Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As I was reading, I came across Tom Travis' WB Ant patterns and decided to try my favorite ant in a lighter shade.  Luckily, I already had some pink foam around, and it didn't take long to whip some up.  Not really sure why I put the white on top, other than it just seemed right.  I considered adding more color variations to my box, but didn't have time before leaving this morning for a solo trip to a favorite stream of mine.  Thinking it might take some doin', I set out with the goal of catching a fish on one of these flamboyant flies.

This morning was pretty cold, even a bit colder than I was planning on, and I was greeted by freshly fallen snow on the summit.  I never really thought about wussing out, which I'll take as a good sign, but I knew I should've brought some more warm clothes.

I could see that braving the cold would totally be worth it when I managed some early success.  This brown hit a Rainbow Warrior that I was working as a dropper off my Pink Ant.  Over the past few years I think I've gotten a lot better at fishing nymphs, both as droppers and with an indicator, and this added skill has helped me turn days that would be tough situations into successful trips.  Makes me eager to continue to learn and practice more.
Not a bad way to start.

After moving on to the next likely spot, it only took two casts to get this fish to take my Pink Ant.  The little guys just slammed it!  It was like he was trying to wipe out the abomination!  Fine by me, another pattern for me to play with.
Mission accomplished!  But I still kept the pink on for most of the day...
After getting into some more fish in the next couple holes, using the Pink Ant and a combination of a sow bug and a BH Hare's Ear, I came up on this Brown Trout feeding like crazy.  First cast he came up and took a close look at the Pink Ant but refused to take it.  It took everything in me not to set the hook prematurely, which of course would've soured any chance I had at catching him, but I managed it just barely.  After waiting a few minutes, and watching to see when he returned to feeding, I once again began casting to him only to miss him when he tasted my dropper!  I thought it was all over at that point, but still I tried to be patient and wait him out.  Once he began feeding again I carefully casted just ahead of him and he took the dropper.  No mistakes this time!  I had a solid hook-set and was playing the fish.  Unfortunately, he did not like the game and was pushing my 4/5 wt. to its limits.  After a long fought battle (and a quick pic) I tried my best to revive him.  But it was to no avail as he just wouldn't recover.  Luckily, I was prepared to take a fish home and my family was happy to have a nice dinner.  Interestingly, when I was cleaning the fish I found 5 crawdads and a fish skeleton inside him.  Crazy to think he had all that in him, and he was still feeding so aggressively.
Biggest fish of the day at 21"

 Beautiful Rainbow that fought like a champ!

After the nice Brown Trout, I was ready to declare the day a success.  So I began fishing more quickly, trying to make some headway back towards my car, and fishing only my favorite spots.  I must know how to pick them!  The above Rainbow Trout, that actually has faint orange slashes suggesting that it may be a Cut-bow, took my nymph to the air!  After a couple of good runs, jumps, and a little tail walking it was back to trying to make my way back to the parking area.  But I just couldn't help and fish one more spot that provided me with the fourth trout species for the day, a Tiger Trout.  It isn't very big, but it still counts!
 Not pretty, but it's still a Tiger Trout.

The last fish of the day, a nice Cutthroat on the pink.

Not everyday could be like this, it'd be boring, but I'm sure glad that some of them are.  Hopefully you can get out and enjoy the water.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birthday Fish

Nothing like crappy weather to try out a new tent with the family.  So with the spring turning cold and wet again we took to the hills to get a little camping in.  This year was a bad one as far as snowpack's concerned, so I figured we'd be able to get up to a lake that I've been fishing on and off since I was really young.  "Really young" can be a relative term, but I don't remember going to this lake for the "first time" which is where the feeling of always knowing it's been there comes from I guess.  Even though I've never put any serious time in on it, I feel I know it pretty well just from stopping for a few minutes now and again.  

