Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Concentrated Effort

Lower Fish Creek
Anytime that I can get to fish with my old friend Sean, I just have to, even if it is on a Saturday.  In hopes of avoiding more pressured areas we decided on fishing Lower Fish Creek (pronounced "crick").  We got an early start from my house, due to Sean almost never being late for fishing, but the road construction between Mt. Pleasant and Fairview held us up for much longer than either of us would have liked.  Getting past the unusually long stretch of road construction (Yeah, I've never understood why they have to shut down a huge section of road, instead of maybe just focusing on smaller sections.  Concentrated effort.  I'm just glad I don't live in Utah County right now.  Okay, rant complete.  Onward to fishing.)

I only fished this stream once last year, on my 'way' home from fishing elsewhere.  The 'way' home is of course a very relative term based almost entirely on the course you choose.  My wife, bless her heart, didn't seem to think that adding almost two hours of driving could still be considered on my 'way'.  I couldn't seem to convince her that it of course was, but that discussion really doesn't matter now.  Anyway, when I fished there last year all I caught were several Chubs.  Yes, Chubs.  Not Whitefish, or even the increasingly respectable Carp, but Chubs.  This may be why I didn't make it back up there more than that one time last year.

So as we pulled in the parking lot below Scofield Reservoir's dam, I had my doubts.  But the sight of the river was enough to get me moving.  Quickly, I was set up and ready to fish before Sean was, so I ventured a few casts just below the first bridge.  The first fish I caught there was a little brown of about 4 inches.  Okay, at least it wasn't a chub like the next one was.  After that Sean was ready to go, so we walked down river.

As we headed down to a stretch of river that I've done well on, we consistently saw schools of Chubs in every pool, back-eddy, and pocket of water big enough to hold them.  The outlook seemed grim.  While it's true that I've only rarely caught Chubs on dry fly, they will peck at your dry fly until it sinks.  It can be truly aggravating.  My preferred rig for the past couple of years has been a dry+dropper, which of course meant catching a ridiculous number of Chubs.  One of these days I'll have to take a bucket up there and supply myself (and probably whoever else wants some) with some great minnows for bait.

Biggest fish of the day, really thick.
Even with the near constant annoyance of Chubs, we managed to catch our share of Trout.  Both on dry fly and on my dropper.  Out of one hole in particular we averaged about 2 Chubs per Trout, but I also caught the biggest fish of the day out of this hole.

All nymph patterns seemed to work about the same, whether I had on a Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear, Prince Nymph, or my modified Hare's Ear, I caught a lot of Chubs and some Trout.  On top, I had some success with a Chernobyl Ant, tied with a tan colored bottom piece of foam.  This pattern has been an especially good attractor pattern for me over the years.  I especially like the yellow and orange pieces of foam that I put on the top, it makes it really easy to see!

Then at about 1:00 there was a decent hatch of what looked to me like Golden Stoneflies.  On went a yellow Elk-Hair Caddis and it was on.  I was still catching Chubs in between, but I also managed to catch five or six Trout, a mixed bag of Browns and Cutthroat.
Pretty little Cutt
On the walk back up to the truck, I made Sean let me hit one last spot in hopes of just one more Trout.  After spooking a couple ('cause of the windy conditions right?  right?)  I turned to tell Sean I was ready to head and heard a splash behind me, instinctively I set the hook.  A pretty little Tiger Trout was on the other end!  A great way to finish up a great day with a good friend, and no, I didn't keep track of how many either of us caught.  Although it did take a concentrated effort...

I look like a freakin' spaz, but this really
shows how fat this brown was.
And no, I didn't drop him.

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