Friday, August 28, 2009

I forgot my net.....

I jetted out this morning to explore new lands..... I ended up at the east fork of the little bear river. The section that I fished is a tailwater to Porcupine Reservoir and WOW was it ever a sweet spot! The little reservoir is a sight to see and is chuck full of Kokanee salmon. The run is just beginning so the inlet is closed until the end of September. I parked the truck at 6:30 am just a few hundred yards below the dam and started getting ready. The water looked good and I had high hopes for the morning fish. My pole was already set up with a nymphing rig so I decided to throw it for a while. Nothing happened for a couple minutes, but then I hooked up on a nice little bow! Next cast I hooked a nicer brown and lost him trying to rush him. After moving about 100 yards upriver, I saw a couple fish rise. I decided to switch to a hopper dropper. I tied on an olive rainy's hopper with a rainbow warrior dropper. I casted against the bank about 10 yards straight upriver into a slight pool. I watched the hopper float slowly back towards me. I was "feelin the money" and I stripped the slack slowly with anticipation. The hopper suddenly went under and I lifted the rod just as a really nice bow errupted out of the pool and bolted into the riffle. He ran downstream about 25 yards and set on the bottom. After a couple minutes, he tired and I had him in my hands. He was CHUNKY! I love fat bows. He had a sweet pink-band and really sweet spots. I fished the rest of the way up to the spillway without so much as a nibble. I decided to go back downstream, re-rig with a nymphing rig, and fish some of the lower stuff. ( I hadn't realized I was so close to the outlet when I started the morning)
While I was walking down the banks of the river I was noticing some of the nicer holes that I would fish on the way back up. Just then I spooked a little 7-8inch fish out of a hole. He swam slowly downstream......then............out of nowhere came a MONSTER brown that proceeded to MUNCH THE EIGHT INCHER! He had the helpless trout in his mouth crossways and was headshaking it like crazy! I think my jaw hit ground and my eyes popped out of my head! Just then the big boy noticed the bystander, let go of his meal, and bolted into a large tree covered hole. DANG!......... That would be my last hole to fish on my way back up to the truck. I backed up and looped down a 150 yards or so. I spotted a nice bow facing downstream on a back eddy. I reached out my 9 footer and dropped a lightning bug right infront of his nose. He casually swam up to it and ate it! I set the hook and quickly stripped him in. He was no more than 12". My next cast into a spillway produced a nice little brown. I moved up fishing some other nice holes and caught a couple more bows, one that was quite nice.
Finally, I reached the "tree hole". I snuck up to the side of the hole and casted my nymph rig upstream. I then allowed the whole rig, indicator and all, to flow under the branches of the overhanging tree. The indicator stopped.............and.........SNAG! DANG! Just then, the monster brown exploded out of the water, up into the entanglement of branches! It wasn't a snag! The fish was ON!!!!! I held on tight and grimmaced as the fish jumped three more times, each of which, tangled up my fly line more and more in the branches! I decided to feed slack and try to spook the fish out of the back of the hole. My plan worked and the fish moved to the tail-out of the hole. My fly line was still WAY tangled in the tree so I set my pole down and grabbed the line coming out of the tree at the tail end of the hole. The fish was basically beaching himself in the 5-6inch deep water infront of me. I scrambled down the line and tried to tail the fish. He wouldn't allow it and just as I had a hand on him.....he broke my line! Time stood still as I struggled mentally.... I instinctively dove on the fish, soaking my whole upper body in the icy cold tailwater. The fish struggled to escape! I held on tight, but just as I thought I had him............!!!......... he slipped out of my hands and raced back upstream into the darkness of the hole and out of my life forever. There I sat in the freezing stream, water dripping and running off my face and sunglasses.................. completely awestruck that this had all just happened. The fish was probably one of, if not my best brownie of all time. He won. I lost. I sat thinking to myself,....................why in the world did I forget my stinkin' net?!!!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The REAL Logan River

