Hooked on Dollys

First trip for Dolly's went exceptionally well today. After watching the water spike on Friday I thought I wouldn't get the chance but as Lady Luck would have it the water calmed right down and gave me my shot. I Drove up above Wooley today and found a great park with some braids to fish and they were loaded with spawning salmon so I knew I was in the right place. After some local intel I decided to swing some chartreuse clousers and the fish devoured it. The first one was a whale that pushed just over 30 inches and subsequent 8 fish were 20 inches or under; also got a bonus cutthroat. All in all a good first Dolly trip.
Sorry the pics are upside down


David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
That is a big ol dolly for sure. I once saw a 30" bull trout on my side of the state, but it was a noodle. Yours is tubby.

Nice work!


Active Member
Nice looking fish; both char and trout.

Did you happen to notice what species of salmon were spawning nearby; coho or chum?
Now that your first trip is behind you, join the rest of us in saying "Bull Trout.". Dollies live in Alaska, yo.

I'm also jealous of that toad, btw.


Waters haunt me....
Wow!! That is a definite toad there! Been lucky enough to catch a few 27+ in the past but never that long and definitely not that porky.

Beautiful fish. Thanks for sharing


Active Member
Some dandy fish for sure!

It is pretty cool how those fish just "blow up" post spawn when they can access to a huge food resource such as that provided by this year's huge pink run. Those effects are multiplied when we don't have high waters that was the carcasses and loose eggs out to sea.

The basin's bull trout population has recovered nicely since that devastating impacts from the 2003 flood. It just has been the last year or so that those larger fish are becoming more common in the population though there still is a lack of true monsters yet (just a matter of time until enough time passes to allow those giants to reach their potential).

Simlpebugger -
While it is certainly true that both Dolly Varden and bull trout can be found in Washington it is the case that genetic testing has confirmed that the Puget Sound anadromous native char are bull trout. There are localized populations (head water residents) of Dolly Varden in the Skagit basin but they have been confirmed only in Thunder Creek (trib to Diablo Lake) and some of the smaller Skagit tribs above Ross in BC.

In the article & reference section of this site there is a thumbnail sketch of Skagit bull trout info that you may find interesting; see -



Greg Price

Love da little fishies
Simple bugger,

Thanks for sharing your most excellent catches.

I caught my first char last weekend. It was 8" and I was thrilled.

I wonder if monsters like the ones you caught are available in the Puyallup/Carbon river system.

If anyone who fishes the Puyallup system and is willing to share secrets with me, I am all ears.

Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
I hope when I tell someone I caught a Dolly from the Skagit drainage they know what I'm talking about. I'll probably never call them Bull Trout.

Those are some fatties Dollies you found.

Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
Also I would add that you beadheads out there take note that he caught these fish with a streamer on fish that were most likely eating eggs. I know Dollies aren't Methow steelhead but it's worth noting. I've seen guys fishing egg patterns with bobbers behind redds for SRC and I just don't get it. I just felt like stirring the pot.