Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blackfoot Gold

Found a new section of the Blackfoot today with Chris. We drove upstream for about 40 minutes and found a road that led to a walk in access site that is less visited than other access sites along the Blackfoot. We also discovered that the land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, something that we have recently learned about in our Natural Resources class. We walked along the path and then cut down to the river where we found some really nice pocket water for nymphing. We started fishing and I spotted one fish rising right off the bat. I missed the fish nymphing and then decided to get out the streamer rod and full sinking line. Some big boulders made some larger slack water downstream so I started swinging my fly through it. I was using my very own invention the M.F. special, a zonker stripped streamer with a chartreuse cone head and orange collar. On the first cast I stripped the fly towards the current seam and as my fly hit the faster choppy water a big head emerged out of the water chasing the fly. The fish turned back to the seam. I immediately made the same cast and stripped the fly in short quick bursts. SMACK! the fish nailed the fly. I thought it was a nice cutthroat but the fish held in the current. As I brought the fish closer I could see it had a dark body. A bull trout again! how fortunate was I to be able to hook up with another one of these super aggressive and rare fish. I brought the fish to shore and snapped a couple photos.

What astounded me about the fish was its width. It had such a wide head and chunky "shoulders". I guess that's where they get their name. The fish also had very beautiful orange and pale spots that extended all the way down its 15 or 16 inch body. I was very happy and I yelled with excitement to Chris that I had landed another Bull Trout. I'm really interested in the Bull Trout and I hope that someday I can maybe do my undergraduate or masters thesis on the species.

After that Chris and I didn't get into anymore good fish. The stretch looked great but for some reason there was a lack of fish. I worked a perfect looking pool nymphing and then went through the entire thing again and worked every inch of water with a streamer with no results. It was still good to find a new stretch of water and even better to hook up with an elusive Bull trout on the second cast of the day with my streamer rod. I will be out somewhere tomorrow and will probably bring the streamer rod again, although its going to be hot one.

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