Sunday, October 26, 2014


This was a hectic week! Every night I had some sort of work, whether it be my main job or my second, and not a whole lot of time to relax. Saturday felt good to be with the family. We went "Up North" to catch a marching band competition and pick up some new fish for the aquarium. Sunday began with plans to go fishing but first I 'needed' to make an order for some new fly tying supplies. Nothing too crazy or different, just some stuff I've been needing. If you haven't checked out you definitely should, they have some great stuff and awesome customer service (No, I'm not affiliated with them). The only type of shopping I actually like took long enough for the whole family to wake up and decide to join me. We decided to try a small reservoir that we'd never fished before.


Why haven't I fished here?
The kids had some fun with their BB guns while Deli took some pictures and I tossed some flies. What I found were some scrappy rainbows that ranged between 11 and 14 inches. They seemed to like my Fathead fly in golden olive and black. Even so I tried out a few different flies dropping off the back just to see what would happen, but they still seemed more interested in the streamer. 

Pretty lil' bows
Talk about a great decision! The only thing I'm wondering right now is why I haven't been up to this lake before. Not only was it a great looking lake with lots of willing fish (read: great for kids) its not even very far from my house. 

Old boy
After the Wife & Kids completed their trek around the shore I knew it would soon be time to go. Not wanting to leave without giving something else an effort I strung up a spinning outfit with a jig to try my hand. I don't have a lot of experience at this type of fishing, but the fish didn't know that and were more than willing to play. After a few more tugs we packed it up and headed for home, though I wasn't quite set for the week.

Once we were home and got the dogs put away I convinced Atley to head out with me to try a small (really small) stream. I've had a hunch about this stream for a long time now but can't ever seem to commit to trying it. It's not really on the way to any of my other usual spots and it's in that awkward size category where it could hold fish, but it also could not. Perfect for a late Sunday afternoon extension. 

It's amazing how much beauty is all around here

But are there fish??
Once on the stream it was apparent that we should have brought the waders! Atley was having fun jumping around on the rocks, trying to get in position to make a cast but I would have preferred focusing on the fishing. The first good looking hole seemed to be a dud until I had a little strike as I was pulling the fly up. It was enough to keep us going and at the next hole we found a few willing fish. Nice little cutties mixed with 'bows just to keep everything interesting. All they wanted was a MHE, though a few took the Indicator Chernobyl only to be missed.

Workin' the outside corner

Stealth mode
Lots of these

Looks good in my vest too

The bows all had parr marks

They all seemed pretty fat and healthy, even if they weren't all that big
Atley kicked butt on this stream, catching 8 fish and both the largest and the smallest fish were caught by him. It was great to see him getting interested in fishing again. On the way home he was talking about coming back to show his brother. I can't wait. It was the perfect end to a nice weekend with the family. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

- Kidder

Love it when this kid fishes with me

Sunday, October 19, 2014


As the year winds down and the temperature drops I always start to wonder, "What did I do this year?" Now, don't start thinking that I don't appreciate the opportunities to fish that have come my way this year. It's just that I set out with a undefined list of places to hit and fish species I'd like to check off the Utah Grand Slam list. The one species that has been on my mind a lot this year has been the Arctic Grayling. 

Since I was a kid my Dad has been telling us about a certain drainage in the Uinta Mountains up in the Northeastern corner of Utah. Among stories of big fish, epically heavy packs, grueling hikes and other feats of daring, there was a certain lake that held a high number of Grayling. The trick was getting myself up to the North end of the state and convince my Dad to head back into the high country. No small feat, especially when there are ducks for him to be shooting, but I got him to commit for the outing.

First things first, Del wanted to get some family pictures done for this year's Christmas card. Luckily, Del has her own camera and I don't have to put up with a photographer. Unluckily, time was running short to get everything done before our weekend was over and I needed to play nice in the A.M. before I would be released to go fishing. As soon as the pics were done I was hauling North to my Dad's, and trying not to get pulled over for speeding.

Grab the stuff, out the door, hope we didn't forget something, crap we did, back in the house for water, double check everything, out the door. Up to the trailhead in a hurry and we were ready to head out. I should've paid more attention, my Dad didn't grab his fly rod, no he had his spinning rod because he knew a fly and bubble would be more effective at getting to those fish out in the deeper water. Lesson learned, the old boy out fished me three to one. Oh well, I still like fishing with a fly rod better....

Lake #1
First stop was the aforementioned grayling lake and it took two casts before I found my first that was about as small as they come. With that checked off the list I was able to relax and enjoy the day. Once we worked our way around to the deeper water near the dam my Dad started the clinic catching several nice (for Utah) grayling. 

I hate selfies, but had to do it to appease Del

Still knows how to work it

They ARE pretty, but it's hard to make 'em that way in pictures

The old boy can fish, but he's not much for pictures

Can't catch the man
With grayling off the checklist Dad wanted to check on a few of his other lakes that he hadn't been to for about 15 years. Couldn't quite find the trail, so we crested a hill and spotted our next destination (advantage of having experience on your side) and made the quick hike down. After a few stunted Brookies (not caught by me) there was another lake to check out before we'd need to head out. 

