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How to fish for Bull Trout

Bull Trout are found in lakes, streams, and rivers from sea level to high elevations in the mountains. The primary food source for Bull Trout are insects, and other fish. Bull Trout are known for their appetite. The cold water in which they live limits food sources so the Bull Trout has been known to eat anything it can get its mouth around, including the odd mouse, frog, or snake, Bull Trout will rarely pass up an easy meal. They are tremendous fighters that battle from the second that they are hooked until you land them.
The best presentations for Bull Trout are ones that resemble baitfish. Spin casting with jigs, minnow imitating crank baits, spoons, and spinners are all productive methods of fishing for Bull Trout. For fly fishing the most effective flies are big streamers.
Spin casting for Bull Trout can be done with a 7 foot medium action graphite spinning rod with a matching reel spooled with 8 to 12 pound test line. Lures that can entice a strike from Bull Trout are Aglia Streamer Single Hook, Aglia Spin Fly, DeepRunner Plain Single (size 1), Thunder Bug Plain Single, Gibbs Croc (1/16 oz and 3/8 oz in colors to match baitfish or all chrome), Gibbs SIL-VEX in chrome, #2 Rooster tails (black/red), #1, #2 Blue Fox Vibrax (gold/silver), and #2 Panther martins. For Bull Trout lures should have a single barbless hook as Bull Trout are catch and release only in most areas.
When it comes to fly fishing for Bull Trout a 9 foot graphite rod that is a 5 to 8 weight with a matching disc drag reel will work for most areas. When fishing for Bull Trout use a short 3 to 4 foot 0X to 2X leader on a sinking tip line. If you're using a floating line try tying on a 12 to 14 foot leader with a weight or a bead head fly. Bull trout hang near the bottom of deep pools, especially if there's a tributary nearby depositing fresh, cold, clean water.
Flies that have produced for Bull Trout are mottled sculpins, Muddler Minnows, woolhead sculpins, Double Bunnies, Bead head Wooly buggers, rubber-leg Woolly Buggers, Zonkers, bull heads, black stone flies, Clouser deep Minnows and any larger streamer type flies that represent minnows. In salmon bearing streams and rivers during spawning season single egg patterns also work well.


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