View Full Version : Back in the mountains - A fishing report

07-21-2012, 10:47 PM
Today was my long waited first trip for 2012 to a secret bull trout location somewhere in Idaho. As it is a bit of a drive Jeremy and I left fairly early (0400). I must be getting old or something, normally in the past I had no issues getting 3-4 hrs of sleep then fishing. Today however, I was pretty tired when I woke up.

Having all my gear ready, I loaded the truck quickly when Jeremy got to my house. After a quick stop at Jack, we were on our way. The whole drive up I was fighting to stay awake. Finally at some point on the access road I dozed off for a bit. I woke back up when we were pretty close to the destination. A short time later we were at the first spot.

Once there I began to rig up, I was pretty excited to fish for these guys again. Now this hole isn’t the best place for two people to fish. We started off by taking turns. First up was Jeremy. He hooked one rather quickly; however after a very brief fight he got off.

I was up next, after a few casts I hooked up with one. This thing had some serious power as it was not a small fish at all. He actually took to the air once during the incredible fight. Just when I would make headway he would run again. Once he was in close I could see his size. The fish was at least 29” and scrappy. Now in my excitement I made a critical error. You see this hole doesn’t have a great spot to actually land these guys, so Jeremy climbed down the rocks to assist. I wanted him to get a pic so I quit paying attention to the fish and went to hand him my camera. At that moment with some slack in the line the fish bolted into a rock structure and my line became stuck. There was no way for me to horse that fish out of there without causing serious damage to the fish. Realizing this I pointed my rod tip at the fish and broke him off.

Now it was Jeremy’s turn. As I was tying on another fly Jeremy hooked an absolute beast. I finished re-rigging up as he was fighting the fish. Once it was in close I went down the rocks to land it. The fish was in close but when it saw me it bolted. This fish was a bit bigger than the one I had hooked. Jeremy regained control and started to bring the fish in. Then in the ultimate F.U. move the fish rolled slightly and I saw the hook come out of its mouth.

After that it was time to sit back for a few and take a break… I took a couple shots to pass the time.



We fished this spot for a bit longer; each of us hooking but not landing one more. At that point we decided to give the hole a rest and head upriver.



After much of nothing upriver, we decided to head back to the first spot. Unfortunately as we came around the corner there was a truck parked in the turnout. There were two guys fishing the run, as we drove away one of the guys hooked up. Dammit, we should have stayed put…

Heading down river we hit another spot that has produced in the past. At first it didn’t seem like there was anything there. Then Jeremy hooked a cutt. As he fought the cutt, two large bulls emerged and tried to eat it. Jeremy landed the cutt quickly and I took a pic.


A short time later I got a hit and it was a cutt, like with the first one the bulls tried to grab it. I quickly landed him and sent him on his way.


Ok these guys want big so I tied on the largest ugliest sculpin pattern I had in my box. Long story short, I had two weak hook sets and Jeremy had two as well. After that the fish were pretty spooked and wouldn’t take anything we threw at them.
So it was time to move on… We decided to head up a different trib and check out some of the deep holes.

07-21-2012, 10:47 PM

After only getting cutts in the first two spots we decided to rethink things. So we put away the heavy guns, broke out the light gear and fished dries. I decided to put the camera away as well. Fishing up the trib was pretty fun. We were catching some pretty feisty cutts and on the 0wt they sure were fun. Although it was a different type of fun than fighting big fish on heavy gear.

The final F.U. came on what was the last run of the day. On the trib there was this nice long run with several deep areas. I was fishing the bottom of the run and Jeremy started in the middle and was working upstream. I had just finished releasing a cutt when Jeremy came down to where I was at. He said to me “looks like we have one more chance today”. I asked him what he was talking about, and then he told me. Up by those two rocks and that log there are 6 large bulls and 4 chinook. Now bear in mind that the bulls were the targets not the Chinook as the season is over. I said B.S. but could tell that he was serious.

After a quick trip to the truck I had my 7 re-rigged up and was ready to go. Now where these fish were holding was about the worst place. It was basically impossible to get a drift to them because of where they were in relation to the two rocks and log. After much of nothing except a cutt trying to grab my streamer, Jeremy said he was done. He left and I decided to give it a few more casts. However I could not manage to get my fly deep enough quickly enough. Basically I needed the fly to get down to the bottom as soon as it landed. Well that’s not going to happen, so I decided to call it as well as it was pretty late.

Today was an odd day, had I gone there to fish for cutts I would have said it was a great day. Unfortunately I was there to catch bulls. Almost landing one and having some more come off during the fight doesn’t quite make a great day. A fun day yes but not great.

07-21-2012, 10:49 PM
Nice pics/report! Thanks for sharing!

07-22-2012, 7:11 AM
Thrillbilly, reading your narratives and seeing your photos all the time makes me envious. Keep up the good work.

07-22-2012, 11:11 AM
idaho huh??????

07-23-2012, 7:15 PM
idaho huh??????

Yea, I tend to fish in Idaho quite a bit. Actually I mostly only fish there and the neighboring states ;)

07-23-2012, 7:30 PM
Beautiful pics again TB. I'm jealous, I miss Idaho.