18 hours ago
FINALLY! It only took me the last year of living in WA to get a bull trout to hand - no doubt my favorite native fish here. Last year, the first time I’d targeted them, I‘d just started fly fishing. We could see a few nice sized ones sitting deep in a crystal clear pool. I casted past them and stripped a heavy streamer through their zone. They shot up from the bottom and one hit the fly so hard that my rod instantly bent (it’s incredible how aggressive and strong BT can be!). I reacted quickly with a hard strip-set, but the fly pulled right out of its mouth. 🤨 I waited a minute and tried again. The same fish had no hesitation committing to the fly a second time, but again, the set didn’t take. After a few more failed grabs, I thought to check my fly. I’d whacked the entire hook off with a backcast that smacked the rocks behind me, who knows when. 😂 @cole.leishman never lets me live that one down. Then, bulls always seemed to be the fish that everyone would *semi-disappointedly* get on the swing during steelhead season. I made it ALLLLL winter with no such luck, even though I would’ve been stoked for that bycatch. I’m so glad this finally happened! It’s so much fun to watch these powerful fish COME OUT OF NOWHERE to smash your fly. 💕 Something that’s beyond me, though, is why it’s legal to harvest a fish listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Needless to say, we didn’t keep our dudes, and they all swim home after short interactions. Sensitive, native fish deserve some respect.
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