So I skipped out for a couple hours today to do some exploring. I drove about 7 or 8 miles up the canyon. I parked on the first good looking pull off and started walking down a trial towards the river. When I got there, I could see some nice looking holes., they were AMAZING looking holes! Crystal clear, COLD water and a solid cobble bottom. Quite breathtaking really and I had to sit on a rock for a few minutes while I rigged to catch the moment a little. The smells, the sounds, and OH the sights were so sweet. I reached below my feet and grabbed a rock.... A monster golden stone nymph crawled quickly around. Several baetis nymphs and an assortment of other mayfly nymphs crawled quickly away. I tied on a pheasant tail with a rainbow warrior dropper. I jumped in about 20 yards below the holes and started casting. I chucked a couple short casts then, on my first good drift with the distance I was after, the pink baloondicator stopped and went under. I lifted the rod and the fish shot to my left. One headshake later that ended that...... The fish was off. I continued fishing up the river amazed at the clarity of the water and just enjoyed being out. I fished a couple more holes catching only one small small SMALL brown. I was a little disappointed, but it didn't matter and I had to get back. I made a new goal starting now to take pictures of the holes and runs where I catch fish. I think that will be a kinda cool way to capture the memory. I WILL learn this place..........

Monday, August 24, 2009

Logan: Land of ........trout....I think?

So we arrived in Logan on Sunday afternoon. We will be living with Jesse and Chelcie (brother and sister-in-laws) for this first week of school. (Long story.) Anyways, Jesse and I decided to walk down to the river with a spotlight and headlamps to check out what was "lurking" around the bridges and such on the lower Logan river stretches. We walked to the first bridge and looked in to see some nice 16+ inch brownies and some monster CARP! (I love to fight carp, but I hate to touch em.) We saw some nicer fish that looked promising so the next morning we were on the river with fly rod in hand ready for action. I tied on a bead hares ear with a San Juan dropper and my first cast I surrendered the entire rig to an overhanging tree! DANG!!!!!! I HATE IT WHEN I DO THAT!! He he. I re-rigged and Jesse in the meantime hooked a little whitefish on a 18 beadhead rabbit hearing device. I fished quite rigorously for the next couple hours with NOTHING when I finally spotted a nice little 12" brownie sunning and sipping. I tied on a green caddis larvae and let the drifting begin. First drift...... He ate it! But, I MISSED IT! After several unsuccessful attempts I tied on a rainbow warrior. I watched the fly drift close then..........HE SIPPED IT! BAM! Fish on! Whew! That was a long 25 minutes for a nice little................WHAT? It was a little WHITE FISH! ARGG. That took the air right out of that fun reward. Oh well. At least he put up a good fight. I visited Round Rocks fly shop afterwards and they pointed me in the right direction to the land of the cutties......That'll be the next trip........ Beetles hanging out of the lips of nice Logan River bonnie cuts. Still smilin....................

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Grumpy time!

I gave Salt Creek one last hoorah this afternoon. We are moving to Logan and I start school Monday. It was four o'clock when I hit the stream and fairly overcast. It was hot as hades and there were a lot of stinky sheep stomping around in some of my favorite holes :( I went down below and was feelin' an itch to throw a new foam beetle pattern that I had recently tied up. I threw on a rainbow warrior dropper just for good measure about 18 inches below Mr. beetle. As I entered the stream, I sat for a minute or two, looking upstream for some risers. After a spell of NADA, I casted upstream and realized it was A LOT harder to see a size 16 black beetle than the fatty foam hopper I had been fishing. I finally picked it out floating in the surface film. Right as my eyes focused on it........ it shot under the water. FISH ON! The rainbow warrior did the trick for the next several minutes and before I knew it I had 6 fish and 8 takes! Not bad considering I usually miss most of the first few takes of any given fishing trip. Anyways, keeping an accurate take-count vs. fish-count was a priority today. I decided to switch to a Grumpy Frumpy because nothing was really looking up at the beetle. I waded slowly upstream noticing how the fish seemed to care less about the sheep glurping the clear water only feet away. (I oughta market some sheep camo for fly fishermen). About the same time, I spotted a nice fish under a mossy shelf. I watched him for a couple minutes as he casually moved back and forth, sipping unseen bugs subsurface. I check casted about 4 feet to his right to measure my distance. Unexpectedly, the fish shot out from under the bank and speedily attacked the Grumpy! I was so surprised that I set the hook like Arnold Schwarzenegger and broke off my flies. ARRRRRGHHHH! I HATE IT WHEN I DO THAT! After a speedy re-rig, I began casting again. For the next few minutes I had to whisper to myself with every cast and drift, "Lift the rod easy, lift the rod easy, lift the rod easy......" Within 5 yards of the lost-rig-fish, I set the hook on a nice little bow that fell for the rainbow warrior. He jumped twice then ran down river right between my legs! This can be problematic as those who have experienced it can testify. The fish luckily got tangled in some moss or I probably would have lost him. He ended up being a smaller fish than I initially thought. Rainbows seem to pull and put up more exceptional fights as opposed to browns. As I continued upstream, I spotted another little brownie sunning at the tail end of a calm, clear pool. My cast was pro-like (yes I'm bragging) and the grumpy passed UN-noticed by Goldie. The bead however couldn't be passed up. I saw the white of the fish's mouth as he sipped. WHAM! Fish on! He ended up being better than I thought and the coolest part of all was the sweet take he allowed me to watch :) I love sight fishing. Anyways, I had a couple similar takes and a wonderful day. I actually kept a great tally, ending the 1 hour and 50 minute trip with 23 takes and 16 fish. A solid day. Not anything like psychosity, but that's another story...........Still smilin'.............

