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My buddy Sam and I had the opportunity to float the Skagit River with local guide and outfitter, Ed Megill of Cascades Fly Fishing. Ed introduced me to spey last year, and ever since I’ve been deeply hooked. Not only is Ed a great guide, but he is a trained instructor and really knows his trade. It was Sam’s turn for a lesson, so while he was receiving his first spey instruction I fished my way through the first fishy looking run.
While fishing through that run, we listened to the rumblings of avalanches tumbling down the steep chutes in the surrounding peaks. The day had warmed up just enough to cause the snow to sluff, and every few seconds we would hear more rumblings in the mountains.
Later in the day, I hooked and lost a nice fish, and it really was a nice fish as they usually are when we lose them. A tailsplash on the surface, and it was gone.
An hour later, and further downstream I managed to hook up to four more fish, all bull trout, landing three to close out the day. The most memorable fish of the day wasn’t the longest, but it sure was the heaviest. Shaped like a football, this was definitely the fattest Bull Trout I have personally seen. I’m generally used to seeing snaky, long and skinny bull trout (dolly varden), but this one had been gorging itself on eggs, salmon flesh, minnows, or whatever it could find.
It was a beautiful and mild winter day, made memorable with the help of a good guide.