Monday, June 30, 2014

A Ride

Last week my niece Riann came down to stay with us. Unfortunately most of the week was spent in our typical, boring, lifestyle. We did manage to take one ride up onto the local mountain range to show off how incredibly lucky we really are to live here. The first stop was a little brookie pond that used to have a ridiculous number of stunted fish. Two Summers ago the pond had almost no water in it and we didn't even bother checking on it last year. So, this was more or less just a quick stop to see if the conditions had improved at all.  From the truck we could see that there was a bit more water than the last time we were here so I strung up a rod, a couple of casts with a Hare's Ear Soft Hackle and it was fish on. 

Always good to hook up
 After two or three of these pretty little fish and it was clear that I should try and get my niece in on some of the action. It took a little doin (with me casting and letting her just worry about the retrieve and hook set) but we got her into a couple of brook trout.
Fishing by commitee

I have a real soft spot for brook trout

Our new puppy even enjoyed the pond

This is what the Wife did while we were fishing

Leave it to her to find some nice flowers
After our pit stop at the pond, we moved onward and upward. There was a bit of a traffic jam waiting just around the corner, but we quickly got past it.

We don't see them too often, but there are quite a few turkeys in Utah.
It's so green up there

Nice looking lake
Our last stop was at the lake shown above. Tons of huge scuds were all around the shore, along with some frogs, but no fish were caught. Wish we had more than a couple of minutes to spend here, but dinner was calling us home. Luckily for us the ride home was filled with lots of deer, which are always fun to see. 
Nice buck

She thought we couldn't see her
It was a great way to spend the afternoon and show Riann how great our backyard is. Maybe I can plan a trip with her sometime in the near future, she didn't seem to quite get her fill of this outdoors thing. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another Good Afternoon

Hopefully this is how the rest of the Summer will go: Getting out mid-week to catch some great fish with some equally great company. We'll see how the coming weeks shake out, but it sure came together yesterday. After the usual morning of chasing kids around at work I was able to take the afternoon and go fishing with a couple of friends.

Practically from the first cast on we were into fish and the action never really did let up. Instead of splitting up and fishing apart from each other we decided to maximize the best water by taking turns fishing it. I really like fishing this way sometimes, because not only do you get to take your time while fishing but you also get to watch (and sometimes mock) how your friends are doing. So when we came up to a nice looking run with a couple of nice looking, larger than average fish, I was waiting my turn behind both Ross and Lane. No big deal, just how it goes sometimes. Well, wouldn't you know, both of them seemed to be under the impression that trout lived up in bushes because they were both tangled alongside the run and I had my shot. I made the most of the opportunity and hooked into a great Cutthroat that made several runs, dogged me in the undercut bank and put up a great fight. Finally, with a little help from a good net man, I brought him to hand.

What a fish! 23 1/2" 

More fish were to be had on the run, so we passed my rod around and gave everyone another shot. Mixed in with the Cutts were some really hard fighting bows. When it came back to my turn I brought a nice little bow to the net. He looked like he'd been living a hard life, with some scrapes and what looked to be bite marks on his back.

Tough little guy
Of course it was only a matter of time before Lane brought another beauty in, and he did not long after I caught mine.

Really pretty fish. 22"

Tried to get some more interesting pics of him than the usual grip & grin

He had some battle scars on his head and gill plate
 Ross hooked into a lot of fish, and some were really good ones, but luck didn't seem to be with him as he only brought a couple to hand. Some days are just like that, at least he caught some and from what I could see was doing a lot of things right today.

These bows fought like crazy

More underwater fun. Not sure why this one looks like he'd been folded, he looked fine out of the water.
 After we were done with the stream we did a little exploring and came up to a really nice looking lake. We let a few flies loose without any luck. After we got home I did some searching and found out that there aren't any fish in this reservoir. Seems like such a waste. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Fish-less? Really?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Little Brother

It's not that my youngest was jealous or anything, but he definitely wanted his turn to camp out with Dad. In fact, he wanted to go back to where I'd taken Atley the week before and camp in the same place. I think he may have been feeling a little left out. 

