Spey Rods, Bull Trout, and huge streamers

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.

Bull Trout

Matt Siegmund critiques my casting:

Bull Trout

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:

Bull Trout

The Bull Trout agree…it tastes delicious!

finnertys bull trout

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.

bull trout

Chris Daughters caught the big fish of the trip:

Bull Trout

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.

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3 Responses to Spey Rods, Bull Trout, and huge streamers

  1. Travis W. says:

    WOW!… those are some nice fish! Do they fight much, or are they like pulling a log off the bottom? Out of curiosity, what river is that… or am I asking to much?

  2. Alec U. says:

    im headed out to oregon this summer and plan on hitting the metolius. my goal for the trip: a bull trout. do you guys have any suggestions on sink tips or fly lines that would help streamers go deep and or suggestions on how to catch one those amazng fish? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Gman says:

    Bull trout is best January thru May. Summer would be best spent going for top feeders. But never think that a Wooley Bugger won’t work. Stripping larger wet flies around logs can be the ticket. Good luck.

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