April 18, 2012
Fly Fishing For Bull Trout on Lake Billy Chinook

            Bob has been fishing Lake Billy Chinook for Bull Trout the last few weeks and has had some really good days out there casting and stripping streamers for these really aggressive fish. Bob asked me if I wanted to go, and I jumped at the chance to cast streamers to these piscivores.

            With what looked like a beautiful day ahead, we headed out to Billy Chinook with Bob’s boat in tow and a cup of coffee in hand. The weather remained calm with very little wind, warm temps and mostly sunny skies until late afternoon, when the wind kicked up a bit and a light rain started to fall.

            We motored out and started to cover some of the productive water that Bob had recently fished. The day started out pretty slow, with a lot of casting and only a couple follows and one fish on for a few seconds. We moved to another area and the action started to pick up for us, with a lot more follows and another fish on & off. We soon found a few spots that seemed to hold fish and had some action every time we made a pass. We landed five Bull Trout that ran from 16 inches to 22/23 inches, not the monsters that we were looking for, but still a lot of fun.

            We had takes and follows on a number of different patterns, but I got the feeling that we never really had it dialed in because of the number of follows we got without a take. They definitely seemed more attracted to the movement of the fly, than the color of the pattern. Baitfish patterns like the Mushie saltwater fly or Deceivers are good imitations of the Kokanee the Bulls like to eat.

            I was fishing a new Rio Outbound Short type 6 sink-tip with the intermediate running line. This is a boomer of a line when throwing big streamers, needing to get down right away and staying in the zone when stripping fast.

            It wasn’t a big fish or number day, but it was a fun day on the water. You know what they say; “ a slow day on the water is better than a good day at work!”


The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers

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