Now, before you start thinking that I favor one kid over the other or anything like that just know that I only have two decent sleeping bags, a two man tent and two decent backpacks. We'll get there eventually, but it takes more moolah than I have available to outfit a family of four. There's also the fact that I didn't really believe that Cado would be able to carry a pack, no matter how light I tried to pack it. Hell or high water would not deter him so we decided to pull an overnighter, just like big brother did, and packed up on Friday morning.

Ready to roll
It took a bit longer than expected to actually get to the lake because I had to help Cado over all the boulders but we made it there and started fishing without much trouble. 

What a stud
After hooking into several small fish we decided to make our way around the lake (up, over and through more boulders) to set up our camp. After setting up the tent, gathering firewood, and getting situated we decided there were more fish to catch. I usually prefer fly fishing but Cado wanted to fish with "cheese like on Spongebob" and it took most of my time to keep helping him unhook fish, re bait and undoing the occasional tangle up. Couldn't believe how many fish the kid pulled in. 

Look at that confidence
We fished till just before dark and then got a fire going and started working on dinner. Cado wanted some fish to go with the Ramen noodles so we hooked a couple to fry. Some people like doing this, some don't, and some are morally opposed to it. All I have to say is that there are no shortage of fish in this lake and they were delicious.

Enjoying it
Last time I was here the fishing after dark was pretty awesome so I couldn't wait to get after it once the sun was off the water. Unfortunately the fish all went to bed early. Oh well. The morning held the promise of some more good fishing before we had to head home. Cado was asleep before I even got in my sleeping bag! 

Next morning was all about Cado working the bait (again) and it was still crazy fast fishing. He had a blast and I loved seeing him enjoying it so much.

Trying out ways to hold them

The biggest fish of our outing

Hold on!
Can't wait till I can take both my boys on trips like this, but until then I'll make sure to give little brother some opportunities. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder

Friday, June 20, 2014

After Work Workin' It

Summer is here and I'm spending most mornings playing like a drill sergeant and teaching students how to march, play music and attempt both at once. But I slipped away after yesterday's rehearsal to try out another new spot. These new spots have worked out ridiculously well for me this year, so I invited a fellow band teacher to try this one out with me.
Not a bad way to spend the afternoon
After the ride, and run down of how our summer programs are going, we made our destination and Lane was quickly into a chunky rainbow. This fish must've had some leopard in his genes 'cause the spots on him were crazy.

He's even got spots on his lower jaw
After a couple more of these we moved up stream and found what we were looking for, the big cutties. I'm not sure if Lane was expecting this quality of fish, but it didn't take long for him to lay some steel into one.
Lane's 22" Cutthroat Trout

Close up of Lane's fish
There were a lot of nice fish in the stream, and I even managed to hold on to one long enough to get a couple of good pics. I got most of my fish on a MHE fished under an Indicator Chernobyl. I had a few take swipes at some streamers, but most weren't interested in the bigger offering.

Look how tall that fish is

Disney really is everywhere! This one's got Mickey eyes.
Moving further upstream we found a cool little waterfall where the fish were channeling their inner salmon and making an impressive effort.

Unbelievable half day of fishing with some great company, can't wait to do it again. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.
- Kidder

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Fluke?

This year Father's Day weekend just so happened to also be the last weekend before I go back to work running our district's Summer Band Program. It's not exactly a full time gig, but it does prevent me from randomly taking off during the week till the Fourth of July. So, I decided to use both of these occasions as an excuse to go explore a part of Utah that I've never been. So after a quick stop at the local Ranger Station to pick up a couple of maps (one for this trip, one that I've been needing for quite a while) Atley and I were off on another adventure.

