My buddy Chris has had a rough last couple of weeks. He has just come into the world of streamer fishing. I must say he's been doing everything right but sometimes even presenting your fly perfectly won't land you a fish. We've basically been fishing our asses off these past 2 weeks and after Friday we decided we'd make a day trip to the Blackfoot. "Today is your day" I said to Chris as we walked out the front doors of our dorm. It was about 9:30 am as we headed for the Blackfoot. We got to the stream at about 11am and the temperature outside was 35 degrees. It was going to be chilly to start.
The first section we decided to fish was the section where I had the 26" bull trout attack my rainbow trout in August. We fished for a little bit and then I had Chris come down to where I was to fish the deep slot where the Bull trout attack had occurred. I waded out to the edge of the slot with Chris and watched as he worked the water well. We moved down a couple steps and he experimented with different stripping techniques. We were about to move down again and the fly was about 15 feet downstream. All of the sudden Chris screams "woah!" I looked and saw that Chris's fly had been hammered. It was a small bull trout but Chris was more excited than ever. "That was so awesome" he said as we neared the bank. Chris brought the fish to shore and posed for a picture with his first fish on a streamer and first Bull Trout ever. He was happy as can be.
Chris released the fish and got right back out on the water. It was great to see him so excited. Now, like Garret on the Missouri a few weeks ago (see Streamer Express post), Chris loves streamer fishing. We fished down the run for a while and each of us had no more strikes. We got back to the car and drove to the section where I caught the huge Bull Trout on Friday. We fished for a while up near the access point. I missed a fish while reeling in. Then we headed downstream to the section where I saw plenty of fish a few days ago. We fished the deep boulder pockets and about 10 minutes in I hooked up with a nice colored bull trout of about 18 inches.
We continued on downstream. I missed another fish while reeling in and I was getting frustrated that I wasn't connecting on my hook sets. We fished for a little while and just as I told Chris we should move down, he hooked up. The fish was decent and I could see it flashing deep in the run. Chris fought the fish well and kept it from moving downstream into faster moving water. He got the fish close enough to the bank to where I could grab the leader. It was a nice Bull Trout and Chris was stoked. It was the biggest fish he's landed so far in Montana.
What a way to end the day. The two weeks of fishless outings and hard work had finally payed off for Chris. I've never seen him happier and I had a great time today just watching him land some nice fish. Landing 3 fish on a rainy and cold day is a good day of streamer fishing. It was very cold today and we didn't see the temperature rise above 40 degrees once from when we started to when we ended. The Bull Trout (obviously), are very active now as they are in pre-spawn mode. I'm hoping to hook up with a big brown on the Blackfoot soon. Bowrns are also pre-spawn and should be very aggressive into November.