February 21, 2023
By Fly Fisherman Staff
Montrose, Colorado-based Ross Reels has announced that a portion of sales of its new Native Greenback Cutthroat Reel will be donated to Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU) and the Rocky Mountain Flycasters Chapter program, the Poudre Headwaters Project. The reel is the first in Ross's new Native Reel Series.
The Poudre Headwaters Project is a joint program between the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain National Park, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and Colorado State University, and CTU that aims to restore a robust population of greenback cutthroat trout to the headwaters of the Cache la Poudre River in its native range. Once believed to be extinct, greenbacks are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Research has revealed that these fish actually need slightly warmer temps than are offered by some small, high-country streams in order to survive their early years. The greenback, Colorado’s state fish, also requires an environment free of competition and predation from species like brook, brown, and rainbow trout.
“This is why the Long Draw project is so important,” Dr. Kurt Fausch, Professor Emeritus from Colorado State University, said in a CTU video. “Cutthroat trout need larger streams with warmer temperatures that are free from brook trout, if they’re going to thrive in Colorado.”
The group hopes to have the project complete in 10 to 12 years and it should provide the largest such population in Colorado.
The Native Greenback Cutthroat Reel is a special limited-edition built on Ross’s Colorado 2/3 reel. Only 495 will be produced, and each will be numbered, hand painted, and will include the “Greenback” inscription on the reel foot. Ross will donate $75 from each reel sold to the Poudre Headwaters Project.
The Greenback will be available in April.
Check out the videos below for more information.