Quote Originally Posted by herefishy View Post
Just curious about the Bull Trout, John. With all the time you have put in on the Lochsa, have you seen any?
... on the Lochsa, Karen.

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.