I unsheathed a fiberglass 3-weight, rigged it with a hopper-dropper, and approached a bend on Stump Creek where current swirled over a deep pocket. I high-stuck my flies through the pool, and the hopper dropped. The fight lasted only seconds before the fish slipped off the barbless nymph. I cast again and mended for a longer downstream drift. A trout rose, but I missed. I rolled another cast. This time, the sequence ended with a healthy cutthroat—golden and spotted with colors even more brilliant than the wildflowers—swimming from my hand back into the cool water.