I love the change of season and the colors of the Maples and Alders as they prepare for winter. The forecast was about as nice as a summer day, but we’re almost to November and I wanted to get out to my little tributary.
I had invited Jeff H. and Ben L. to join me as my buddy Dov had reported success for bull trout on egg patterns. It didnt take me long to plan for a few hours while soaking in the sunshine and crisp mountain air. The river was running higher than median and silty with a greenish brown tinge.
We fished streamers and egg patterns as out target was to find some big bulls.
I wish I could say the fishing was as nice as the scenery, but it was a little slow to start. Usually the whitefish are non stop when the salmon are in as they are gorging on the eggs and very good biters. I only landed a handful of them along with some spawning chum that sucked down my egg pattern
I was using my G.Loomis classic GLX 6wt which is light for all day casting and dead drift nymphing. I figured this would be good physical therapy for my healing shoulder. It sure was as I peppered the runs with many casts covering the bases.
Glorious vitamin D and being on the bank was what the doctor ordered. So nice!
We went back to an area that is known to hold bulls and we decided to work it by rotating each one of us and working the seams and runs. Both Ben and I hooked and landed a couple of chum. Wish that he would have gotten this hot fish on, but he was using a light 6wt. and had 5x tippet, so had to gingerly play the fish out before she spit the hook.
The guys were about done with the day and decided to pack it up around 3:30. I told them goodbye and said that I wanted to stay a little longer to try and find that bull trout. As I made my first cast as they were packing up and ready to walk out, my indicator dove and line tightened.
At first I thought I had bottom but then the line was moving around and then like a rocket the fish rolled and then shot downsteam and into the fast water trying to elude me. I yelled out to the fellas ‘fish on’!!! I kept steady pressure and held it tight while Ben was ready with the net.
After a few minutes of cat and mouse we finally netted it and what a beautiful specimen. Probably a first year summer run Steelhead, progeny of the hatchery that once occupied this river but no longer active.
All the colors were on its gill plate and side as the fabled unicorn sparkled with its beauty.
While not a trophy fish, it was nice to land it, take a couple photos and send it back on its journey.
Thanks Ben for taking the photos and meeting up. Next time don’t forget your waders!
Hopefully the river will drop and clear in the coming days as I’d like to get back and find that bull trout. No complaints as I’d take a wild steelhead over several bulls.