Friday, March 27, 2015


The eyes glowing in the headlights started out near the ground, like rabbit height. As my truck approached the eyes raised, and raised, until they were almost level with my own. The body of the elk became visible just as I drew even with it. Luckily, the highway swerved away and I didn't have to try and stop. Holy crap they're big. Like total-the-truck big. Talk about a rude wake-up on my drive! Not that I was really asleep, just mulling over all the crap that Spring brings with my job/the house/kids/etc....

The night should've included a little more sleep, but the vice was calling for a couple new brainstorms that I hoped would help to unlock the reservoir where my headlights were pointing. I've only fished there a few times, but never really had the success that I felt like I should - which may or may not be realistic. 

Simi-seal jig
Trust me, it looks better when it slims in the water
I like the look of these, but I haven't caught a fish on one yet...

Once I arrived at the water I tried to find a decent place to launch the kick boat, because I'm too cheap to pay for the launch over at the State Park. I knew of a couple spots that would work, and it being early morning and still midweek, I had my choice of them. I brought the arsenal today in terms of rods, with my spinning rod and three fly rods: one floating line, one intermediate, and a full sink type III. 

Early on it was obvious that the wind was going to be an issue, and of course I had forgotten the anchor, again. I need to make a list of everything that I use out on the water for whatever fishing I plan to do on any given day. Maybe I'll make a new tab on the blog for it. I know that most of you won't be interested in using it, but at least I'll be able to find it when I'm packing up. 

Quite a few of these 12-14" fish kept things interesting
With no anchor, and the wind getting increasingly annoying, I trolled quite a bit early on. I tried to keep mental notes on where the fish were, and what I was doing when getting any hits. The transition zones between shallow and deeper water were key today. When I found active fish, they were pretty willing to come to a bugger trolled slowly.

Best fish of the day, 19" and really heavy.
The day hit a slow stretch so I decided to head back to shore for a lunch. Once I turned to start kicking in that direction a large trout made an appearance about six feet to my right. Just as quickly as he appeared from the depths, he disappeared back into them. Lunch would wait as I casted, and trolled around the area to no avail. Accepting defeat, I headed to shore for a sandwich and some much needed thawing. Once I backed onto land and stood up I spotted another (the same?) fish hanging just fifteen feet away. I made a quick cast that landed too close and spooked him. Dang. 

In between the gusts of wind it was a great day to be out
Lunch didn't hold my attention for long, and I decided to head back out for a bit longer. I turned my attention to deeper water in hopes of getting some action on my jigs. The wind made life a little difficult when it decided to change directions several times over the next hour. At one point I directed my attention to untangling a knot on my flyrod and ended up about 100 yards away from where I was trying to fish. With the knot in order I picked up my spinning rod and had a light hit. After a short, uneventful fight (like dragging in a stick with the occasional head shake) I brought a decent smallmouth bass to hand. With the water at 48° he wasn't in much of a fighting mood, but it was still pretty cool to see him. A little later in the year another option will be quite a bit of fun...

With the light fading, the wind persistent, and the temperatures beginning to drop I decided to head for home. A good day of fishing. I don't usually seek out opportunities to fish alone, but I do enjoy a good day of solitude. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.
- Kidder

I'm sure it was calm right after I left...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Time

Feel pretty lucky that my Spring break, the wife's Spring break and the kids' Spring break all line up despite the fact that we're all involved with different schools/districts. So to celebrate, we decided to head back to where I fished alone last week to try our luck. Up before dawn, which Cado calls "Night morning" to load up and head out. Before even reaching our destination we knew that the wind would be an issue, but we pressed on anyway and hoped for the best.

Even when the weather doesn't cooperate, it's still a great place to be
The family was willing to brave the cold wind, but without any fishy action after a little while it was definitely time to move on. At first we drove around the lake, hoping to find a bay that was out of the wind, but it wasn't to be. Luckily the stream below the reservoir was somewhat out of the wind, and we stopped to see if any fish would be willing to play. As we made our way down the embankment it was easy to spot a few fish working on the tail end of a large pool. On went a Parachute Zebra with a Brassie dropper and Del was able to hook and land her first fish on a flyrod, that was also her first Brown Trout! Pretty fun to help her sight fish the pool where she ended up catching five! She's not completely sold on the flyfishing thing yet, but we're one step closer...

Workin' it
As always, if I take one of the boys fishing they get involved and actually fish, but it I take two they end up just playing together. It's all good, climbing rocks and exploring is still way better than video games!
They're good boys
After lunch we decided to head a little further south to try our luck at a reservoir that none of us had really fished. The wind was still a factor here, but we were able to find a nice little bay that was somewhat out of the weather. Better still, we found a couple of splake pretty quickly.

