The Last Day on the Bull Trout Waters

by | Mar 17, 2023 | fly fishing for bull trout | 3 comments

Lake-Billy-ChinookIt has been nice to fish almost every day this week.  Its finally hitting me that my winter show tour is in the rearview.  Today was my last day fishing here in Central Oregon with my friend Scott Robertson.  It’s a bummer, but I suspect it won’t be long before we’re back together.  Being it was our last day; we left his house at 5:30 AM and motored off the Lake Billy Chinook boat ramp at sunrise.


flyfishingAlong with us was another buddy of mine, Micah Kruger, better known as “Meeks”.  Meeks worked for me at the Jackson Hole Fly Shop back in the early 2000’s.  He left around 2008 and we did a good job of staying in touch, that is until the Covid.  I in fact tried to call him recently and his phone number was finished.  I wondered if we’d ever meet again.  But wouldn’t you know – I ran into him at a bar in Bend last week.  Imagine that?


Billy-ChinookI introduced Meeks to Scott and his wife Sarah at the bar and we talked about getting Meeks on the water with us.  Today was the day.  And not only was it a ton of fun for me to re-connect with Meeks, he and Scott hit it off and I suspect they will be fishing together in the future.


bull-troutThough sunny and calm, it was cold.  These pics don’t show how cold, but between 7 AM and 10 I was as cold as I’ve been yet this year.  It was brutal and the only day we’ve had ice in our guides.


MeeksOne of the reasons we went for the early start was to be first at a new area we stumbled on to a few days ago.  Since then, every time we’ve come another boat was there.  Well, we missed it again.  So instead, we fished a polite distance away.  Meeks quickly laid into a nice bull trout but then it went quiet for us.  Quiet for about two hours.  Meanwhile, the other boat caught about ten.  Ten to our one!


bull-troutGetting out fished isn’t the usual for me.  When it happens, I turn on the surveillance.  After each and every cast I made, once I started stripping, I put both eyes on our neighboring boat.  There were some differences, the guy in the bow was hucking Rapalas.  The guy in back was tossing a jig.  But flies can easily compete with both.  Hands down, it was the spot.  Their boat was dead on top of a school of bull trout.


OregonI’ve said it before, patience always prevails.  And patience prevailed once again.  But success didn’t come from relentless casting from our location.  Nor from changing flies or stripping techniques.  We finally started catching them after the spin guys left and we moved into the spot.  That was all it took.  It wasn’t by any means every cast, but we went on to land about six big beautiful bull trout.


Scott-RobertsonWe made it an early day but not before hitting our regular hotspot.  It was warm by now and the sun was bright enough we could see over the sandy bottom shallows.  It was amazing because we could spot some cruising bulls.  I made a cast at the first one we saw and he made a b-line for my fly.  Flats fishing for bull trout!


RobertsonsWe got a few other shots on the flats but the fish got smart quick and disappeared.  That’s about when we called it.  Despite all kinds of weather challenges the last two weeks while we were here in OR, our fishing has been close to superb!


A special thanks goes out to Scott and Sarah Robertson.  Granny and I have spent two entire weeks here in Bend as their guests.  They took me to my gigs and while Scott and I fished, Sarah and Granny got into all kinds of mischief.  It’s been a great visit.  But this isn’t the end of OR winter 2023, next stop is over on the Columbia River with my friend Mike LaSota and his wife Beata.  Live the good times to the fullest while you can!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lance

    Good people and good times!! Hard to beat….. then you add in good fishing and the jealousy starts in! Living the life, enjoy!

  2. Jeff

    You get it Lance – a great day on the water!

  3. Howie

    Those Bull trout are gorgeous!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!