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Bucksnort 05-25-2019 04:33 PM

Apache Trout
 
bgiorodono,

Last year, I posted a notice about catching my first Apache trout in the Black River at Wildcat Crossing. You chimed in to tell me there are no pure Apaches in the Black River. I remember replying by saying this trout did look anything like any rainbow I have caught.

After catching the three Apaches at Aker Lake, I can now say you are one hundred percent correct (I never doubted you) about the hybrid. These Apaches did not look anything like the ones I caught at Wildcat Crossing.

bgiordano 05-28-2019 07:45 AM

Awesome that you caught some there. It's a cool place. Any grayling?

It is possible for an Apache Trout to be at Wildcat, though not probable. With all the hybrids in the Black River and their tribs, it's unlikely any pure Apache Trout are still in the Black unless they drop down over the fish barriers that are on some streams. Their offspring would likely be hybrids, so you'd have to get very lucky. That being said, some of the hybrids look A LOT more like an Apache than a Rainbow. But without taking genetics of that specific fish, you couldn't definitively say it was a pure Apache Trout because of the hybrid presence.

An interesting note about stocked Apache Trout like those in Ackre. Hatchery Apache Trout have a lot more spots than wild Apache Trout, on average. And I mean, a lot. We're not exactly sure why hatchery individuals exhibit this extra spotting, but they do. Most hatchery fish and wild fish have similar coloration, though.

Bucksnort 05-29-2019 09:47 PM

giordono,

No grayling on this trip; however, last year during my October trip, I did catch eleven grayling from the dam during one day of fishing and no Apaches on this trip.

I probably would have caught more but a church group of about ten people, staying at Hanagan Meadows, from the valley appeared at the lake for a day of shooting 22s. I was constantly being interrupted by people walking past me on the dam. Two of the grayling were about 11" with the rest being about nine or ten inches. I have never been a lunker hunter angler so these fish are lunkers in my book. I just like cathing trout or something similar.

You talk about pure strains of trout. In Colorado, there are three native fish. They are the Colorado River Cutthroat, the Rio Grande Cutthroat and the Green Back Cutthroat. The Greenback is the only one native to the east side of the Continental Divide.

About ten years ago, the Colorado Division of Wildlife thought they found a pure strain of the Greenbacks in a stream in the San Luis Valley. By way of DNA, they thought they found the original Greenback but apparently, this was/is not the case. Now, they have found more real Greenbacks in a stream just west of Colorado Springs near Woodland Park.

To be honest with you, I don't think they are 100 percent sure this is a pure strain. I have caught huge Cutthroat trout on the east side of the Divide at about 12,000 feet. Are these Greenbacks? I don't know but like the Apaches or hybrids, I don't care. I love catching trout and I have no problem catching hatchery trout. I learned how to fly fish on hatchery trout on the South Platte River a couple hundred years ago.

Seldomseen 05-30-2019 05:44 PM

Last summer, during my first stretch of unemployment in a couple decades, I caught a mix of trout out of the ASNF mainstem of the Black. A few were Bow with no eye banding (surprised me), a handful looked to be mostly Apache (predominantly out of a single pool near a feeder confluence), a lot were clearly ApacheXBow (looked a lot like a bow with eye banding), and a bunch more were browns.

Of course, plenty of chub. Score!


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