In the deep backcountry
of Wyoming’s Shoshone
first federally designated
national forest—the journey is
anything but easy. This is not
your typical drive-up hotspotting
found just to the west in adjacent
Yellowstone National Park. At 2.4
million acres, the best water here
requires a daylong commitment,
but the payoff is substantial: large
numbers of some of the most
genetically pure strains of cutthroat
trout found anywhere.
Encompassed within the
Ecosytem, the Shoshone
is part of an unbroken
expanse of federally protected,
intact wildlands that spans some
20 million acres. These are the
same fish Jim Bridger would have
encountered, and plenty of them.
Catching 20 to 30 fish per day on
a 4-weight is common, leaving
little wonder why this natural gem
is Wyoming’s official state fish.
Photographer Russell Graves
fished for native Shoshone cutthroat
with Van Beacham of Solitary
Angler, which is based in Taos,
New Mexico. For more information
on fly fishing in Wyoming,
New Mexico, and Colorado, visit www.thesolitaryangler.com.