Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I caught more of these last fall than any other time. That's a good thing. Are you guys down in Puget Sound seeing an increase.
In Washington State, the native char that are anadromous are Bull Trout. There are some Dolly Varden in the state, but I believe they are in a couple of headwater streams. Dolly Varden and Bull Trout are very difficult to distinguish from one another. There three measurable variables (measurements and counts) that were identified by two researchers named Haas and McPhail to differentiate the two species. At one time is was thought that Dolly Varden were distributed on the coast (both anadromous and non-anadromous) and Bull Trout were interior (non-anadromous fomr). Through genetic analysis, it was discovered not to be the case.FWIW, we caught a lot of Dolly Varden off the beaches in Katmai. I imagine they inhabit other coastal areas of AK as well. I had never heard the term Bull Trout before reading these pages. Many of the Dollies we caught were in the 12" to 16" range. We cooked a couple and returned most. This was in the mid 70s.
Shhhh, mums the word.Years ago, we'd fish the northern Whidbey Island beaches about this time of year for SRCs, and occasionally would get into a few bull trout, some of which exceeded 20" and were pretty stocky. Used Dan Lemaich's Puget Sound Minnow...rolled duck flank feather tail, olive chenille body wound with silver tinsel, and a palmered duck flank collar. I wonder if they still patrol those beaches.
Dollies has been the common use name for what we're catching around here on a regular basis. It isn't until I bring one to hand in the several pound range that the term "Bull" seems appropriate.BTW - Even though I know these char are bull trout when I have my fly rod in hand I still tend to think of them as "Dollies"; old habitats die hard!