Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Conference - Day 2

(Read day one's adventure HERE)

When my Dad and Brothers drove down, pulling Weston's fifth wheel trailer, they managed to break two of the leaf springs on the trailer. How they made it all the way to my house without major problems I'll never know. Day two of their stay brought a little more urgency to the need of getting the trailer fixed so my Dad and I headed down to Richfield where we thought we could find the parts. We managed to track down one, but we needed two new springs so the trip was kind of a waste. We continued a little further south to check on a couple of streams, both of which were running an uninviting shade of brown. Almost ready to call the morning a complete waste we headed back in the direction of home. I talked my Dad into stopping by a warm-water reservoir for a few minutes where some friends of mine (I count them as friends whether they like it or not) had been having some success with pike and catfish. I was surprised Dad was willing to stop at all, he's usually quite the trout snob, but I figured we wouldn't catch anything in the heat of the day anyway. I threw on a red & white clouser minnow and Dad went with the venerable black wooley bugger. I had my only hit pretty quick after we started casting but missed it like a schmuck. Dad made good on his only strike and brought a skinny little pike to hand, his first pike of his life. 

The heat got to us not long after that so we called it a day and went back to our search for trailer parts. The next day was spent putting the trailer together so they could get back home. I wonder if they'll come for conference again next year? 
Hope you're as lucky,

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Conference - Day 1

My brothers Weston and Jeff are both woodshop teachers "Up North" and each year they down to Ephraim for their Summer Professional Development Conference. Usually this means they spend at least one evening fishing, but this year Dad finally took us up on the invite and came with them to do some fishing during the day. So to start out our two and a half days of fishing I decided that my sons, my Dad and I would walk into a lake not too far from my house that holds some nice fish. 

The first epiphany on the hike in? The boys really need some good hiking boots if we're going to do much hiking. The second? I need a backpack that doesn't kill my shoulders the moment I put it on (I didn't even have that much stuff packed). Once at the lake I started to work on making this a successful trip for my boys and it didn't take long for Atley to haul in a nice Cutthroat.

Pretty good one!
Then it was Caden's turn to try his hand with the rod and it didn't take him long to haul in a good fish!

He was afraid that he'd drop it
The boys kept taking turns with the rod while I helped out as much as I could. Atley even caught a really nice Brook trout (about 17-18") that we didn't get a picture of because he dropped it back in the water before I could get the camera ready. Sometimes you just gotta be quick I guess! At least the fish got away, no worse for wear. The boys even let me have a turn with the rod so I didn't have to go fish-less.

Pretty Fish

My Dad tried just about everything he had in his box, but he just couldn't find what they wanted (even when he tried the flies that were working for us). I tried to help him out, but sometimes there's no escaping the skunk.

Definitely one of the prettier places I fish, that's why it's my blog's background!
Once the temperature started to rise we headed back to the car. The hike out took less time then we expected so there was a little time to drive around and explore just a bit. The feeling of only seeing the tip of the iceberg seems to go hand in hand with this area so an opportunity to even drive a little bit is always welcomed. In the high country we came across three bull elk that held still just long enough to get a blurry picture of.

Hard to tell in the pic, but the one furthest from us will be a pretty nice bull

When we got back to the house we reconvened with the conference goers and the wife made us an awesome hamburger dinner. After eating we were back out the door to hit a small stream in the hopes of finding some fish.

Feels good to hook one after a lot of missed strikes
One of the joys of living in Sanpete county hit us right in the nose when we got out of the truck. Turkeys and cows outnumber residents down here and their smell seemed to be coming from all directions. We pressed on and both Weston and Jeff found a willing trout in the fading light though my Dad was still feeling the skunk. There were many more hits than fish landed, but it was a good day. On to day two and more fun and games! 

Hope you're as lucky,


Browns love the dark!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Not Exactly a Happy Ending

I like to get out early on fishing trips. It seems easier to get out the door when everyone else is asleep, and it usually means that I get to pick what water I'd like to fish. Unfortunately, I also tend to stay up late tying flies the night before a trip then lay in bed trying to decide where to go in the morning. So it was a little later than I had hoped when I was pulling on my waders in the parking lot, but it was still early enough that there wasn't anyone else around to see my one footed dance. Once on the trail I was lucky enough to spot a couple of different groups of elk.

Pretty danged close
The first fish of the day didn't come in the first spot I tried, though I did have a nice fish come and have a look at my swinging bugger. Even though I changed flies and retrieves, the fish never did show himself again. The next spot, after some more hiking, brought a chunky brown to hand along with a couple of chubby chubs once I switched over to nymphs. 

Healthy brownie

I tried a bunch of different flies, and caught a few fish, but it just seemed like things weren't quite what they should have been. As the day got warmer it seemed obvious to me that things weren't likely to improve as other fishermen started showing up. I switched back to a bugger and started covering water in order to make it back to the car quickly. I did manage a couple more fish as I went.

The lower jaw on this fish was pretty messed up.
Once back at the car I was pretty tired, a little sunburned, and ready to head home. I opened the trunk of my car and the alarm went off. Weird. So I pulled out my key and tried the remote, nothing. Then I unlocked the door manually (which worked, but didn't turn off the alarm) and tried to start the car, nothing. Back to the car door, locking and unlocking the door hoping that the alarm would turn off. Finally it did, the other people in the parking lot were probably even more thankful for this than I was. I got out of my hot waders and put my rod away in hopes of driving home without further problems. Nope. The car wouldn't start, and the alarm would re-start whenever I opened a door, the trunk, even once when I shut the glovebox a little harder than I normally would have. So I called the wife for help and she loaded up some tools and came to help. While I waited for her I called my Dad hoping that he'd offer some helpful advice. I ended up talking to not only my Dad but also my brother and sister-in-law who all had different ideas on how to make it work. One of these must've worked, because my car finally started and I headed for home without hesitation. My Dad passed the word on to my wife that the car had started and she was able to turn around and not have to drive too far. I made it home without any problems but I really hate my car now. It was a bad ending to what should've been a decent day on a stream that I don't get to visit very often. 

Hope you're luckier,