Where we were heading was one of my favorite wintertime spots to fish and a place that Delvonie hadn't been to before. Not overdoing the fishing time and intensity was something that I definitely have to work at, because I can easily over-do it and ruin the experience for Del. With that in mind, we got a little bit of a late start in the hopes that it would warm up a little by the time we arrived. Not exactly the way it worked, there was plenty of frost on the ground and the fish seemed to still be asleep.
We weren't only there to have some fun, but also to try and get a fish for Del's Mother who asked for a fish for her birthday dinner. Usually, finding a fish for the dinner table wouldn't be a problem but it did add a little pressure to the fishing that I wasn't expecting. I figured a decent size to eat would be something around 15" as long as it wasn't unusually skinny. The first fish to hit the bottom of the net was definitely over that size, but I just didn't have the heart to keep such a great fish.
The fish seemed to be waking up a bit and it didn't take long for us to find another rainbow, one that was just about perfect for Del's Mom. I know some fly fishermen don't like keeping fish, but this fishery is one that can definitely handle some harvest. In fact, most of the places that I fish struggle with too many fish and could use some more selective harvest. (Read more about that Here and Here) Del got in on the action, though she isn't too comfortable with fly fishing. There is a pic of her with the fish, but she's not too keen on me sharing it...
These fish are some of the prettiest I've found anywhere, and obviously some of the biggest. If you don't agree, just tell me where some better ones and I'll go compare! But seriously, these fish are really colorful and some of them even sport cutthroat markings under their jaws. I wonder if there are any cutbows here? (cross between a rainbow trout and a cutthroat trout).
A few of these bows were dropping eggs already! The spawn is quickly approaching which would explain why fishing has been so good. Pre-spawn trout are some of my favorite to fish to because of how aggressive they can be. The wind started to pick up which made Del retreat to the truck for warmth, and her book, but the fishing really started picking up for me. Several fish came to hand, including my only tiger trout for the trip.
First time I've ever had a fish get me into the backing! It took a minute, but I slowly worked the fish back in and coaxed it to the net that Del was holding. Not the biggest fish of the day, but definitely the hardest fighting fish and a perfect fish to end the day on.
We cleaned up and started making the long ride back to Del's mom to deliver the fish, collect the kids and make our way home. On the way we spotted four different coyotes! One of them was running straight at four antelope and we stopped to watch it unfold. The speed goats got up and ran from the yote, then turned and ran at him. They seemed to be moving as one at times as they made their way further from us but not really further from each other. It was pretty amazing to watch!
To cap off the day we spotted a ton of deer in the sagebrush fields, one group even had three different 3-point bucks in with the does. Won't be long before they start shedding their antlers, but for now it's really cool to see them. We had an amazing little road trip and it has me really excited for what we've got planned!
Hope you're as lucky,
|Not glamorous, but these flies just plain work|