Monday, August 18, 2014

An Exciting Weekend

So this past weekend marked not only the opener of the archery deer hunt here in Utah, but also my wedding anniversary. Twelve years ago I tricked one awesome girl into marrying me and couldn't have imagined she'd get better with time. There isn't anyone I'd rather have as a mother to my children, or as a spouse.

So, to 'celebrate' we took the boys and went hunting. (and now you know why I had to trick her!)

It's kinda pretty up here

The first morning didn't provide much excitement by way of deer, though I did have a small spike stare at me about 25 yards out. Just too small to justify letting an arrow fly, so we ended up taking in some of the more spectacular views.

Not completely sure what this building is, but Del wanted a pic or two

My sister's name in a tree by camp. Estimating she carved it about 25-30 years ago

There were a lot of mushrooms around camp

Lots of does

And fawns
For the evening hunt I was going to walk to a pond slightly off the beaten path and sit for a while. I decided to take Atley with me. As we were walking, as quietly as we could, I heard some sounds off to our left. Couldn't quite place what they were, but I wrote it off seeing as how there are a lot of sounds I don't know out there. Then we heard a little bit of crashing, kinda sounded like a tree lost a big branch or something. There wasn't any wind, so I thought maybe an animal was moving around back there. Nothing to worry about, but I knocked an arrow just in case there was an opportunity and told Atley to stay close. Another 50 yards up the trail or so and we heard something big moving through the brush just behind us on our left. I turned to face it, put Atley behind me and got ready. Out steps a black bear at about 30 yards from us. Immediately I started yelling at it, "HEY BEAR! NO BEAR! GET OUTTA HERE!" and waving my arms and the bear stopped. I'm not sure that it could see me, I was in all camo and it was a pretty dark patch of trees near dusk, because it stopped and stood up for a better vantage point. First thought at this point was, "wow, it's about as tall as me!" second thought, "oh shit, her cubs just climbed that tree behind her!" I keep up with the yelling, waving my arms while I can feel Atley's hands shaking while he is grabbing my shirt. The bear then drops down to all fours and stands broadside to us, looking back toward her cubs. The cubs climb out of the tree and she looks back at us one more time before moving about 10 feet back into the underbrush. We can still see her, so I don't take off just yet but try to yell a little louder. She then moves about 20 yards back into the forest. We can't see her now so we head out the opposite direction even though that means fighting our way through the underbrush. I have Atley join in the hollering now, every once in a while throwing in a, "NO YOGI" or "HEY BOO-BOO" just to try and relax him a bit as we circumvent where I think the bear is by about 100 yards. I figured we'd keep the noise level up so she knew where we were and could keep avoiding us. It's at this point I realize that Del must've heard us yelling and is laying on the horn of the truck. Glad she didn't rush up the trail to try and help! By the time we got back to the truck Atley was still a little shaken, but we were both glad that we'd just seen a bear without a serious conflict.

Sleeping in our tent wasn't the easiest thing to do that night, especially with a deer that one of my family got hanging in a tree behind camp, but we managed it. Glad I didn't kick the bucket the night before our twelfth anniversary! 

Not sure that I did exactly the right thing, but I feel good about the results. Planning on heading out again this weekend to see if I can find a deer. I haven't shot one in a few years, so it'd be nice to. Though that's not really the point. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder

Felt good to see this sun-rise the next morning!

Some good lookin' boys and me

Del enjoyed taking some pics

I didn't know she took this one

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Straight up over the mountain, instead of around it, was a good choice. Besides just being back in an area that I love, it also gave us an opportunity to see several deer (including one nice buck with an interesting rack) and some awesome country. However, no amount of aesthetics would keep us from the business at hand, hitting one of my favorite streams. Once at the stream I remembered exactly how cold that water was! Wet wading isn't that great in the early morning. 
I love the color of the water here
With numbing feet we made our way upstream casting to likely spots and fooling some small browns with our Prince Nymph droppers.

Managed to catch this little guy. Ross is back there working out one of the few tangles he had today.

