It’s time for bull trout on Lake Billy Chinook

As readers of this blog know, the pursuit of bull trout using fly fishing gear dramatically changed with the reintroduction of steelhead and spring chinook salmon in the Upper Deschutes Basin.  Prior to this, fly anglers would target bull trout chasing kokanee smolts in late winter and early spring as they moved out of the Metolius River. (The Metolius arm of LBC opens March 1, be sure to get your tribal permit.)  Since reintroduction efforts began, however, salmon and steelhead have been planted in the Crooked and Middle Deschutes Rivers and their tributaries, making those arms of LBC attractive places to fish as well.  This year there will be no salmon smolts planted due to insufficient hatchery production.  100,000 steelhead smolts will be released, however, half into the Crooked and half into the Deschutes.  The first release is scheduled for tomorrow, February 23rd, in a tributary of the Crooked River. There will be 10 releases in total, the last occurring on April 27th.