Each January I head over to the Central Oregon for my annual winter Trout trip. Last year we decided to target the river’s plentiful Bull Trout for the first time. While I have had the pleasure tussling with bullish fighters as an incidental catch as I nymph for trout, I had never taken the time to formulate a strategy to take these beautiful fish. This year the Trout and Whitefish would have to wait because the Bull Trout were our quarry.
Matt Siegmund critiques my casting:
The plan came together and the strategy was simple: go big, go deep, and go twitchy. A down-stream belly in the line, allow some sink time, and twitch the fly through the swing. My good friend Dean Finnerty struggled with the concept of “down-stream belly.” It goes against my instinctive to mend for Steelhead he explained, but it didn’t stop Matt and I from barking, “BELLY” with uproarious laughter each time he made a cast.
Despite unseasonable warm temperatures and a very unstable barometer we managed to put a few fish in front of the camera. This year we were joined by a few friends for a little fishing, and a whole lot of fun.
Dean Finnerty test his new invention:
The Bull Trout agree…it tastes delicious!
This year we would be fishing with our new friends—the Spey rods. There isn’t a lot of back-cast room and the flies are enormous. These rods, coupled with sections of T-14, T-17, and newly concocted streamers we had what we need to get the job done.
Chris and the Stansberry Bros. joined us for a day and Chris caught a toad. Nate grew bored with the whole bull trout thing, and decided to give them pesky whitefish a lesson or two.
Chris Daughters caught the big fish of the trip:
I try to go on my annual outing in January simply because it fits nicely into the end of the Duck hunting season and the beginning of my winter Steelhead season. This winter fishery remains strong until the winter run-off raises the river.