Sunday, November 25, 2012


We stayed out late last night visiting family back home.  Rolled back into town just after 1:00 am, and didn't make it to bed for another half hour or so.  Morning came early and didn't feel too good.  I got up, sat there for a few minutes contemplating on how warm my bed was, but decided that it's better to go fishing and be a little tired than to stay home and feel like a schlub later.  My son didn't exactly agree with my decision, but still got up and ready pretty quickly.
My boy

Winter wonderland
So me and the boy hit the energy loop in search of a trout dinner.  After looking at the steep, snow covered hill leading down to electric lake (and no desire to drive around to the other side) we decided to back track a little and fish at Cleveland Reservoir.  A little bit of a walk down the north shore from the road, but not too bad, and we started throwing everything we had in the box.  I started with flies, trying nymphs, chronomids, and streamers all to no avail.  Kiddo started with bait, trying an unweighted minnow for a while before changing over to powerbait off the bottom.  It was the powerbait (orange twist flavor) that finally brought some action our way, he missed a couple hits but caught three that we invited home for dinner.  I changed over to my spinning rod to throw some spinners, and managed a few hits, but finally gave in to the powerbait to manage catching one fish before we came home.

Didn't know he was taking all these pics...
Quite the set-up
Usually, when I head out with the intention of bringing back dinner it brings on the bad ju-ju.  Either I don't have much luck at all, or what luck I do have comes in the form of fish too small to keep.  I usually practice catch-and-release, but enjoy a good eating fish every once in a while.  Some get upset about keeping fish, but I think they're delicious and as long as people don't take it too far keeping a few doesn't hurt anything.  In fact, I think it's a good experience for my son to bring home dinner for the family, and he was really proud to be able to.

Cleveland Res.

Proud fisherman
I filleted the rainbows as usual, but left the skin on - Del's request. She then baked them, with a little oil in the bottom of the pan and artichoke hearts with the marinade from the jar drizzled on top.  Some of the best trout I've eaten, and a simple recipe that we will have to use again.  Felt so good to get out fishing with the boy, even if we had to resort to bait...
Had to take a picture of himself...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Destination Unknown

The streams seem to be under attack here in Central Utah.  Fish kills seem to be the attack of choice, though the tactics vary; some come by fire, others by dewatering, some by a clever combination.  So it shouldn't have been such a shock when my friend Danny let me know that my plans to Lower Fish Creek might be flawed.  The Bureau of Reclamation decided last week to work on the Scofield Reservoir Dam, and turned off the water to the stream to do so.  Without a draw-down, or any prior notice, this sudden dewatering of the stream didn't allow the fish to find the deeper pools where they would've had a better chance at survival.  The Division of Wildlife Resources estimates that at least 1,000 trout died from the sudden change in flows.  The water didn't flow between 5pm on Oct. 14 and noon on Oct. 17.  While the D.W.R. claims that this fish kill mainly effected the first mile below Scofield Dam, anglers are claiming the first three miles have been drastically effected with some of the dead trout weighing in at over 5lbs.  Salt Lake Tribune Article here: So much for heading to one of my favorite stretches of river...

So I figured that I'd head to one of the many other streams in the area, and would just decide in the morning.  I really need to find some time to tie flies!  Looking into my boxes I knew that it would be tough to make it through the day, especially since both Ross and Brady would be joining me on this trek to who-knows-where, and both of these guys are just starting out and a little light on tackle of their own.  So I made a point to get some flies tied, but with limited time I had to just stock up on what worked last time: Zebra Midges.  Managed to tie up (what turned out to be) plenty.  Also, tied up some quick adjusting indicators figuring that nymphing would be the most productive method.  Planned on trying out an idea that heard about for streamer fishing as well.  The idea is simple enough, take a length of sinking line and make a sink tip that would attach to your flyline, and seeing as how I did have a full sinking line sitting on my desk...  [Yeah, I made one.  No, I didn't try it.  I'm smart like that.]

"Paul was in Wolf Creek early next morning, just as he said he would be.  Although he and I had aquired freedoms as we grew up, we never violated our early religious training of always being on time for church, work, and fishing." A River Runs Through It - Norman Maclean

Brady was supposed to be at my house between 7 and 8 am.  At about 8:00a, I get the call of shame, "uh...I kinda slept in" - or something like that.  Change of plans came quickly to me, time to 'meet in the middle' (almost literally) and fish Diamond Fork River. 

Fishing was a bit slow, but one hole was particularly kind to me around mid-morning and I managed to catch several (although somewhat small) fish.  Fishing was slow from there on till we were about to leave, then I got a couple more and Ross managed to get into a couple.  (Notice the guy that slept in didn't catch any...)  Caught all fish today on Haresear and Pheasant tail nymphs.

When you fish all day, even a little guy is exciting.
That's better
Such a poser!  Just a snag.

Not bad considering I didn't even know where to go...