1:00 to 5:00 P.M.
coastal streams, Sandy and Deschutes Rivers. He guided trout
trips on both the Deschutes River in Oregon and Alberta's Bow River. Tyler also
spent two summers working for a research consulting firm under
contract with ODFW doing
spawning surveys on the Deschutes. In between guiding activities
were forays into Montana to fish the Missouri and the spring creeks of
Much to the disappointment of many clients,
| Tyler retired from guiding
in 1997 do to injuries that prevent
him from rowing a boat. Tyler's
program will be on tying trout flies. Be prepared to gain
some insights from a very experienced retired fly fishing guide.
Refreshments will be served.
by Mark Bachmann
There have been three recorded sightings of Bull Trout in the Sandy River since November of 1999. The first was caught by Kevin May and recorded on film in late fall of 1999. The second was recorded at the Marmot Dam fish trap by ODFW workers a few months later. The third was caught 01/23/02 by Randy Hageman from Prosser, Washington. Digital photos of this fish accompany this article. After a concerted effort by ODFW and USFS, Bull Trout were thought to be extinct within the Sandy River Basin. I have fished the Sandy River basin since 1965
|and this is the first Bull Trout that I have seen taken. Interesting, although the Sandy is fished with all manner of baits and lures, the two angler caught fish were taken on black rabbit strip|
|leech flies. On the day Randy caught his fish, a cold front had dropped the water temperature over-night and the steelhead were shut down. Randy was exploring a deep run with a #4 Black String Leach when I heard him yell and noticed his rod bucking. As I approached,|
fish could seen
in the clear water
fighting against the pull of the line. It didn't look like a
steelhead, but I couldn't tell what it was until it was in very shallow
water. Randy was careful not to drag the fish up on to the
beach. I was able to tail it in the shallow water. The fish
was about 20" long and slender. I explained to Randy that
this was a Bull Trout. When asked what he thought, he said,
"It's kind of small, isn't it?" I replied, "yes,
but it may be one of the real trophy catches of the year. It's definitely
one of the rarest wild salmonids ever caught within in the
There is no possibility of man-made origin. It is gratifying to know that extinction may not be forever after all.
Does catching a Bull Trout within the Sandy River Basin mean that fishery management or angling rules will change? "Doubtful. I casually queried a couple of trusted friends in ODFW. It seems the management strategy is already in place to protect these rare wild fish. And it appears that they are already on the increase under the present system.
During the evening of 01/23/01, I emailed the pictures in this article to Jim Muck and Bob Hooton. The next day they both responded with favorable interest. I also got several calls and emails from other department people about this fish. The news traveled clear across the state through the ODFW pipeline within 12 hours. They were very interested. In context these correspondences ranged from warm and optimistic to cold and feigned disbelief. The general attitude however seems to be, "The things we are doing are allowing wild fish populations to rebuild. No need for change".
At this point I tend to agree. There is evidence that wild fish populations are on the increase. As facts become known, they will be given to you in the "Insider".
Technically they are not trout, but char, a closely related family that has very fine scales and exhibits light dots on a darker back ground. Bull Trout are
|some of the largest naturally occurring resident salmonids in the Pacific Northwest. They fill the same nitch in their environment as barracuda do on a warm saltwater reef. They are the top of the piscatorial food chain. Bull trout start their lives||
||feeding on insects and have a similar life style to rainbows and cutthroats until the reach a length of about 18". Then their diet switches almost entirely to fish. Now they are taking food in much larger bites and can attain a larger average size than the other fish around them. While the diet of an adult bull trout consists largely of other fish, they have been known to eat frogs, snakes, mice and ducklings when provided a suitable opportunity. Where they are|
of Oregon's Bull Trout
Ecology of Bull Trout
The Bull Trout Foundation
|confined to a stream environment larger individuals rarely exceed 10 pounds, but where they can winter-over in large lake, some fish can exceed 30 pounds. Lake Pend O'reille in the Idaho Pan Handle currently holds the world record of 32 pounds 6|
|ounces. Specimens caught from Lake Billy Chinook a man made impoundment in Central Oregon have attained weights in the high 20's. Bull Trout are one of three very closely related west coast chars and where their ranges over-lap they are hard to distinguish from Dolly Varden or Arctic Chars. Both of the latter species are sea run. Bull Trout do not ordinarily go to salt water. However, Bull Trout are highly migratory and may move from one part of a watershed to another. For instance, Bull Trout may move between tributaries of large watersheds such as the Columbia River. This makes population numbers difficult to count. Bull Trout spawn in November and require very cold, oxygenated, silt free water for spawning. Thirty six degrees is considered ideal. These requirements make them very sensitive to man made changes in their habitat and they are considered to be an indicator specie. Of the several Bull Trout populations in Oregon, only two, those in the Deschutes and McKenzie basins are considered to be on the increase. There are many more Bull Trout in the lower 100 miles of the Deschutes River than most anglers realize. That is because in order to catch them, you have to fish specifically for them. Even small Bull Trout exhibit a preference for fish in their diet. Very few Bull Trout are caught on nymphs and even fewer on dry flies. However a large streamer fished very fast on a sinking line will get a strike in nearly every riffle. The Metolius River is open year round and has a great winter population of Bull Trout, some of which will exceed twenty pounds. Try fishing 8" to 12" streamers in some of the larger holes. You might catch a real trophy.|
Because of the overwhelming
demand and an extensive waiting list left over from our March 8-Hour
School, (filled in 8 days) we are offering an April School:
|ST-CLASS-4||8-hour steelhead class with Mark Bachmann, Brian Silvey and Ron Lauzon.||$150||-->SALE ENDED|
|If you would like to read past "Insiders", click Archives|
|Your commentary is always welcome. Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org|
The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR
long & prosper,
Mark Bachmann & Patty Barnes