We are ridiculously spoiled here
After driving past so many places that I know can fish really well we were astounded to have eastern Utah laid at our feet. The pic above doesn't do it any sort of justice. Capital Reef National Park, San Rafael Swell, Goblin Valley, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, the La Sal Mountains are all in front of you. It's easy to imagine seeing all the way to Colorado. (I don't know how much of all that you can actually see, but it FEELS like you can see it all).

Once we arrived at the lake, after referring to the map several times, we set out to get the lay of the land without our packs. Despite looking at google-earth and the newly acquired map we followed the sign and ended up wasting some time hiking up a hill. It was some great looking country though, and we were able to find a good outlook to find the lake we were after. Just glad we were hiking without the packs!
Not sure what kind of flower this is, but the boy thought they were picture worthy
It's a nice tree
Once back to the truck we ate some PB&J sandwiches, rehydrated, and got ready for what looked to be a quick hike into a pretty little lake.

Looks fishy
Finding a place to camp and all that could wait. I strung up a rod and tied on an Olive Woolly Bugger. First cast was met with enthusiasm from a small tiger trout. It had to be a sign.
Gotta love the tigers
Seems like every cast I had a hit or at least a fish following it in. Atley was having fun playing on shore and taking pictures.
Hump-back tiger

They come in bigger sizes too!
These were some of the prettiest tiger trout I'd ever run across! It was awesome fishing with some larger fish mixed in to keep things interesting. Soon, too soon, we had to start thinking about where we'd be sleeping and cooking dinner. So we packed up headed around the lake to a more camping friendly spot. Once there I found the fish were just as willing here, though it was a mix of Cutts and Splake.
This splake looks more like his brookie parent in my opinion
I'm always a sucker for a native
After seeing Dad catch so many, Atley finally decided to give fishing a try and found some Cutts that liked the look of his Orange Asher.

It's a different way to hold a fish, but it worked

A little fish for the little guy
It was at this point that we drew the attention of the local beavers and they made us know that weren't really welcome at their pond. Still shocks me how loud their tail slaps can be! It seemed like a signal that we should light a fire and cook our gourmet dinner. After our ramen was gone I went back to fishing while Atley kept the fire going. Once the light was off the water the Cutts seemed really eager to slam a mouse pattern on a slow retrieve. If I live to be a thousand, I still won't grow tired of throwing mouse patterns. Something about setting the hook when hearing a splash just doesn't get old to me. 
Atley snapped the pic as I was saying something, I'm not actually mad
At about 11:00 I said something to Atley and he didn't reply. I turned to find him asleep on the ground by the fire that had burned low. It was time for bed, so after drowning the fire thoroughly (one of my worst nightmares is starting a wildfire) we hit the sack for a terrible night of insomnia. Atley of course slept like a rock but I laid awake for a long time. As I first started drifting off to sleep I heard something scuttling up the bank, then it scuttled away even faster. After a splash I heard the tail slap that told me the beaver had dropped by to see if he'd scared us away yet. He wasn't happy to find us still there. He let us know about his displeasure for the next couple of hours. Between that, the super bright moon (why wasn't I still fishing?), and the fact that my new backpacking tent is about three inches too short for me, I had a rough night. Despite the lack of sleep I was still up early to fish before we had to leave.

Not a bad view to wake up to
Despite the nice midge hatch the fish were still very willing to slam my bugger till I lost it on a log. Next up was a fly that I've heard was good, but was still yet to catch a fish on. The Black Egg-Sucking Leech was met with enthusiasm as long as it was falling but they wouldn't touch it on the strip. Managed to catch the three species of fish in the lake while sitting next to Atley on a large rock. Pretty cool really.
Look at those colors!

It's fins are purple. PURPLE! Such pretty fish here.

A more lake trout looking splake
All too soon it was time for us to leave. So we packed up and made the short hike back to the truck for the long ride home. 

He's a good boy
It won't take me long to find my way back down here and give some of the other lakes in the area a try and find out if this trip was just a fluke! Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder