Sea-run cutthroat fishing by-catch surprise!

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Yesterday I walked into an estuary to fish for sea-run cutthroat that I had not been to in awhile. I was pleasantly surprised to land a 6 to 7 lb. Bull Trout on a 3 1/2 inch tube olive pile worm pattern. The fish put a good bend in the fly rod and made several nice runs.

    Roger

    Attached Files:

  2. Patrick Allen Active Member

    Posts: 400
    Bothell,WA
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    Very nice! Very nice indeed.
  3. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 1,036
    WA
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    Super nice!
  4. Ron McNeal Turtles or universes? I can't decide....

    Posts: 247
    Poulsbo, WA
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    Bet it put a big smile on your face too!!
  5. Eyejuggler Beech Nut

    Posts: 635
    Tacoma
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    Very very cool! Sounds like a hoot of a day!
  6. rory Go Outside

    Posts: 404
    Maple Leaf, WA
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    Great one!
  7. doublebluff Go Beavs

    Posts: 112
    Corvallis, OR
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    Awesome- that'd be a nice surprise. So, is it a dolly varden or a bull trout? techincal question- I would have loved to catch it regardless of what it is called.
  8. Bagman Active Member

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    Poulsbo WA
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    Having never even seen one I even enjoyed the pix. Thanks
  9. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    It is definitely a Bull Trout.

    Roger
  10. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,719
    Olympia, WA
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    Hi DB,
    The reason that Roger can say that so definitely isn't because there are some obvious unique markers that separate one species from the other. But as Roger knows, genetic analysis have demonstrated that bull trout dominate in Washington rivers (and in the salt when they go walk-about in the winter/early spring) (see http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00930/wdfw00930.pdf). Dolly varden are found in Washington but they are confined to a few select upper watersheds.

    Steve
  11. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 408
    Lake Stevens, Washington
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    Thats a sweet bull. I'll take that bycatch anyday.
  12. Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Posts: 788
    Tsawwassen, BC
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    Bull trout are one of my favourite fish to fish for and I feel they are grossly under rated. Either taken on nymphs or streamers they are fun and a good change from the usual trout. Just last week I was fishing one of my favourite bull trout flats where they are known to feed just under the surface. These fish are aggressive and move up to this flat on the incoming tides and on a couple occasions I had them swirl the surface right at my rod tip as I was lifting to re-cast. On one of the occasions I managed to throw back into the fray and he ended up coming back around after missing my fly the first time and I was able to connect. Rezzie bulls are great too bit the sea run bull trout on our BC coastal systems are insanely beautiful fish.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
  13. doublebluff Go Beavs

    Posts: 112
    Corvallis, OR
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    Really interesting stuff. I catch bulls on the Metolius in Oregon, but I've never known of saltwater bulls.

    Go get 'em!
  14. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 1,041
    Puget Sound Beaches
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    Nice fish Roger!
  15. Preston Active Member

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    Please! Read Curt's post in this site's Articles and Reference Info section, it's one of the best and most accurate descriptions of the life history of the bull trout of Puget Sound and the coast you're going to find anywhere. To re-cap what has been posted many times before: the native range of the Dolly Varden does extend as far south as Washington but they are restricted to small, high-elevation tributaries in the Cascades and Olympics, usually above barriers to anadromous migration where they never achieve any significant size. The large, semi-anadromous char of Puget Sound and the coastal rivers are bull trout.

    Roger,
    Congratulations, you caught one a couple of years ago too didn't you? They're not all that common in your neck of the woods. I remember reading about a 13 1/2-pounder caught in the Skokomish River (identified as a Dolly Varden back in those days) but that was probably thirty years ago.

    Here are some pictures for those of you who love the salty bulls as much as I do.

    alaspit6.jpg DSCF0146.JPG Wallpaper1.jpg
    R00k, Alexander, Speyrod GB and 2 others like this.
  16. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Went out chasing after sea-run cutthroat a couple of days ago and had another surprise by-catch. This time it was a several lb. blackmouth. No picture as the fish "throw" the fly pattern as I grabbed the leader for a picture.

    I caught 4 to 5 sea-run cutthroat(12 to 14 inches) on a small olive/white clouser minnow. Saw no chum fry or sea-run cutthroat chasing after any fry. The location where I caught fish should have had chum fry/sea-run cutthroat activity by now.

    Over the years I have occasionally caught Bull Trout down my way.

    The South and North Forks of Skokomish River(above Lake Cushman) both have Bull Trout. In the mid-1970's I helped Jim Johnston(Regional Fisheries Biologist for WDFW) do a fisheries survey on the South Fork above Browns creek. We caught several Bull Trout around log jams. I believe the North Fork has more Bull Trout than the South Fork.

    Roger