Catch Your Dinner

Shoshone National Forest

Keeping trout to eat can be a tricky question in the Rockies, where a catch-and-release ethic is firmly established and often the law. Brook trout, though, are regarded as pests in some waters either because of overpopulation or because they compete with native cutthroats. Brookies are common in many small streams and lakes that tumble out of the high country. Wyoming, for example, allows an extra 10 brook trout under 8 inches long in addition to its general daily bag limit for trout. The Shoshone National Forest, 2.4 million acres extending from Yellowstone National Park south and east to Lander, Wyoming, is a great place to find brookies. Make sure you're able to distinguish between a brookie and a cutthroat before you whack anything on the head. More info: Shoshone National Forest office, 307-578-1200; www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone

Next Best: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado The park is better known for scenery than for fishing. But numerous small streams and lakes hold brookies that under Colorado's generous brook-trout bag limit beg to be eaten. More info: Rocky Mountain National Park office, 970-586-1206; nps.gov/romo