Fall Greenbacks

Here are some shots of fall Greenback Cutthroats.  These were shot in Rocky Mountain National Park a few weeks ago.  Greenback Cutthroats, along with all other Western North American trout species, spawn in the spring.  Here in Northern Colorado, this typically means a couple of weeks on ether side of the fourth of July.  Not only do the fish have brighter colors during the spawn, but with other things on their minds, they tend to be more reckless, and are therefore, easier to approach to photograph.  (They're also easier to catch, but we'll leave a discussion of the morality of that to another time.  Looking at you Yellowstone's Fishing Bridge.)  Thus, most photographs of cutthroats are taken in the spring. 

The following shots were taken in the late fall, miles in the back country.  Rather than having sex on their minds, these fish were trying to fatten up as much as possible before winter.  In a typical year, the lake where these fish live would have already been frozen over by the date the photos were taken.  However, this was the year of the seemingly endless summer. 

This is one of my favorite underwater trout images. Notice how the surface is just starting to boil as the rising trout approaches the fly on the surface?

This is one of my favorite underwater trout images. Notice how the surface is just starting to boil as the rising trout approaches the fly on the surface?

A beautiful female greenback comes out of the shadows.

A beautiful female greenback comes out of the shadows.

Amazingly, colors like these are not just found during the spring spawn. 

Amazingly, colors like these are not just found during the spring spawn.