During the Wild West days, Colorado had a monstrous native cutthroat trout - the Yellow-fin - which some reports suggest grew to an astonishing 54"; and topped the scales at over 35 pounds. Many believe this mammoth trout went extinct in its native waters around 1900 due to overfishing - which included pioneers & miners using dynamite to catch them. Except rumor had it that the Yellow-fin were introduced to a fishery on the Western Slope settled by a pair of frontier entrepreneurs, William Alexander & Richard Forrest, who were intent on founding a mountain resort. Local cowboys wanted to fish these waters, too, and soon ran into conflict with these businessmen. After Alexander vanished, Forrest sold the property to an English capitalist named William Radcliffe who had the means to fix laws and bring in hired guns to protect his interest. What happened next became the legend of the Grand Mesa Feud. The Yellow-fin survived murder, mystery, and mayhem, and was proven to have lasted at the Grand Mesa lakes until 1932 when the trail finally went cold. A fish was caught at a remote mountain lake in 2018 that rekindled this old tale of high adventure.
Cutthroat: the mighty yellow-fin trout