Catching Bull Trout on the Fly

Clint GoyetteUncategorized1 Comment

The question on one of the message forums I take part in was basically how to catch Char on the fly….

This is my short response:

It all depends on the water you are fishing and the time of year. I have caught bull trout on the Squamish on floating lines in April on the surface…ie dry fly. 

Now, with that being said, most times when targeting bull trout in moving water in the winter, use at least a Type III sink tip with no more than a 3.5 ft leader. 5, 6 and 7wts are great especially on the Squamish as some char can get quite large and it can get pretty windy. 

Fish 3′ +- water depth when it is clear or slightly coloured. Cast and wait around 10 -15 seconds for your fly to get down to the bottom….=~ 3ft using a Type III sink tip. If your fly is “swinging” before you reach 10 seconds, you are most likely casting too far and not mending enough or not letting enough line out to allow your fly to get down OR you are fishing water that is way too fast. Your swing should take a considerable amount of time to get to your shore, I find for char the slower the better…..wait 5-10 seconds at the end of your swing…lots of takes happen here! Look for slow moving water with a slight riffle on the surface….and fish mid run to tailouts. Also, look for hidden deep channels that are visible only if you are wearing polarized sunglasses. They will appear as darker sections of water…kind of like when you are looking out at the run you can’t see the bottom anymore. That is where the fish are. 

Early January and Feb the slower presentations work better since most prey items, dead salmon particles, and eggs are slow movers when temps are down…and eggs and dead stuff just don’t swim! As the water temps increase, a faster presentation will work (March April)…ahhhh fry emergence is a wonderful thing. When fishing pools or very slow moving water cast and wait a long time for your fly to get down..sometimes I wait for it to hit the bottom…..then strip in 2-3-2-4-2-3 type varied 6″ stips. Works wonders and hang on!

Here is a video that shows that “hidden channel” this run doesn’t exist anymore so I don’t mind sharing! Notice how the fly is barely swinging across the current. May take a while to DL.…1906_hookup.mpg

Tight lines,

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