Saturday, March 29, 2014

Atta Kid

Despite the lack of money, I decided that to waste the remaining days of Spring break would be too much of a sin to ever forgive myself. With that in mind I grabbed the boy and headed south today in search of some trout. 

We're at a crossroads of sorts with the boy. He's not the baby, or "little kid" anymore, but at the same time he can't be entrusted with too many new responsibilities. I've been trying really hard to stop treating him like a child, and today I did my best to stick with that by letting him fish by himself even more than usual. When he was really young, I'd cast, hook a fish and then let him play it in. Later on, I'd just cast and let him take care of the rest. The last year or two I'm letting him do the casting but I'm still right there to help and tell him where to cast and when to set the hook. Today was the first time I let him go on his own. Sure, he didn't have as much success as I had hoped but he still seemed to have a good time and when he does find success it'll be completely his own. Hopefully that will lead to more motivation and work towards being successful. I'm confident it will, as long as he doesn't give up too soon.

Gettin' to it
We arrived on the stream a little late so I was expecting the action to be mid swing when we got in. Unfortunately, the bite was a bit slow to start and we had to work for any action. Atley did well until a slippery bank took him for a dunking. From there on out he seemed less willing to get after it, even when the fishing turned on. 

Sometimes he'd rather just take the pics
When we worked our way up to the deepest hole (and my favorite) of the stretch, Atley decided to play it safe and walk out and around. Too bad to, this hole was where I found several fish coming to the surface and a few willing to fall for an Orange Asher. This was my first time using the fly that I found over on Fly Fish Food (they have a ton of great stuff over there, and some of the best tying vids out there) and I'm seriously impressed. These fish refused my CDC midge that looked like a spot on ringer (to my eye) but would move a foot or more to inhale the Asher. Could be a new go-to! It's somewhat like a Griffith's Gnat, but I've never seen fish react to the gnat like they did to the Asher today. 

You can see how simple the Asher really is
At the top of the hole and around a large rock, I could hear Atley trying to work the run. He seemed to be finding the trees more than the river and was venting some frustration. Although he didn't actually swear, this seemed like a great graphic for the moment:

He kept after it despite the less than ideal casting situation, which made me proud. Then when I showed him how to roll cast you could just see the relief on his face! Doubt he'll need reminding of how to roll cast anytime soon. The rest of the afternoon it was the only cast he wanted to do.

Our day ended with me hooking into several more fish on the way back to the car including a nice fish that was easily the largest I've seen (personally) from this stream. Of course, he spit the hook before I could get him to the net. Can't wait to get back out there again. Hopefully you get a chance to get out and enjoy the water.
- Kidder

They do seem prettier when you catch 'em on top

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Family Skunk

In an effort to make the most of our Spring Break, I took the family down to the carp pond in search of some tugs. Normally, I'll cast my fly rod to any carp I can see while the family drowns some worms (and they are the ones that usually catch the most fish). 
Quite the setup
Once we had everything set up and a couple of hooks in the water I went about setting up my rod. Kept getting distracted by the eats the family was getting on their rods. 
Not sure how he lost this one...the only hookup of the day
I missed a couple (instinct took over and I trout set) but mostly just practiced casting to uninterested fish. I scared a lot of them though!
The dog may have spooked a few
Great day to get out, fish a little, end up getting skunked, let the dog get some exercise, and cook dinner over a fire. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Monday, March 24, 2014

Can't Win 'Em All

Pretty place to play
So great to get out this weekend with my brother-in-law Courtney from Zip Dog Fishing (check out his blog) to hit some rivers in his neck of the woods.  Up and out the door at 6:30 we found the Logan still in the clutches of winter. I started out throwing a bugger while Court was trying his luck with a nymph, and I changed over to try my luck with one after finding the trout mostly unresponsive. We came up on a moose and the remains of a small avalanche, but not many fish. Anyone who has been out with me in the winter knows that I usually don't let cold get in my way, but this was ridiculous. I couldn't feel whether I was touching my tippet or not, and once the shivering set in I knew it was time to get out of the shade. While we both managed fish on this first stretch, the cold and lack of consistent action sent us looking for greener pastures. 

Maybe not the best place to fish....
But all's well that ends well

This guy looks like he's been caught before. Quite the mug shot.

The second stretch let us fish in the sun and we found more willing fish here, but it still wasn't quite what we were hoping for. I did shoot a little video (the wife says it's the most boring video, ever) of Court hooking and playing a nice white fish. 

