Autumn is spawning time for the Salmonide family of which the Charr and Bull Trout are a member. During this time, it is imperative to practice catch and release to make sure the spawning numbers are at their highest.

Endangered Species

In many parts of their distribution, their habitat is under the influence of mining and forestry which stirs up their water and adds sediment to the rivers.

In Alberta in the 1960s, anglers were encouraged to catch the bigger fish as this was believed to help their numbers, but what this did was encourage over harvesting. As a result, numbers in Alberta are much lower now.

While it might seem irresponsible to promote Bull Trout autumn fishing techniques, we understand that the techniques for catching Bull Trout are the same as other popular game fish found in the same habitat like Coho Salomon, Steelhead Salmon, Dolly Varden and Pacific Salmon to name a few.

We also aim to promote knowledge of the Bull Trout, how to identify the fish an methods of fishing that reduce the risk of death. If we can help anglers identify these fish and release them, we are happy to make a positive contribution to the fishing community and the environment.

Bull Trout Fishing Techniques

As with all river fishing, fly fishing is the absolute best form of fishing regardless of it being for Salmon, Trout, Charr or even Bass.

There are fewer frustrations as dry flies seldom get caught on rocks and other underwater debris in the same way that casting methods are prone to.

Most of the fish caught in Bull Trout river habitat are not much bigger than four to six pounds. As such we recommend going with nothing more than medium weight tackle.

If you are fishing streams with small Bull Trout and other species, ultra light tackle will provide for a better experience. Line weight should be no more than about 6 pounds and no more than eight pounds when using medium tackle on larger fish.

If you have never tried fly fishing, we suggest renting your gear from an outfitter or tackle shop. If there are none in your area, consider renting a guide that offers full tackle.

Fly fishing gear can cost as much as casting gear so there is no need to jump into fly fishing unless you are sure it is for you.

Flies for Catching Bull Trout

Again, all migratory fish like Bull Trout will go after whatever bait are the most popular in the river at a given time. In selecting flies, pick those that replicate the most popular insects or bait fish. We suggest working with dry flies at first as wet flies require a little more skill.