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Salt creek psychosity

I have been packing boxes like crazy for the past few days, but my wife finally gave me a kitchen pass to fish a couple hours on Salt Creek. I headed up the canyon at about 2:30 in the afternoon in my new truck (he he). I started out fishing a stretch of river that held a couple nicer fish that had previously kicked my but and won the battle. I rigged up with a rainy's hopper and below it an olive hares ear dropper about two and a half feet off the bend of the hopper hook. I yo-yo casted up stream above the riffle and let the fly drift down through the hole. I nailed a nice bow on that first cast. He so very UN-casually took the hopper off the top with a splash and a flip of his tail. After some high spirited jumps I landed him. While admiring the large amount of small, closely spaced spots and beautifully green back, I returned the fish. I slowly moved up the creek taking many browns with the occasional bow on the hopper, and even more fish on the beadhead. I love watching the hopper stop or even better, begin to race towards the underwater bank . I get some strange high on seeing my "indicator" go under. Fishing was hot and I caught a couple larger fish than usual in this small unknown secret of a stream. I had a few takes where the entire fish literally exploded out of the water for the hopper. I even had a nice golden brown chase the hopper downstream about 10-15 ft before attacking it. Fishing was dreamlike and I couldn't wipe the smile from my face that resulted from every solid set that followed a good presentation. I even found myself laughing out loud as a fish jumped and splashed, finding itself hooked. I caught a lot of fish today. In fact, I slayed em. Psychosity: definition......catching 40-50 fish in just a couple hours qualifying one as victorious. Phil won today, and he's still smiling.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Provo wins....

Joe and I went to the Provo yesterday with hopes of top water action on a hopper-dropper combo. It was a sunny, but cool day and nothing seemed to really be coming up..... We threw hoppers for an hour or so without much luck. One small brown chased my hopper down stream, but that was our only look. Shortly after, I found a back eddi that looked promising. I casted downstream into the eddi and let the hopper swirl and float back along the bank towards me. The hopper suddenly got sucked down by some unseen opponent........The trout had taken the dropper, in this case, a Frito's sow bug. I set the hook and the fish fought a good battle for his size. (mostly due to the foul hook in the right pectoral fin.) We pumped the fish and he gave up three adult caddis and a couple small sow bugs. We kept fishing and shortly after another fish rose to the hopper.......... swing and a miss for me. I excitedly set WAY too quickly. Joe crossed the river and fished a promising undercut bank. Nothing came of it and he moved up into a little beaver pond side channel. He hooked up immediately on a beadhead brassie dropper below his hopper. It was a nice, fat brown probably 14-15 inches. I also crossed the river and we moved up the beaver pond side channel and didn't have much luck. Upon returning to the main river there were some fish rising to yellow/tan caddis flies. We changed flies and I quickly picked up a 10 incher off the top. After a half hour without a take, we decided to nymph for a while. I snagged up on the bottom near shore on my first cast. When I tried to retrieve it, the rig came loose right exactly at the moment I was trying to pull it free with my pole hand while at the same time sliding my hand down the rig to pull. The result? I had a tungstud nymph embedded in my pinkie finger all the way to the shank..... It was nauseating to pull the barb through my finger. Oh well. Joe hooked up on a nice one shortly after and lost him in the same minute. He's a nymphing master and soon hooked up on another big fish. He fought him for a few minutes while he slowly moved downstream. The fish was strong and on the first glimpse, we thought the fish to be a monster brownie. After a couple more minutes of fighting, we saw that the fish was a oversized white fish. This fish was also foul hooked had put up a great, sustained fight. After landing the fish we decided to call it a day. The Provo won......again. Joe and Phil lose their second-in-a-row battle with the middle. Until next time........... That big brownie still sits calmly on the bottom laughing as flies drift slowly past...........