One of the nicer fish

We kept with the program, hoping that the fish would start coming up as the day warmed, when we caught up with another angler. This has only happened a few times on this stream so it seemed a bit odd, but no big deal, we'll just hop out and keep some space between us. We started hiking still further up stream when we came upon three more anglers...still, no big deal, right? Then we saw another angler heading back toward us. Time to relocate and hope that the whole stream isn't like this. Luckily, it wasn't. In fact, there wasn't another angler in the many miles of stream that are easily accessible. They must've thought we needed some company. Or maybe they knew that the fishing would be much faster at our new location. Ross and I both were quickly into fish and it became apparent that the other anglers had done us a huge favor by motivating the relocation.
This guy caught a bunch of fish

A bunch
Lots of fish were taken with the Chubby Chernobyl and while none of them were big, they did make for a fun day. Ross had his best day of fishing yet and it was great watching him rockin' it on one of my favorite streams. Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

A few conflicting currents here

If you can't be happy catching fish with this backdrop, you need to re-evaluate your life.

Friday, August 1, 2014


I'm driving through Nephi canyon reminding myself of the potentially great fishing in store for us and using it as motivation to stay awake. My two boys are in the car with me and although they're awake you wouldn't know it from their silence. I'm keeping an eye out for deer, and good thing too as we come up on a nice buck just off the right shoulder. Pretty cool to see, but I'm glad he wasn't actually in the road. Feeling like leaving my fly rod at home is a mistake, but I know there wouldn't be much of an opportunity to use it. Besides, I don't like leaving it in the car anyway. Still, I can't shake the feeling a major piece of my equipment has been forgotten. 

Getting up to Bountiful where we'll meet my brother and his son is just the first leg of the drive. From there we'll be in his truck towing the boat, and heading up to Strawberry Reservoir. 

The 'berry' has been known as Utah's premier trout fishery for many years. When I was a kid there were some years we'd fish it almost weekly through the Summer. Mostly we'd troll popgear & worms (till I really started hating this method of fishing), though there were evenings when the flyrods came out to cast to risers. The drive is considerably longer for me now, and with so many opportunities closer to home, I just don't get up there very often. In fact, I hadn't been there for quite a few years so I was excited to see what a few more years with the slot limit had done to the quality of the fish (all Cutthroat Trout between 15" and 22" must be released).

Did I say the kids were quiet? I meant until they got together with their cousin. Then they became extremely loud and excited (though I don't think the excitement had anything to do with fishing). I've never seen "The Lego Movie", but I'm pretty sure they quoted most of it. This included singing that annoying song from it repeatedly. Oh well, at least they were having fun.

Kids being nerdy

Once we arrived at Strawberry Bay Marina a DWR Officer came over filled out an invasive species checklist for us and we were good to go. Then I remembered why having a big motor on your fishing boat is so nice. Talk about mobility! This, along with the nice (expensive) fish finder and downriggers make catching fish seem like a certainty. Sure enough we were quickly into some Cutts that the kids enjoyed catching.

Cado with a Cutty
For some reason, Cado was the only kid we got pics of with fish
When the initial bite quieted down the kids took to entertaining themselves in the bow of the boat while My brother and I did some catching. We were trolling dodgers with everything from Apex lures to Wedding Rings trailing. But the day's best producer by far was a Kokanut in rainbow color that my Brother claimed I tied (basically just a bucktail with flashabou instead of bucktail). I don't remember tying this one specifically, but it's very possible and I'll claim it since it worked so well. We went hoping for Kokanee Salmon but they eluded us. Not a big let-down, since those Cutts were so fun, but they'd have been nice to see. 

Nice one
 About 1:00pm we decided to pull out and make our way home. By the time we were back in Bountiful the short night caught up with me and we crashed at my Dad's for a few hours till I could attempt the drive back home. It would've been nice to see the Wife today, but you can't have everything, and sure enough she was already in bed when we pulled in just after midnight. 

Hope you can get out there, be safe, and enjoy the water.
- Kidder

Not my favorite way to fish, but it's still pretty fun