In 2017 we ran a competition with Swift Fly Fishing. A lucky reader won a one-of-a-kind Epic 476 Packlight fiberglass rod. As luck would have it, the guy who won it was Cameron Cushman, a DIY fly angler, glass fan, photographer and film maker from Florida, USA. That rod, dubbed ‘The Motivational Carrot”, appeared to work its magic on Cameron. He and a friend Marcos, set off on a fantastic mission – to chase native trout species in the USA. This is his account of that trip.

Native Trout Species in the USA
Cameron Cushman with The Motivational Carrot in Utah. Photo Marcos Mazzola

“7,992 miles. That’s how far we drove on our trout adventure across the USA in search of several species of native cutthroat trout, California golden trout, Kern River rainbows, and the Arizona Apache. We were not chasing big fish, we were chasing small fish. But many held good size for the waters we were targeting. Some would ask why we would spend the time, money, and all that energy racking up that many miles to search for such small fish when we could hit closer waters with bigger fish. Well, if you haven’t targeted small native trout in the areas they call home, then it might, at first, be hard to understand. Maybe the story of our journey will inspire you to do something similar.”

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For more on Cameron, Marcos and the upcoming Chasing Natives film which follows their journey across the world fly fishing for native, threatened species, visit Chasing Natives.

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