Coming up over Fairview Canyon the weak winter followed by a warm spring was in evidence.  Huntington Reservoir (Mammoth) had open water around the edges (with quite a few people fishing), and Cleveland Reservoir was completely ice free (with no one around).  There was very little snow on top for this early in the year which will make for a rough summer, as far as flows go, later on.  But with the lack of water comes streams that clear off earlier, and in some cases don't get real high at all, so there's always an upside, unless you're a farmer.  Huntington Creek looks to be in good shape below Electric Lake (also ice free) for about the first mile or so until you get a feeder creek in the recently burned area.  Some people are very optimistic about the burned areas, especially with the low run-off this year, but I'm still pretty skeptical.  I think it'll be at least another year before things start to get stabilized.  Another year (unless the DWR drops some catchable sized fish in there) before those areas are worth fishing.  Part of me hopes the fish do get planted, and hopefully they're Native Cutthroats.  I really enjoy fishing a stream that has multiple species in it because it keeps the catching interesting even when if they aren't particularly large.  Now I know that there already are Cutts in the Huntington, but the Right Fork, and even the lower Left Fork, has been predominantly Brown Trout and it'd be nice to help the Cutts gain a larger foothold.  

The ride down the Canyon was real pretty but pretty eventless as well.  Soon we were making our way back up the mountain to where we'd hoped to spend the night.  Luckily, the roads only had a couple of small spots where the snow was holding out and we made it to our lake with little trouble.  The new tent is a 10'X14' Kodiak Flex Bow, pretty much like the ones I used back in Scouts.  Definitely not a backpacking tent, but more of a heavy duty home away from home type tent.  Especially with our Queen sized cot with an air mattress on top.
Great place to camp

Once camp was set up and we'd had dinner, I made it down to the lake to get some fishing in before the warm afternoon turned into a chilly evening.  I was quickly into fish using a Stimulator on top and a Rainbow Warrior dropper, with most fish coming on the Rainbow Warrior.  This lake has always fished pretty consistent for medium to smaller trout.  So I was truly shocked when the biggest fish I've ever caught there took the fly!  Not a monster most places, but a nice fish, and one that is still swimming and hopefully growing till we meet again.  Not a bad way to celebrate my birthday!
Nice surprise

I hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Here and There

Been doing stuff here and there, but nothing all out lately.  I somehow managed to win a flyline from RisenFly, then bought a new reel from them (needed a place to put my line!).  I haven't been able to use it yet, but rest assured I'll put it to good use and let you know how it holds up.
Free flyline, new reel, and some good books!

The other day we were able to take a nice drive up some of the canyons around here.  The roads were just passable enough for me to get up to where we used to catch a lot of brook trout.  Last year this pond was basically dried up.  Hopefully this year will be a bit better.....I wonder if any of the fish survived?

We've had a few fun days with the kids here.
That's Thor, just in case you didn't recognize him...
Nice hen turkey, crappy pic.  Really wish we'd have
brought the nice camera.

Always cool to see elk, but especially cool when you're on foot!
Fished here at Twin Lakes for a few minutes (from the elk's spot),
had a couple of hits but didn't bring anything to hand.
Of course when I can't get out fishing I've been trying to refill my boxes, but by the looks of things I still have a ways to go!  I'm trying to not only tie what I need now, but what I hope to need in the coming weeks/months.
I have managed to get some fishing in here and there.  There's a nice little pond just outside of the town where I work that has offered some relief.  Even though the water has been murky, and the wind high, I still have managed to have some success especially with nymphs suspended under an indicator.  
Lunch time rainbow (I'd say it's a planter, would you?)
Took the same green nymph pattern that I was catching carp on in the last post!
Yesterday, I had to do my Oral Defense for my Masters Degree at the U.  So, seeing as how I was already 'up north', I called my brother to see if he was interested in hitting up the Provo for the evening. Turns out he was, and we made the trek up to Heber.  As is typical with the warmer weather, the river was a bit busier than the last time I was up there.  We still managed to get a few on various nymphs.  My brother got a real nice rainbow that went 18-19" that we failed to get in.  He was up on a bank that he couldn't easily reach the water from.  I was on the opposite side of the stream.  So, when the fish ran over near where I was, I tried to help out.  Couldn't quite get to the fish before he popped off.  I've got to remember to bring one of my freakin' nets!!  Naturally my brother claims that I tried to lose his fish for him, and I of course swear that I didn't (though I'd accuse him of the same thing if the tables were turned...)

Anyway, as the evening started coming on a few fish began rising to a mixed bag of Caddis and Blue wing olives.  Not a ton of surface action, but enough for me to change rigs and haul in my first dry-fly fish of the year!
Little guy took it hard!