention, not a movement of his tail or fins was noticeable, wl-en all of a sudden, he turned and took it with rush. There Is surely nothing to compare with the sensations one feels under such circumstances. And how he fought! Across that pool, fifty, seVen-tv-five and a hundred feet he would dash, each rush followed by two or three frantic leaps. I "would bring him back in an attempt to net him, but he could not see it that way, hot until twenty minutes had passed, when he floated, belly up, and the net was slipped under him. I had often heard of a speckled mountain trout being caught that measured over twenty-four inches in length, and always had taken those stories with a grain of salt, but that big fellow convinced me then and there that it was possible, for he measured twenty-three and three-quarters inches and weighed four pounds and eleven ounces. Henry and I are going again some day.

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Local Identifier: drf1919011301_2_4
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