cutbank

The outside bank in the bend of a stream that experiences erosion, a cutbank is normally high and steep, and is formed as part of the process of a stream meandering across its floodplain. Often, a cutbank is the only vertical relief in an otherwise flat landscape. A stream is deeper and flows faster on its cutbank side. Opposite the cutbank, on the inside of the bend, lies the point bar, an area of shallow water, a crescent-shaped accumulation of sand and gravel. Someone might, for instance, spread a blanket for a picnic or sunbathing on the bank of a point bar and wade in the shallow water there, while someone else might look for fossils uncovered by erosion on the cutbank or fish in the deep water of the stream on the cutbank side. “Cutbanks can offer you a great shot at a trophy fish,” writes Dave Hurteau in “Big Trout Hideouts.”

Pattiann Rogers