Illustration by Steven Schalla, FlyFishingtheSierra.com, used with permission
As with all cutthroats, check first for the distinct orange-red cutthroat slash below the jaw. The Westslope will often exhibit bright yellow, orange and red colors, especially among males during the spawning season. It will usually show a pattern of irregularly shaped spots on the body that has few spots below the lateral line, except near the tail
Compared to other cutthroat whose range overlaps or abuts the Westslope’s: a Yellowstone will have a drabber, yellowish brown, silvery, or brassy color body becoming paler by the belly, with medium sized spots that are below the lateral line. a Snake River Cutt will have many more, smaller, more uniformly distributed spots; a Colorado River Cutt will generally exhibit equally bright but different colors, with golden yellow body, a brassy green back and an orange tint along the belly with more uniformly distributed spots; the Bonneville will have drabber coloration, and larger, and more uniformly distributed spots.