First fish on my new spinning rod
Nice pattern on this one's back
After those fish the action really died off, so we packed up. The ride home was pretty uneventful, other than a really good burger at Junction Cafe in Fairview. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.
- Kidder

Feels good to get out!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

First Float

It's not that I prefer fishing alone, but it seems like I end up doing it quite a bit. My Dad thinks I'm crazy for being out and about by myself. I'm not refuting that... Anyway, last Saturday I put in my time taking care of some "honey-do's" so that when Sunday rolled around without any plans I could take advantage. I loaded my kick boat up in the pre-dawn light and headed to a place where we went a lot when I was a kid. Saw some wild turkeys and lots elk on the ride but didn't stop to take pictures. 

The reservoir has undergone a lot of changes since then, mostly positive in terms of fishing, but it still has some of the prettiest water I've seen. While setting up my boat I realized I'd forgotten a couple of things, just like I seem to every first trip of the year, this time it was my wading boots and my wool socks. I couldn't get away with not wearing boots, because I'd probably loose my flippers if I tried, so my shoes would have to do. Found some fish lying low pretty early on but couldn't buy a hit on any flies. So I went with my second choice and did some vertical jigging with my ice fishing pole (my spinning rod's broken, so I guess another rod-build could be in order). The fish seemed to like what I was serving up and I had a couple of hook ups. Too bad they got off at the boat. The third times a charm though and soon enough this splake came to hand.

Love the way he shows traits from both his parents
After that it was as if the wind knew I was having fun and just couldn't stand it. The lack of wool socks was also taking it's toll, so I called it a good day of fishing from the kick boat and headed back to the truck. Not wanting to waste the time and effort of getting to this area, I decided to check out a small stream that I used to hike up with my Grandma when I was a kid. This is the sort of thing that I probably wouldn't even remember, but Grandma likes to remind me of it every time I visit. The last time I was at her house got me thinking about those hikes and how we used to see fish in the stream...

No fish today, but this Summer may yield different results
After that it was back down the canyon to fish the small tailwater the reservoir provides. What I found was really low, clear water and some spooky little brown trout. But they were more than willing to play as long as I was careful. They were feeding on midges above and below the surface (depending on the fish), and with the low water it was a lot of fun to sight fish. 

My wife is teaching me how to use Photoshop

One of those places I dream about
Small, but they have some great qualities

This is usually impassable

Weird little dark stripe on this one
Now, everyone knows that any body of water or stretch of stream holds at least one fish that is significantly bigger than all those around it. With the low water I was hoping to find some of those larger fish, but I only spotted one that refused my offering quite rudely. Hopefully there are more and they were just hiding under rocks.

Now I know where he lives, just under that rock
I definitely stayed longer than I should have, but I couldn't help it, fishing is just that fun. Luckily, I have a patient wife. The ride home was really pretty, with lots of deer and elk that stayed off the road just like they're supposed to. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder

Funny to see that deer in with all those elk

What a view of the Sanpete Valley

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stir Crazy

Around here the weather is right in that transitional phase where it will snow one day and be over 60 degrees the next, which doesn't usually equate to good fishing. Between that, and some family duties that were scheduled, it didn't look like I was likely to get out. No big deal, I'll just spend some time at the vice (since I'm still waiting on some parts for the rod building project). 

These are typically used for trolling behind a dodger, or pop-gear, but I think they might work as a small pike fly...

Fun stuff
By Sunday afternoon I was feeling the walls close in around me and knew that I had to get out. Atley and I took a short ride to check on some water that I'm hoping to hit soon, and a small stream that should provide a nice quick-trip getaway during the summer.

I like the different shades of blue

On this angle the water looks way more green, unbelievably low though.

Couple of Canadians

This is about a 15 minute drive away from my house.
All we found was mud and some geese, but it still felt good. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder

The muddy water doesn't look so bad in B&W

Sunday, March 1, 2015

To Bling or Not To Bling

I've been hesitating to start a rod build that I have all the components for, which is completely unlike me, because I'm not sure what I want to do just above the handle. I've been experimenting with some cross wrapping ideas that would look really cool (see a couple here), but some people on a forum that I'm a member of don't think that cross-wrapping really fits with the fly fishing aesthetics. So I keep going back and forth, not sure what I should do and consequently haven't done anything. 

Until this weekend anyway! I finally figured that I should get all the guides on, do the ferule wraps, and I can still put off the decision making while I'm getting some work done. 

Amazing how long it took to get my first rod to this point

I like the ferule wraps

Cool handle

Look at all that blank space just above the handle...
So now I'm still not sure what to do, but at least I accomplished something more that just cleaning the basement this weekend. Let me know what you think I should do in the comments below! I think my Dad is open for whatever on this rod. 

Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy nature.

- Kidder