Regional Reports-West

Lake Billy Chinook

The bull trout is well-named: Full-grown, this fish can give a lake trout a run for its macho money. Oregon anglers anxiously await the first day of March to head out after trophy bulls up to 15 pounds in the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook, in central Oregon, just north of Redmond on Route 97. The state record came out of this reservoir in 1989, a bruiser weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces. The bag limit is one fish over 14 inches. Trolling Rapalas and other deep-diving lures close to shore in 20 to 30 feet of water is a prime method. As the weather warms, try casting lures to shore. One secret is to look for the presence of kokanee salmon, the bull trout's favorite prey, and match your lures to the bait. Local guides recorded days last year when clients caught 15 fish a day up to 28 inches long. Contact: Oregon Fish and Wildlife Division (503-338-0106).