Here at New West KnifeWorks & Mountain Man Toy Shop Headquarters in Jackson, Wyoming, we are fortunate to be surrounded by an abundance of outdoor activities. It’s what we love best about our home.
With a wide variety of hunting and fishing opportunities, our makers felt like a smaller, more nimble outdoor knife was needed in our arsenal. A knife that thrives in small game situations. Enter the new Bird & Trout.
Accuracy and agility are key to maximizing the meat yield from these animals, and this small Bird & Trout packs a big punch for that task. At just over 6.5 inches of total length, the Bird & Trout easily fits in your hunting bag, fishing pack, or belt. Like it’s big brother, the 4” Outfitter, the Bird & Trout features a hole in the handle made for extending your reach with a paracord loop.
I took this new knife out for a field test with a local professional to see if it could get the job done. Along with local Teton Valley Lodge fly fishing guide, Michael Sanchez (who also happens to be my husband), I took to the water for some spring fishing, looking to test the mettle of this knife.
The South Fork of the Snake River proved to be an absolutely gorgeous testing facility for our fishing skills, a few local beers, and of course, the knife.
Not long into our float, Michael lands a mountain whitefish. Abundant in the South Fork, these fish have a mild flavor and work in just about any fish recipe you can think of. “Whitefish are an underutilized fish in this area,” he explains. According to Michael the best way to serve up a whitefish, or a trout, is “smoked and on a cracker with some cream cheese.”
He recently found a new recipe for whitefish that he’s been wanting to try, so he brings the catch into the boat. As any outdoorsman would be, he is eager to try out this new toy I've brought for testing. We maneuver to shore and anchor up to test out the knife.
Michael takes the Bird & Trout out of its leather sheath and punctures near the tail of the fish stating, “oh, that is stabby!” With the knife in and blade facing up, he cuts along the belly.
“Just unzipped him!” Michael declares after swiftly opening the fish. Followed shortly after by declaring “holy s*%$ is that sharp.”
Examining the Stomach Contents.
Using the Bird & Trout, Michael opens up the stomach of the whitefish to see what they have been eating. “Bunch of midges,” he reports.
While the knife is named the Bird & Trout, it is up to the task of field dressing small fish of all types. Quick work is made out of gutting these fish with the super sharp blade. One feature he noticed and appreciated was the functionality of the G-Fusion Handle. Made in a variety of colors, the handle material gets a slight tackiness when wet that enhances the knife’s grip. Perfect for working on the water.
With the fish cleaned, we store the catch in the cooler and continue the float. We pass thru a variety of seasons on our river day, and adjust the tunes on our speaker to match the weather's moods. The South Fork has beautiful scenery and the float can be enjoyed immensely with either a fly rod in the hand or a cold local brew (or both).
After landing multiple cutthroat trout, a rainbow trout is landed. The Yellowstone cutthroat trout are native to the South Fork and protected in this area. Cutties, as they are affectionally called, are threatened by the abundance of rainbows. Studies have shown that when the rainbow population goes up, the cutthroat population is negatively impacted.
Netting the Rainbow
After the fish initially squirmed away, the grip was upped to a two-handed approach.
I wrangle in the rainbow, and, after a fair bit of flopping, secure my grip on the catch for a few pictures. After all, when it comes to fishing if you don't have the photo, did you even catch the fish? Because the rainbows threaten the native cutthroat, sportsmen and women are encouraged by Idaho Fish & Game to keep rainbow trout. We oblige and put the Bird & Trout to the test on its namesake.
Bird & Trout at work.
Once again the knife cuts effortlessly. The smaller size makes it easy to hold and maneuver through the fish. We decide to save the trout for the smoker, and the whitefish will get cooked up at home in the new recipe.
All in all the Bird & Trout more than stood up to the field test. Michael was impressed with the look of the knife and the size. Perfect for packing in the boat and ready for river duty.
An avid fall hunter, Michael remarks about the knife, “it would be perfect for grouse.” We’ll check back in with him in the fall when grouse hunting is in season.
For now, Michael looks ahead to the bounty of the fishing season, with the Bird & Trout packed along for the ride. If ever a shore-side lunch is on the docket, he will be ready.