This past Sunday my father and I had a beautiful and unreal day of fishing on the Big Blackfoot and its tributaries. Montana’s mountainous rivers and streams are in full fishing force…no Bull about it. While spending a beautiful morning together catching cutthroat, the last thing we expected was a giant 31-32” 12lb+ Bull Trout to engulf my Kit’s Tackle Marabou jig. I will add that this was an incidental catch of a species of concern while fishing for cutts so we were able to lift the fish for a few quick photos and then quickly return the majestic creature to his home. A Bull Trout of this size is an ancient fish that is probably 20-25 years old, so reviving him and watching him return to the depths was so awesome! I have to admit, a fish of this magnitude and beauty, while sharing the experience with my father, is definitely in the top three experiences I have ever encountered in my life.
So here’s the story…
Once again, just being in the mountains of Montana (not to mention holding a fishing pole) is a humbling experience in itself. Then, throw in the fact I was with my dad who is my partner and best friend in any outdoor adventure. It’s the memories of magic and the true wild experience that makes it all so gratifying at days end. Anytime you can introduce a kid or someone new to the outdoors and fishing you could change their life…or create a monster like dad did to me!!! I dream all day and night of fish like the giant Bull that fell for my jig on Sunday in that giant pool of rapids.
After catching a half dozen or so beautiful cutthroat trout we could see an enormous hole coming up on the river with falls pouring into it creating a turbulent back eddy. As my excitement grew (as it always does approaching a good looking hole) I looked to dad and said, “If there is a big fish anywhere in this river it’s in that ocean of a fishing hole.” My dad sent me in and as I got ready to cast, I was envisioning a 20”+ cutthroat trout and I could barely contain myself. I made a perfect cast into the whitewater at the bottom of the falls. I jigged one time and POW, like I had snagged a Boeing 737 jumbo jet flying down river. My drag screamed like my wife watching a scary part in a horror movie and I took off running after the giant. About the time we figured I must have snagged a beaver, the torpedo shaped beast came out of the water like a porpoise whale and I almost fainted. I yelled, “Giant Bull Trout Dad!!!!” as I scrambled down the banks of the river fighting the fish. When things were already at high nerve my feet came out from under me and I landed on my shoulder and was half knocked out lying in the river. Coming to, I still had my rod in hand and the drag was still ripping and dad was yelling, “Get your butt up!!!”
After about another quarter mile of river and the most epic battle I have ever had on rod and reel, I placed my hands on the true “Dream” in our slogan “Jiggin’ the Dream.” As I looked at this magnificent creature that looked as if it was painted by nothing else than a few swoops of gods paintbrush I realized how truly blessed I am. Not only was this one of the most magical and wild experiences of my life, it was with my father whom has instilled this burning passion of the outdoors into me. So cheers to Giant Bull Trout, sharing memories, the love of wild places and of course…”Jiggin’ the Dream.”
We caught all of our fish on the Kit’s Tackle Pro Series Marabou jigs. Black and Brown/Orange were the most productive flavors on our adventure. Here is a link to the Kit’s Tackle “Pro Series” Marabou jigs.