Sunday, July 3, 2016


It seems like it's always last minute with us. It's true that there are times when a trip is planned well in advance, but usually it's more like a day or two before we just decide it's time to go. That's how it was when my Dad called and invited us to go camping with him up to Strawberry Reservoir. The first thought was to try and find time to get everything ready to go, but with the new trailer most of our stuff was already packed!

When I was growing up we spent a lot of time at Strawberry trolling from our flat-bottomed boat. For a kid that would much rather be casting a fly rod, trolling pop-gear and worm for hours on end is just about the equivalent of hell. Yes, we caught fish. Lots of fish in fact, but the mindlessness of trolling cannot be overstated and so, I hated Strawberry. Conversely, Del's family spent a lot of time at Strawberry when she was a kid too and she has fond memories of camping with family. So, while I wasn't too excited about the trip Del was looking forward to it.

My less than fond memories probably led to a lack of focus on fishing for the trip. The first evening we focused on setting up camp and didn't really have any desire to rush out to do anything else. That night and most of the next day I tried to catch up on the sleep I was lacking from running the Summer Band program that had started up that week. The boys didn't seem to mind since there was a 4-wheeler in camp. Del and I took a nice walk up a tributary that was closed to fishing and spotted some Cutthroat that were traveling upstream to spawn. I'm not sure how they made it so far up this tiny creek with all the pelicans and cranes that were hunting them, but I guess that's just the dangers of love.

Much to the frustration of my Dad and Brother we didn't get around to fishing until that evening and even then it was only for a little while. I hooked one small rainbow on my first cast with a Woolly Bugger behind a bubble on my spinning rod, but that was the extent of our fishing success. The boys had much more fun skipping rocks than trying to catch fish and sometimes that's okay. Back at camp we had fajitas for dinner and the boys had fun making s'mores around the campfire.

The final morning of our little trip my Dad and I took a little drive to a stream that wasn't closed for spawning fish to do a little fly fishing. This was one of the first streams that I had fished with a fly rod and I had fond memories of eager little browns that were real confidence boosters. Not sure why, but Dad and I didn't find that much success early on. We tried a few different rigs/flies but it didn't seem to make much of a difference until mid-morning when the temperatures began to rise. The little stream hadn't changed much in the years since I was last here and my little fiberglass rod was perfect for it's inhabitants. Dad didn't have much success, instead electing to watch me for most of the morning despite my many objections. He did finally make a connection on what turned out to be the fish of the day, and the last fish of the day, when he casted into a beaver pond that really didn't look all that promising (to me at least). The 13" brown fought well and would've made for a nice pic had I not forgotten the camera.

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out with Del's family for Father's Day and while it wasn't camping or fishing, it was still a good time. 

Hope you're as lucky,

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