The Start of Bull Trout Season

We were the only fly fishers on the river today!

In years past we could have easily been stuck in snow on February 24th. The Squamish river valley logging road is notorious for being ‘snowed shut’ around km 21 leaving only the lower river as a fishable option. Not so this year. There’s a nice snow pack higher up but down near valley bottom it feels like Spring is just days away.

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Late Feb in search of Bull’s

So we have nice weather today and an entire Squamish river with no other anglers spotted. Will there be willing Bull Trout to latch onto a carefully woven shag of colored feathers? Time will tell.

As with early season up here you have to cover water. So we did. Did I mention this was a fly fishing lesson trip and a guided trip all in 1? Now I have. So there is plenty to achieve today.

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Swinging streamers thru prime water!

We fished upper river first thing in the morning on a couple of gorgeous runs that certainly looked fishy. 1 quick strike was all that materialized here. So we worked our way down river.

By mid day my client was doing OK with casting and presenting the fly in a manner that would certainly initiate a strike. The water was very clear and the sun beating down on us. I wished it were raining. We had to fish water that had good cover. We focused on areas of the runs that had chop, riffles and structure.

A perfect section of our last run had everything going for it. The head of a run with plenty of choppy cover and bigger rocks. This looked like a sure thing I thought. And then it was! He was hollering “I got one!”. I saw a severely bent and pumping rod while hearing a deep sploosh and thrash at the surface. Sounds like a great fish I thought. Then it was gone!

Get your line back in the water I said. I knew there’s more fish out there. 2 minutes later he had another one on. Unfortunately with the same outcome. 2 very nice fish lost. A third chance didn’t materialize.

As we head into March the salmon fry will be emerging from the rocks and Bull Trout will be on the feed. This is when it gets good! And never pray for nice sunny days in most cases. Fishing is always better on rainy days with a little color in the river.

Best Fishes – Brian


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