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27 Sep

Bulls on the Skagit

Author: Travis

That's a Big Thumb!

   Yesterday I spent the afternoon with one of my former loves. She is still as beautiful as I remembered her. It had been a long time since I had fished the Skagit and Sunday I found myself standing  on Chittenden bridge staring into her deep green pools.  The plan was for Nick Pace and I to gather some steelhead footage for the film. A special opening of the Coquihalla River in near Hope, B.C. presented Nick the chance to wake a few dry flies for some summer run steelhead, close to home. Reports were that the fishing was EASY for 5lb. to 8lb. steelhead, above the Othello tunnels on the Coq. Well, that was before the fall rains set in. In fact,  probably more like around the low, gin clear water of late August, while I was still shooting in Montana. Undaunted, because Nick  has been stung hard by the Steelhead bug and is willing to go anywhere anytime for a chance at steel on the dry, I was at his house at 4am Sunday and off we went over the Coquihalla pass. We arrived at Hope at around 7am to a full blown coast mountain, only in Hope B.C. can it rain this hard, torrential down fall. The Coq had good vis though but as we found some water and geared it up... the river found some water and blew out. It rose a foot in half and hour and dirtied to around a foot viz.  Nick, ever the optimistic steelheader said it was good and away he went. I was left trying to figure out whether not I should call Simms to make a proper rain coat for my camera.  Everything got soaked of course. We finally found a nice run and it stopped raining long enough to shoot a quick segment and Nick did hook up only for a moment.  I think he was so surprised that he didn't even get a chance to set the hook properly. At 9:30 I told Nick about a little steelhead stream I had fished nearly 10 years ago and hopefully it wouldn't be blown out. Off we went,when that didn't pan out we set our sites on one of my former haunts, Skagit river above Ross Lake Resevoir.  I used to love fishing the Skagit, it's an incredibly beautiful river, deep in the Cascade mountain range just north of the Washington state border. In the 60's, Seattle Light and Hydro impounded the Skagit on the American side of the border for hydro and Ross Lake Resevoir was formed, flooding into Canada. Ross is great habitat for Bull trout and it was the Bulls that I was hoping to target when we got to the Skagit. As soon as I stepped on to Chittenden bridge, the clouds broke, the sun came out and  I spotted 5 nice sized bulls. We were only a short distance up from the lake and these Bulls were fresh from Ross. They were ripe for the picking and Nick and I got some great footage and landed a few bulls before the clouds moved in and we had to head home. Even I got in on the action! That River's Edge hat has got some serious MOJO I took only one cast yesterday and landed this Bull.     More Later     T>    

T-Man gets in on the Action!

2 Responses to “Bulls on the Skagit”

  1. Nick Pace says:

    That was a great day for sure Travis. I’m still amazed how that trout took that big pink steelhead pattern to end my day. lol ! Maybe one of those diva trout. I did like that way your bull trout took some serious line out, making that Ross reel sing.
    Next time we should defiantly eat a Skinny’s in Hope.
    Cheers Nick

  2. Travis says:

    Nick

    The Ross did sing after I ratched back the drag on the thing!
    You had that MOFO cranked DOWN!
    Me, let’em be free… run fishy RUN!

    T>


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