Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Imperiled Cutthroat By Greg French

If there is a fish that represents the west, it's the Cutthroat.

It's the fish that really hooked me into fly fishing, and I am sure the story is the same for countless other anglers.  They seduce you with fairly easy success and are never hard on the eye

New from Patagonia and acclaimed fly fishing writer Greg French is the new book The Imperiled Cutthroat, Tracing the Fate of Yellowstone's Native Trout

A decade ago I was fortunate to read French's book Frog Call back in 2002 and was excited to read the book through the lens of a author who aside of being a wonderful fly fishing writer, but a person who hasn't lived in the west and constantly entrenched preconceived notions and opinions.

He and his wife Francis, with diligent planning and research, spent weeks in and around the park and it's river tributaries getting inside the issues that the fish and the fish managers are dealing with.

It's a hell of a book.

It's not an easy time to be a cutty in the west, especially in the Yellowstone region which is famed for it's different varieties of native cutthroat.

The Yellowstone Basin and outlying streams, rivers and creeks are at a bit of a crossroads with concerns to the fish that represent the region.  The issues are long and numerable......

Yellowstone Lake's explosion of illegally introduced Mackinaw.  Pressure from sporting favorable, but non native rainbows, browns and brookies. Climate Change.  Hybridization.

It's extremely interesting to learn about the reasons why one species of cutthroat exists in one basin or the other, or why some spawning tributaries are crashing and others are maintaining.  To say the issue of their recovery is complex is too simple of a word

Aside of these items, what our role in deciding what the future holds for these emblematic fish? Choosing one over the other, making decisions to return ecosystems to as close to pre-human involvement are just some of the questions French poses to the reader.

As he and his wife fish through the park, the historical context and stories woven into this book are a must read.   There's never just a linear answer to why, but a serendipitous route of historical perspective that makes this book a page turner.    Are we going to make the mistakes of the past in fish science and recovery, or is there a new way to go?  Boiling it down, can we learn from our mistakes and get it right?

I learned a lot, and I hope to continue to learn more about what's going on with the Imperiled Cutthroat

Get more information on this book via Patagonia HERE.  I highly suggest adding this book to your library.

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