Illustration by Steven Schalla, FlyFishingtheSierra.com, used with permission
The Snake River Cutt is also known as the “fine spotted” Yellowstone Cutt. As with all cutthroats, check first for the distinct orange-red cutthroat slash below the jaw. The Snake River Cutt will have a brownish yellow body with dull silvery, green, or bronze tints. Its principal distinguishing feature will be profuse, fine spots over its entire body, concentrating in the tail.
Compared to other cutthroat whose range overlaps or abuts the Snake’s: a “large spot” Yellowstone Cutt will have similar coloration and patterning but many fewer and larger spots; a Westslope Cutt will have spots by the tail and none on its flanks near its pectoral fin; a Colorado River Cutt will generally exhibit much brighter colors, with a bright, golden yellow body, a brassy green back and an orange tint along the belly; the Bonneville will have similar coloration, but many fewer, larger, and uniformly distributed spots