Monday, June 20, 2022

A Fisherman's Word

I've been tying a bunch of flies in anticipation of another trip to southern Utah to hit some stillwaters, but when my phone fell out of the car while we were driving it kinda put a snag in my plans.  Fortunately, my son Atley is a technowizard and could fix me up with a temporary phone while waiting for a new screen that he would eventually install for me. Jeff still wanted to get out so we made plans to meet at my house and hit a stream that I hadn't been to in a couple of years. (You can read about that last trip HERE

Once we arrived we could hear all the cicadas in the trees and I was really excited to finally get to use the flies that I tied for a trip to the Green River last year (you can read about that trip HERE & watch the video on how to tie the fly HERE).

I caught a nice fish right out of the gate on the cicada, it was a beautiful cutthroat that rose so slowly you'd think it'd never reach the fly. After that, we worked our way upstream, thinking the fishing would only get better the further from the parking area we were. While fighting my second fish on the big dry fly I felt the horrible cracking sound reverberate through my rod and knew that my favorite rod had broken again. (Read about the first time HERE)

Rather than share a rod for the rest of the day, I decided to quickly make the walk back to the truck to swap out my rod for a spare that I'd brought along. This rod was my little fiberglass rod that would make these fish seem like monsters. We were only a half-mile from the truck so it didn't take too long, but while I was gone Jeff caught two fish on dry flies. He was using a 'Top Shelf Hopper' from Drew Looknfishy that you can see how to tie HERE

When I got back it took a little time to find some fish, we weren't helped by the fact that every few casts or so we'd have to clean the moss from our flies. The moss made it almost impossible to fish a hopper-dropper rig, so Jeff elected to only fish one fly while I decided to fish two dries. Almost right away the dropper, a Purple Haze, produced fish. One fish rose to look at my flies three times before finally taking on the fourth. 

We worked our way upstream taking turns throwing to all the likely spots and getting a couple of rises out of each. I know we could've caught more fish if we would've been able to effectively fish a dropper, but it was really fun watching all these fish rise to our flies. We caught mostly cutthroat with the odd brown mixed in which kept the day interesting. Late in the afternoon, we decided to call it a day and started our long walk back. We were surprised to see a badger cross our path, but he got out of there too quickly to get any pictures so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it. 

Hope you're as lucky,


Monday, June 13, 2022

The Next Fish

For whatever reason, there was an area in the state that I've been wanting to get to for a long time, but it seems like I just can't make it happen. I'm sure it's only because of all the options closer to home that keep me from making the long drive, but this summer Jeff became curious about the same area and convinced me to make the effort. We decided to take our boys, Caden and Luke, with us (Atley had to work). 

When we arrived at Jeff's, we moved all our gear into his rig so we could drive to the lakes together. He also has a side-by-side that we'd be using on some of the notoriously bad roads. When we got to the first lake I found a fat rainbow pretty quickly. 

After catching that rainbow the fish at that lake all seemed unwilling to play our game, so we moved on to another lake. We took a hike that was steeper and longer than we expected to a group of lakes. Jeff caught a small tiger and I hooked into a fish that could've been huge but got tangled into some logs so quickly we'll never know. We didn't take nearly enough food or water with us, so we had to head back sooner than we would've liked but the hike was much easier on the way back down. 

The last lake of the evening held a bunch of brook trout and tiger trout. It was a lot of fun fishing to rising fish, so we stayed past dark. At first, they liked the Purple Frenchie, but as the night when on it seemed like we kept having to change flies to stay in the action. Wired Stones, Zebra Midges, Prince Nymphs, Purple Reign, Chironomids, Griffith's Gnat, Parachute Midge, and finally an Adams were all tried. The Adams was the answer to what they would take from the surface.

First thing in the morning we looked at another lake, but decided not to fish it since there wasn't really anywhere to cast a flyrod. Moved on to a bigger reservoir, but only saw a couple of fish w/o any feeding action. So we decided to hike to another lake, one that I've wanted to fish for a long time. The hike wasn't nearly as bad as the first one of the trip. Right away we found some cutts. The boys even managed to hook into some. Luke caught his first fish on a fly rod! 

We spent longer than we should've at the last lake which meant all that was left was to load up and head for home. We talked about other areas we should explore and made some plans for future trips, always looking ahead to the next trip, the next cast, the next fish. 

Hope you're as lucky,


Saturday, June 4, 2022

Hoping For

Once school is out I have a few weeks without work, so my schedule is pretty open. Unfortunately, my wife Deli's schedule isn't. She has to plan for a vacation for quite a while, and she's the type of person that won't take a vacation if it's going to be inconvenient for her coworkers. So we planned on taking a few days and going camping, but we were locked into those days even when the weather looked like it wasn't going to be that great during our trip. 

Last year when we made the trip to Flaming Gorge I got hooked on fishing for kokanee salmon (read about that trip HERE). This fish puts up an amazing fight, is super cool looking, and tastes great. I was really excited to get back after them. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any kokanee this trip. Not sure if it was the weather, time of year, or just bad luck, but we couldn't seem to track down any salmon. So, we did what anybody who has been to the gorge probably would've done and switched gears to catching lake trout instead. 

These fish are what they refer to as 'pups' and are relatively small for lake trout, but seemed plenty big enough to me! I still can't wrap my head around the fact that a 20-24" fish could possibly be a little one. The DWR encourages people to keep these fish, so we did our part and had plenty for a good fish fry.

We didn't really use our boat too much at first because of the weather, and instead, I would go out in the mornings with Weston in his boat then the weather would keep us off the water for the rest of the day. Once Weston left, we broke out our boat and my Dad and Atley both found good fish. 

The weather completely changed for the better, but everyone had to go home so Deli, the boys and I were the only ones left to enjoy it. We managed to find another good fish before we had to call it and head back home. The first of many trips out with the boat (I hope) this year was a success, even if it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for.