Monday, August 3, 2009

Southern Utah on the fly

I took the varsity scouts down to southern utah hiking/fishing/cliff jumping this last Thursday and Friday. It was a blast. We hiked Kanarravill falls and I caught a million little cutties on a foam beetle. Then we stayed at leeds creek and the boys caught 150+ crawdads in the creek. Yes, we had a serious fry. In the morning one of the boys started yelling, "There's a monster lizard that just walked off that cliff!" I walked over there and looked over the edge............and sure enough!!!!!! a GILA MONSTER! It was really sweet. I got some big gloves on and picked it up. Probably a good pound and a half of solid poisonous dragon! Awesome. We then went to sand hollow to fish and cliff jump. I threw wooly grubbers at the bass sight fishing. I hadn't seen a fish for a while so I started blind casting out into the deep. After a long cast and a long retrieve, I began to look for my grubber...... Upon spotting it, there was a monster 4+pound bass about an inch behindt he fly staring it down. One little strip/twitch and he was on!!!!!! He eventually won the battle, but I learned alot. I love to watch big bass poundin' flies...... We also had one hit a top water mouse! Sweetness. The boys caught some bass on senkos and we picked off a couple blue gill on damselfy nymphs.The cliffs at Sand Hollow were perfect for jumping and we all had a great time. We returned safely after a really fun trip. The next afternoon I ran up salt creek to see what was going on. The hoppers were out and I watched a brownie pound a live one that had fallen in. I put on a foam hopper and proceeded to catch 15 nice golden browns off the top! Fun for all ages.

Old trip: Early spring BWO's on the Provo

My trips are kinda out of order...........Oh well. This particular trip to the Provo was a good time. I found out that "Phil's emergers" are fish catchers and that big rainbows cant pass up sow bugs. I broke off a chubby rainbow and after re-rigging, caught the same rainbow the very next cast with my other rig in the other side of its mouth! Crazy. I love the Provo. Ps..........Jack caught like 20 on a Para Adams...... Old master I guess.

Idaho: Henries Opener, mice included!

We got there late saturday afternoon and jumped in Rich's boat (his wife has a cabin on the lake with a dock) Rich had already caught some 4-6lb fish earlier in the day. Right off the bat rich hooked up and addie reeled in a nice Cutbow and things were looking good. After another couple hours of nothing but CRAZY wind, we decided to head back for the cabin. :( Rich and I decided to go try to worm the outlet of the lake below the dam before dark..... We walked up to the river, skeptical, and cautious.....not knowing if there were any special regs on the river (about the size of 2 diamond forks.) We each threw in our first casts on a bend hole and immediately I saw rich's first hybrid cutbow explode out of the water! Nice fish pushing 20 inches. My first cast drifted through the hole and I felt the all familiar "ding, ding" I set the hook and the fight was on. We both about died when we got it close enough to see! 22 inches of BRIGHT red male Native Cutthroat!!! HOLY CRAP twas sweet. Bitter sweet I should say.... no camera or phones that night.... So next day being sunday we went to church and then sat around enjoying the bounty. That night we got thinking.....what if we were to go in the morning before light with our fly rods and throw mice patterns???After all these fish are BIG! So that next morning at 4:30 am found Rich and I at the river with mouse patterns tied on.... We started casting across and downs stream then stripping them back accross the top of the water......Next thing I know we are catching freaking 20-22 inch fish on MICE!!!!!! It started getting lighter and we switched to giant white zonkers...... same story, except on the zonkers it was EVERY CAST for 45 minutes straight!!!!!! After that we noticed beds (redds) from the spawners and rich had a fish hit the connecter to his fly line..... I thought to myself Hum......??? EGG FLY!!!! Yep, I started to kill them on an egg fly but rich didn't have on and I only had one so the action was over for him and I had another solid 1/2 hour of sweetness! The fish were amazing and the new reel on my rod was amazingly sweet. NO lie, We caught tons of giant native and hybrid fish on giant flies for over an hour and a half. The mice pics didn't turn dark, but some of the other ones were awesome!

