Bull Trout have finished spawning by the time winter has arrived in late December. For those Bull Trout that are seagoing, they will have retreated from the natal river headwaters.

Bull Trout Winter Location

Some will have moved downstream to deep pools and riffles. Other Bull Trout will migrate far down the river towards the river estuaries. Very few will continue all the way to the sea.

Each stream is different and the Bull Trout will respond accordingly. The best way to know where they are is to study the migratory patterns in the area you will be fishing them.

First check with online government information at both the federal, provincial and state level. These governments offer a large amount of information and it is updated regularly.

Smaller communities also offer information on their web sites, especially communities that isolated or depend on tourism.

Other ways, other than experience, is to ask local bait shops, outfitters and guides.

Winter Ice

Most rivers in the southern part of their distribution will not freeze up, but this cannot be said for the northern part of their distribution.

Ice Fishing

We have largely ignored reservoir and lake based Lake Trout until now. There are many landlocked lakes and rivers that harbour Bull Trout.

For lake bound Bull Trout, ice fishing is an excellent way to catch them. When the weather gets cold and windy, fly fishing can be a little difficult, especially as the line starts to free up. Stick to ice fishing this time of year.

While drilling an ice hole and fishing in the elements can be fun, it can be just as harsh as fly fishing. Consider the use of a fish hut as it provides shelter form the elements.