I like white fish. They tend to be heavy, they fight pretty good, and they release the same as trout (or, according to some, they taste really good if you smoke 'em. I haven't tried it, just passing on rumors). I know a lot of fishermen look down on them, but I don't really get it. They look kinda like grayling without the big fin. They can be pretty in a non-showy, meant for business sort of way and they can literally save you from getting a skunking in the winter. 

The sun sure felt good
Anyway, about mid-day we decided to head on over and try our luck on the Blacksmith Fork. The first stretch started out great with me hooking into a couple browns and missing another. Then it just shut off. We tried everything we could, but just couldn't get anything consistent going until I started seeing a couple rising fish. A quick setup change and I was into a nice cutt that evaded the net. Court got a brown to hand and things were looking up.

Mid afternoon temps were up into comfortable range and the fish kept feeding on (and near) the top. First hole on a new section saw several missed hook-sets, which is hilarious to watch and frustrating to experience. The second hole provided us with more dry fly action and the beginning of getting back into the groove of setting the hook. Most fish took confidently and I simply had to remember to just tighten the line. Quickly...not hard...but still firm....unless he takes it differently.....not too tough right? Anyway, one fish (out of many in the area) decides that he doesn't like my Parachute B.W.O, or the Emerger, or the floating nymph, or seemingly anything else. I even gave him these options in different sizes. All the other fish liked them just fine, but this guy would come up within a 1/2 inch to look at the fly before slowly turning away. I had to fool him. So, I throw on a B.W.O. Dun with an upright feather wing. First cast he takes it hard and fast, and I miss him like an idiot. Oh well, "You can't win 'em all".

These cutts have the craziest eyes!
Just as quickly as the dry fly action began, it ended and I finished the day dredging up a couple more fish with a stonefly nymph. Great start to my spring break and hopefully the first of many days with some dry fly action. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quick Pike

I wasn't going to get out this weekend at all, but then I started feeling it this afternoon and decided to head out with my boys to try for some pike. It's pretty hard to keep them both in the game and give my own fishing any real effort, but one fish for them is way better than any I could catch on my own. With that in mind I set them up and kept a mindful eye while they spent most of the afternoon playing near their poles. 

At least they're good friends

Once my oldest got serious, he put on the clinic pulling in two small pike.

The first

Gotta love that smile!

There are some plans to poison this lake to get rid of the pike and carp to establish a bass and bluegill fishery. I'll miss our little hammer-handles but would welcome an increased bass population. Whatever happens, I'll fish and be happy.

Gotta love geese over the pond
I was glad to get my boys out into the warm weather. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Monday, March 10, 2014

When the Cat's Away

The Wife and my oldest were gone to the races down in Las Vegas with Grandpa. That left me and the young'un to our own devices for a few days. The rock & roll lifestyle was definitely catching up to us, and we sure felt it that morning, but we fought through and headed south for some lake fishing to start the day. 
He sure was staring off a lot
Fishing was (as it usually is for me at this lake) a little slow. The attention span never limited out though and my boy was able to focus on fishing for extended periods. Although, with a lake full of 'stuff' there's always plenty to keep our attention...

Can't believe how much this little guy freaked out the boy

He managed to track down this little
guy with his bare hands though!

Of course with great views, it's always easy to be content...
I like days like this

And a few trout don't hurt to keep our attention...
Holding him like an old pro

But eventually it really was time to move on, so we decided to hit the stream on the way back home. It seemed like much of it was getting attention from other anglers, but we found a stretch to give the kid a chance to try out his brother's waders. Luckily for me we also had some success.

Not sure what he was looking at

Videos aren't usually my thing, but I did my best

Happy ending for the video above

I like the reflection

We ended the day by calling for Sasquatch (what my son called our 'Finding Bigfoot' party) and then headed back home. I think I might have another fishing buddy for life! Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chomping at The Bit

This is a crazy time of year! Around here the snow's starting to retreat back up the mountain, the lakes are freeing themselves of ice, and people are applying for Big Game Hunts. My application's in, and even though I have failed to draw twice in the last three years I feel somewhat confident this year. I sure hope I'm right 'cause I'm itchin to use my bow.

The last few years I've taken the opportunity to purchase a new fishing license at the same time as when I apply for the hunts. I can't help but be excited that I won't have any days this year that I can't go fishing. That's legally speaking of course...

When I decided to become a music teacher I had no idea that it would cut into my fishing time like this. I mean seriously, who'd have thought that so many evenings and weekends would be spent working? 

Anyway, the State Tournament for Girl's Basketball happened this last weekend and I was there directing the Pep Band. There's really nothing to tell here except that our school's team did a nice job, but ended up losing in the semi-final round, and the Band sounded killer. Oh yeah, and I didn't get to go fishing. This weekend has complications too, but I should be able to wet a line somewhere. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Do you remember?