Salt Creek hopper mania!

Last week I hit up the Provo river on the way home from work before we headed to fish Lake..... I was fishing sow bugs (the provo is also full of em) but not having much success.... I had lost a couple small browns (one on my first cast) and Joe and I started to work our way up the river........ There was a seam between a riffle and calm water and I casted my rig about 20 ft straight upstream from us and let it drift straight our way..... When my stike indicator was about 10 ft infront of us it stopped........I lifted the rod swiftly and a 20+" brown shot 3 feet straight out of the water right in front of us!!!!! It was a stinkin football of a fish! The fight was on and he headed straight for the current........30 yards of fly line later he plunged to the bottom and there he was prepared to sit out the fight. We tried everything to move him off the bottom in the swift current, but nothing worked that well. We forgot a net so to make a long story short, we tried too early to get him to shore and I lost the brute. I was sick... Oh well, good times.

Lately I have been sight fishing the creek between the first pond and the KOA with foam hoppers...........OH.........Goodness. Talk about good times! Yesterday, Joe and I went up for a couple hours before everyone got up. We had caught 20+ brownies (all aobut 10-14 inches) on the top on hoppers when we found a really nice, deep hole that looked promising. Joe casted first and nailed a monster Brownie for the stream. I casted next and my hopper landed softly up at the head and drifted down naturally through the hole, right next to the opposite overhanging bank........ suddenly a ghost of a monster RAINBOW came out from under the bank and casually slurped up the hopper off the top! I waited for him to turn back down then.............POW! I set hard and the fight was on!! Holy cow..........good times sight fishing for trout in a stream............

Idaho: Land of large fish

So there I was in Rexburg idaho on wednesday night. Rich and I went straight to the Henries Lake outlet. We proceeded to throw mice and other "tight" flies at big, beautiful, rising cutties in the darkness with only the light of headlamps.... No moon. It was amazing and on my first mousey cast the water exploded and I hooked up on a monster 21" cutt. Rich also hooked up about the same time on a white zonker and it put up a great fight. We caught about 5 each and then the fog was so bad that we decided to call it a night at about 12:30am. The crazy thing.........????.............not a single fish under 20". I love Idaho. We slept at Rich's and the next morning rich had class so I headed to the South Fork of the snake where I began nymphing with hand tied hare's ear nymphs. I picked off a few really nice browns. I hooked up on what seemed like a monster brown and after a long sustained turned into a foul hooked white fish........ :( dang. It got me excited for a minute. Oh well, Good times. Rich and I headed to salmon later that day. We slept in the back of his truck on the side of the river and at 5:00 am started casting. Right off the bat, my pole danced in my hands and I landed a small 15 inch rainbow. Wow, that really got my heart pumping! I thought I had on a salmon for a split second! After a couple hours, I set the hook on a potential bite and the 15Lb test line sang as a pacific King salmon took off with my bait. Rich scrambled for the net, but it didn't last long and the king remained king.........he got off. We weren't too sad though.......hopeful really because it was only morning and we had 2 long days to catch em...................... To make a long story short, We fished all the rest of the day for one more "bite" and no salmon. That evening we went to the hatchery up river for motivation and watched as the indians speared and snagged em in the closed to the public section of the river. (they can do what ever they want) It made me sick. After a couple more hours fishing that evening I noticed that my knee was beginning to hurt............... No I mean REALLY HURT! I took off my waders and saw that an ingrown hair on my knee had turned WAY bad and was a giant ball of puss and muck that could only mean one thing.........cellulitus. Home to Rexburg for me and a trip cut short. I visited the doctor in the morning on saturday and he gave me a monster shot and some other antibiotics. All in all. was a good trip.

Lower Fish Creek.......

Price trip #1
Anyone interested in a good fly fishing's a long winded one for ya......

