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Old 07-21-2011, 05:33 PM
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Default Montana bull trout

I'm planning on heading to western Montana to fish and would like to pursue bull trout. I'm not necessarily looking to catch the biggest fish so what waters hold the best numbers? Would I be better off going into Idaho because that is an option.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

There's not a lot of oppurtunity here.. it's pretty limited still

>>
Bull Trout
Hungry Horse Reservoir, Lake Koocanusa and part of the South Fork Flathead River are open for a
regulated and experimental bull trout angling season. When fishing for bull trout each angler must
have in possession a valid Bull Trout Catch Card for the specific water he/she is fishing. Anglers
may select only one of the following areas: A) Lake Koocanusa, or B) Hungry Horse Reservoir and
South Fork Flathead River. Swan Lake is open to angling for bull trout without a special permit. All
other waters are closed to intentional angling for bull trout year around.

Catch Cards are free of charge and are available at the FWP Region One office in Kalispell.
Applications for a catch card are available at the FWP Region One office or online at fwp.mt.gov.
Completed applications must be presented at the regional headquarters or mailed to FWP Bull
Trout Permit, 490 North Meridian, Kalispell MT 59901.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

Thanks for pointing that out. I realize now that I had found that out from previous research but I managed to forget it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

South Fork Flathead would be the place to go to. It is deep in wilderness, so a either a packer guide or really good boots and backcountry experience are required. I've never been, but friends have and it is crazy good bull trout and westslope cutt fishing.

If you are willing to come this far north and are determined to catch bull trout, just go a little further up into Canada. I've heard really things about the Elk River in Fernie, British Columbia.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

Click the image to open in full size.
This was off of the simms catch of the day it was caught out of the south fork of the flathead river in the bob marshall wilderness area.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

are bull trout a member of the char family. i can see many char characteristics in the bull trout that look, well, "charish".


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Old 07-23-2011, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

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Originally Posted by caseywise View Post
are bull trout a member of the char family. i can see many char characteristics in the bull trout that look, well, "charish".


casey
Yes Casey, Bull trout are actually a char.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

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Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
If you are willing to come this far north and are determined to catch bull trout, just go a little further up into Canada. I've heard really things about the Elk River in Fernie, British Columbia.
That's something I'm entertaining but I think I'm going to look into Idaho also. From what I can tell there isn't any widespread restriction on pursuing them in Idaho.
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

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Yes Casey, Bull trout are actually a char.
i grew up catching dolly varden in alaska and would love to get my mits on one of those guys


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Old 07-23-2011, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Montana bull trout

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i grew up catching dolly varden in alaska and would love to get my mits on one of those guys


casey
I don't know taxonomy, but I believe the bull trout is essentially a fresh water dolly varden. I've even heard old timers call bull trout "dollys".

It's definitely a special treat when you catch one. The biggest one I've caught was pushing 30" and 8 lbs.
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