Haven't seen any bull trout ....
... on the Lochsa, Karen.
Originally Posted by herefishy
About a year ago, I was swimming a rubber legs stonefly nymph around in a very large, deep hole. The indicator went down, the rod tip went up, and for about 20-30 seconds a very large, strong fish, which I could not see, swam in circles.
Then he hunkered down. I could feel him move, but I couldn't move him. I was fishing a 7 wt rod and using 2X tippet. For a minute or two I tried to lift him, and couldn't. Finally, I pulled hard enough that the tippet let go, and the fish went bye-bye with the fly.
My initial impression was that it must have been a big bull trout, and it may well have been. But a fellow that I talked to mentioned that some steelhead do the same thing ( hold on the bottom rather than run ), so it is possible that that fish was a steelhead. Or as a far outside possibility, a chinook salmon since they were running right through that hole and do occasionally grab something - but I don't think a salmon would have held like that ??
I did hook one steelhead on a stonefly nymph a couple months ago, and lost him when he pulled free of the hook. I saw that one close enough and clearly enough to be sure it was a steelhead - in the 22-24" range. And last fall, a very large fish ate one of my FEB October Caddis and popped a 4X tippet like it was fly tying thread. That was almost certainly a steelhead.
An acquaintance, fishing FEB Salmonflies that I gave him on the Lochsa, hooked and landed a 15" bull trout about two months ago, and hooked a couple steelhead, one of which he landed, about the same time.
The fish are always right.