Saturday: June 6th, 4:00 am found me driving northward to meet Joe from work in Spanish Fork to head to the river that winds down out of Scofield reservoir (Lower Fish Creek also known as the Price River). We got there at the first hint light and started walking down into the artificial-lure-only zone.... I put on a white woolly bugger and casted, while at the same time walking downstream, into the riffles and pools allowing the fly to drift down, then stripping it back....I hooked a nice little brownie first cast...he escaped. It was so cold that the eyelets on my rod were icing up and my hands wanted nothing but the big, warm pocket in the front of my neoprene chest waders. We continued to walk down toward to the "Good water," about a mile downstream, not taking too much note to the fish rising to small mayflies almost constantly. Finally, we couldn't stand it any longer and decided to stop and throw flies for a while at the risers.... A size 20 parachute adams did the trick, but after a couple bent hookes and misses we decided to head down river. As it got lighter, a sweet mist began to rise from the river and the air was amazingly crisp and beautifully FALLISH as the yellow sunrise began to show over the ridge Then, happened! 150 yards or so behind us......! An elk bugled!!!!!!!!!!! It continued to bugle for the next ten minutes as we stood in awe, looking at each other dumbfounded each time the bull spoke. T'was amazingly unusual for June and yet it was totally appreciated! We walked past the slower section of river about a mile from the dam and finally reached the first riffle and white water that I hadn't fished since I was sixteen. On a previous March scouting trip (not fishing trip due to low flows) I had done my homework, flipping over rocks and collecting bugs for patterns to tie at my bench. I now tie all my own bugs. Sow bugs (aquatic species of potatoe or pill bugs) were definately the predominant bug in the river. I had previously tied some up using carpet from my brother-in-law's bedroom as dubbing. The pattern seemed perfect and the color was precise. With a dozen or so sow bug immitations in the fly box we head back to the story...... We got to the end of a large hole and proceeded to "nymph" using the newly tied carpet bugs with a strike indicator acting like a bobber. What happened next can only be described as "bliss and utter happiness".... We began to nail monster chubby rainbows, browns, tigers, and cutties for the next five hours, as we moved slowly up the river. We were catching around ten fish per hole and they were so big that we would have to follow them down river everytime because they were pulling so dang hard !!! It was a rod bending / drag pullin' frenzy!!! I loved it!! Now to the best part of the story......As I got up to a really fast section of the river I almost didn't cast because of river's swiftness, but decided to give it a try anyway.... I casted, mended my line, and watched as my strike indicator stopped. I set the hook calmly but quickly upwards and downstream. I initially thought I was snagged up because "it" felt so solid..... then "it" decided to fight! Wahoo!! The fight was on! He ran fast and hard downstream, using the current to his advantage..... Florescent green fly line flew and my chrome reel buzzed as he made several long spirited runs. I ran as fast as I could down the river to keep up! After a long sustained fight and a few minutes later, he finally gave up to his master and I had him in my hands.... I had just caught one of my best all time brownies on a fly! Way long....WAY fat ..... the exact measurements didn't matter, but the small details caught my eye.......the yellow-gold of the fish's sides and potatoe chip sized fins, the deep red and white ringed spots, the amazing pearlescence of his scales, the sky blue of his gill plates. How beautiful are the creations of our God! AMAZING!!! It was a trip to remember. It was a fly fishing highlight and I am addicted to the sweet sound of the "slurp" caused by one line being pulled off the water as a hook is set into the lips of a monster trout!

Life is a fly fisherman's paradise.
Price trip#2......
Rich came down and we fished the price river again. We started out chucking big streamers and i picked off a nice brownie. We then started nymphing with "D's carpet bugs" and started to destroy as usual...... We were catching some nice browns and bows and about mid day, ....... it happened again! I hooked into a monster brownie! He was running down river as hard as he could and we had to run 150 yards just to keep up!!!! We were exhausted when we finally caught up. Rich had the net and we finally got him tired enough to get him in the net. He had a messed up face and lips and thus the name.............."the alligator brown" He was kinda ugly, being caught before for sure. Nothing like the beauty I caught last time. At the end of the day in the pouring rain, I hooked into an even bigger fish. Needless to say................the big one got away. While walking back to the truck I picked off a riser on a foam first ever on that particular fly. Good times.