Tuesday, March 29, 2005

First Bull

I still remember the date; December 6, 2002. It had been a very dry autumn and the Devil River was flowing below 1500cfs. I took advantage of the low-water conditions and headed up there to hopefully catch my first bull trout.
I found what looked like a fishable run; even, slow current and medium depth over a cobble botton. being new to fishing rivers I wasn't sure what good water was suppose to look like but I was confident that it might look something like this run.
I was casting my 9' 9" 7 weight rod with a floating line and #6 white streamer. I don't remember much about the streamer except that it had lead eyes and some rabbit fur tied into it.
I do remember when that first fish hit. My fly was swinging through the current until it just stopped. I raised my rod tip and felt the dull throbs of a fish's head shaking back and forth. I knew that a fish was on I just hoped that it wasn't a chum. In years since I have discovered that this is a familiar feeling when fishing for bull trout during a early winter.
The fish put up the sort of spirited battle that convinced me that it was not a half dead salmon. Right on!
What I remember most about this fish was its invisiblity. Though the river ran crystal clear and I could see exactly where my leader ended I could only bare see that bull trout. The sunlight played off of her iron grey flanks and pale yellow spots as if the she was the rocky river botton itself.
I have a couple of photps of my first bull trout but I like this one the best. It shows how I was so nervous and excited that I couldn't wait to land her before I took her picture.

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