Nice Bull Trout from the "M" river

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Greg Holt, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    No doubt a fantastic photo and a demonstrations of tremendous respect for the fish. I wish I knew of legal places other than Canada to target bulls of that size, incidental I totally understand though.
     
  2. Greg Holt

    Greg Holt Active Member

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    Good point, Irafly--you really can't/shouldn't target them in most waters in this state (and they aren't numerous enough in this particular river if you wanted to), but if you happen to hook one now and again, they remind you of how special a trophy they can be, or to be more correct, how fortunate you are to have an encounter...
     
  3. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

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    Great pic...

    I'm not sure I'd be putting any fingers near that mouth though...for my own safety.
     
  4. Greg Holt

    Greg Holt Active Member

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    Yes, for your own safety, it's probably best to leave the catching and handling of such fearsome beasts to the "experts"...;)
     
  5. CLO

    CLO Bonk Hatcheries

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    I was about to freak out about another bull trout/steelhead laying on the rocks for an amateur photo op as seen in the GALLERY RIGHT NOW but great fish handling and awesome bull.
     
  6. the central oregonian

    the central oregonian Member

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    Really, Really awesome pic...and really gutsy to stick your fingers there :)
     
  7. Greg Holt

    Greg Holt Active Member

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    OK, I can see there is some concern here over personal safety, so let me offer my perspective/technique:
    When you grasp such a fish by the wrist of the tail and let him settle down while holding your other hand completely over his head and eyes, he will go into what amounts to a trance that can last for up to a minute, depending on how still you hold yourself, provided he has sufficient water to be fully immersed. One reason you must hold still is to prevent spooking him by making ripples that he can feel with his lateral line. He's basically balancing on his fins, "hiding" alongside your squatted form while you gently restrain his head and tail.

    When you have your camera ready to fire, re-position your upstream hand to allow your fingers to support the open lower jaw, while the curled thumb tip presses into the inside tip of the lower jaw, helping the fish remain upright, but still allowing him to work his jaw in order to breathe! Release the tail, take your photo (If you had an assistant, he could hold the wrist only and avoid any danger from a sudden movement of the fish's jaws, but that is more likely to result in the fish thrashing, since any swimming effort begins near the fish's head).

    After I took the picture, he sat there for at least another ten or fifteen seconds before gently swimming off. I could have/should have taken several more exposures without the hand in the photo, but he was in such slack water that he was struggling to remain upright.

    Absolute worst case scenario: no photo, minor lacerations to the back of the thumb above the knuckle, and a small "scar story". Trust me, I've received far worse injuries from 35 years as a plumber!

    IMO, the result can far outweigh the risk.

    Concession: there is a practical limit as to size and species for which this technique is useful.

    And thanks to the several who offered cautionary words...
     
  8. the central oregonian

    the central oregonian Member

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    well...all I can say is that years ago on the metolius I hooked and landed a dandy bull trout...my buddy got there just after I released the fish, and my finger was covered in blood, he asked what happened, I told him that the dang fish turned and clamped down on my finger before swimming away.......:)
     
  9. Greg Holt

    Greg Holt Active Member

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    Good story!! thanks.

    The few times I've been injured were the result of instinctively trying to pull my fingers away from teeth that are purpose-designed to slant inward (wrong move on my part!), so I caused the most of the damage myself. Experiment by pushing towards a small fish that has closed it's jaws on you--he'll likely open his mouth immediately. Same for most dogs.

    Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated.
     
  10. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

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    I've always wanted to catch a Bull Trout in Nevada, up in the Jarbridge River. Nice trout, or Char I should say. Best of luck to u
     
  11. MarkY3130

    MarkY3130 Active Member

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    Caught a Bull about that size swinging streamers on a T river that feeds into the M river. Must of been July or so of 2012. Was quite a surprise and I was glad it was on my 6 wt and not the 4 wt I had propped up in the brush behind me.
     

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