It looked promising
Some stunted brookies

Hard to see, but he's pulling in another fish

A little bit better fish were in evidence at the last lake of the day but we just didn't have time to really find out how much better. A fish for each of us and we were making the hike out as the temperatures dropped. It quickly became apparent that we'd be hiking the last stretch in the dark so we slowed down a bit to avoid injuring ourselves. With all the exercise involved we didn't hardly feel the cold, but we knew getting off the trail could be disastrous so we took our time and made it back to the vehicle safely.  

Nothing quite like a high mountain lake

It's good to get him up here
Had to stop for one more pic

One more, one more - looks cold...
Great to get out with my Dad for a day in the high country and visit those lakes that I used to hear about when I was a kid. Not sure if we'll ever make it back there again so I'm glad we had the chance. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

- Kidder

Gotta get out there to see it

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's Personal

After working the weekend away I decided to do something unusual (for me) and take a personal day. The initial plan was to spend the day elk hunting but my list of places to fish before Winter starts closing down options was just too long, so I went fishing instead. Before I could set out I had a few things that needed doin', including tying up a couple of flies.

Fish Buffet
I got distracted for a few minutes on a stream that I'm yet to explore (part of that list mentioned above) but when no fish wanted to play it made it easy to keep moving on to the intended destination. Made sure I had on a bit of orange before starting the hike, but I didn't run into any hunters (or Elk for that matter). It's always great to be back at this lake.

These road blocks weren't here last time

What's not to love?
I started out spending a few minutes watching and trying to spot some fish before casting, something that isn't always easy for me to do, but this trip the fish weren't going to make it easy on me. After a few fruitless casts I made my way around by the inlet to try and spy some fish. I did see some but only after they saw me so I kept moving around to a point that's a bit easier to cast from. 

Looks like the background of this blog....
It may have been a beautiful day, but I was really itching to find some feeding fish! I kept on working my way back into a small bay where I worked a drop off with a Wooly Bugger to no avail. Since nothing had worked yet I decided to go back to a fly that has produced on this lake before, the Wired Stonefly Nymph for weight and a black Zebra Midge that I put under an indicator. As I was tying it on I spotted my first cruising fish of the day. Why do they always come around when you're right in the middle of a knot? I tried to remain calm while finishing the knot and making sure it was a good one. Casting to cruisers is tons of fun, though it can be a little intense and really frustrating at times. My first couple of casts were good ones, in that they didn't spook the fish, but they sucked in that the fish ignored them completely. Then I spotted what looked like a good fish on my right, a quick flip and I put the flies about ten feet in front of him. Could hardly wait to set the hook as he came right over and inhaled one of my flies. For once, I didn't set the hook too hard and managed to get him on the reel without any hiccups. Then I watched as he borrowed tons of line. This was a nice fish! I played him as quick and hard as I dared but he still made three runs into the deeper water before I brought him to the net. 

Personal best Cutthroat
Too big to hold with one hand for the pic (without risking dropping him) I decided on a quick pic on shore before reviving him for the release (during which I took a couple more pics). I know someone out there in cyberville's going to have kittens over that, but he revived well and I hope to meet him again soon. After that it didn't really matter if I caught another fish, but it was nice to see a couple more healthy Cutts.

This would normally be the fish of the day
Made it home in time for dinner and the Niner game with enough to dream about for the next few days and a serious itch to get back fishing as soon as possible. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

- Kidder

Goin' Up?

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Fall seems to be going by way too quickly without me getting out and fishing. There has been one redeeming part of this season though, and that has been getting out and doing some hunting. Since my unsuccessful archery deer hunt we've been looking forward to my Wife's blackpowder hunt. Usually the weather is very cooperative and this is one of the most enjoyable hunts we do. This year it was rainy, cold, and a little bit miserable. We saw plenty of deer though and it was only a matter of time before it all came together. Once the buck was sighted Del did a great job of getting in position to make a great shot hitting the deer right in the back of the head. Perfect way to get her first buck. On the way back down the mountain we spotted a few more bucks. Sometimes it feels like the wildlife knows your intensions. 

Because of the rain we had to settle for a quick pic with my phone.
It's been a while since we had some deer steaks and fried potatoes, so we had a fresh meat dinner that night to celebrate. Of course the next day the weather had improved significantly, which is just par for the course. Couldn't be more proud of my hunter-lady. 

Turns out the rest of my family found a lot of success in a different area and were kind enough to send a picture for us to be jealous of.

The other hunt that is quickly becoming a tradition for me, my Dad, and my brothers is the Spike and Cow Elk hunt. I was working late the night before the hunt (rehearsal in another town coupled with a pep band performance makes for a late night) so I arrived on the mountain a little late to join the others for their morning hunt so I made a solitary walk that turned out to be a bust. By the time I made it back to the truck I had received several calls & texts about my brother shooting a Cow Elk and needing some help getting her out. I actually ended up doing very little to help, but we made quick work of it and started making some plans for our evening hunt that didn't pan out. The next morning we headed back into the productive area from the day before where two more of my brothers managed to get their Cow tags filled and my Dad found a spike.

The old boy still knows how to lay some smack down
After spending the second morning of the hunt field dressing and hauling out three more elk it was time to head back and forget about the half conceived notion of stopping and fishing along the way. Yes, there is a time when even I am too tired to fish.

Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder