Black and White on the Blackfoot

We all love bull trout. Those cold, clear-water loving predators of the upper reaches of the Blackfoot are the kind of sleek fish that inspire a lifelong dedication to conservation in river bums everywhere. An encounter with a big salvelinus confluentus has a way of making a man eschew all other flies and huck the big meat like a career at the Pike Place Market is in their near future, and respect the kind of unique and special ecosystems that allow bullies to flourish.

Oh, you thought your shuttle driver barely knew how to back up a trailer let alone fish?
You must’ve been thinking of some other guy.
T. Boyle on the banks of the Blackfoot, with another one for the books.

As they say down at FWP, “No black, put it back” referring to the lack of black markings on a bull trout’s dorsal fin. When you’re handling these beauties, a quick shot and back in the drink. Western Montana’s rivers are counting on you to keep these bad boys around for a long time.


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