Thursday, May 13, 2010

Southern Utah Big Mouths...

This past weekend Jesse Riding (manager of Rainy's Flies) and I found ourselves in Southern Utah chasing largemouth bass on the fly. We arrived at S. Hollow Friday morning and were disappointed to see that the lake was low and none of the cattails were flooded on the shore lines..... No cover generally equates to no bass and especially no bluegill. We moved toward what little cover was present and began chuckin' junk into the clear water. We were excited to pick off a couple small bass right off the bat, blind casting into the deep. (Make sure to click on pics to get the full effect)

After about an hour or so we spotted a hawg fish that had staked claim under a submerged sagebrush. We threw at him for ten or fifteen minutes without as much as a wiggle. We decided to move on. In the next couple hours, we caught a few more decent fish and one nicer fish sight fishing. I love seeing a bucket inhale an articulated dungeon!

Around noonish, I spotted a 4+lb fish hangin' out between two big brush piles. I threw a dungeon about 5 feet in front of him. To my complete surprise, he casually swam up to the sinking fly and with one twitch of his jaw, the fly disapeared! I strip-set as hard as I could, but I had tons of slack and the set was as girly as ever. The fish came up and tail-walked, and unfortunately, spit the fly on the leap. He laughed casually as he slowly swam into the depths.... I was frustrated but Jesse reminded me that I at least had him on and had the chance to fight a great fish. My dad came down and met us and fished with my nephew, Connelly. They caught hawg! Connelly reeled him in, but wasn't too excited to touch the beast...

In the afternoon, we decided to go back and try the big fish from the morning. Upon finding him in the exact same location, we threw a bunch of different patterns with no success. After spooking the fish out of his hideout multiple times, it became apparent that he was staying put. To make a long story short, we spent over 45 minutes on the fish and eventually made the fish mad enough that I hooked into a bass of a lifetime on my seven weight... The fight was sweet especially since Jesse caught the play by play on his digital camera...... Enjoy.

Finally.........the beast in hand. It was a beautiful fish.... the coolest part was the tail of a 9-10in bass hanging out of its throat into its mouth.....(sorry no pic)

We tried Quail in the evening, but we were unsuccessful. The following morning we decided to ditch the bucket mouths and head for higher elevations to chase some pig bows and cutties. Panguitch lake is a great fishery. We launched Jesse's kayak and I fished from shore. Fishing was tough and we moved a couple times before we got into any action. I finally hooked up on an awesome male rainbow on a crystal bugger under an indicator. Jesse paddled over for a pic and I dropped it back into the lake while trying to take a photo. Good thing Jesse suggested we take a pic while the fish was in the net! The pic doesn't do the fish justice.....twas one of my favorite rainbows of all time.

To FINALLY end this book of a post, I fished Wednesday on our way home from the Johnson Ranch up Salina canyon. I fished Yogo Creek with the Johnsons, my wife, my son Gunner, and my daughter Addie. The fish were looking up and I took good numbers of Bonnies on a chernobyl and a stimulator. I love topwater action. I was starting to forget how sweet it is to see cutthroat casually taking bugs off the top. Talk about a perfect week...Thanks again Jesse.......... Still smilin'.................

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rainbows that "tug"

The end of the semester celebration was a good one. Thanks Clarence, Gilbert, Paul and James for a good time on the ponds. I couldn't help but laugh as we started catching these hawgs!!! Sweetness all the way....
ps...check out Paul's sweet handmade net.... It handled some big boys today!

More pics from the trip can be found at Gilberts blog here


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blacksmith Salmon Flies

I got up early this morning to enjoy a brisk trip on the river. I parked in a campground just past Left Hand Fork at about 6:15am. After flipping a rock near shore it was obvious the salmon flies were moving toward shore. One single rock had 25+ monster nymphs under it! I started fishing a Rowley Stone... I lost it along with a rainbow warrior my first cast. I decided to fish a rubber leg stone that I tied with pickle chenille and another r. warrior. On my next cast after the dreaded re-rig, I spotted a brownie lie tight to the bank below me. I tried to get a good drift straight below me, but my cast train wrecked and everything piled up about 5ft short of my target. The line straightened, however, and the nymph's rubber legs came alive as the fish swam 2+feet upstream to grab it. It was a sweet take. The action was hot on the rubber leg with an occasional heavy white fish on the bead. After about 10 baby brownies, a baby bow, and a few nice white fish, I spotted a little brownie across the stream, hugging the bank. I made a check cast to test distance then shot the pickle into the small window in front of the fish. The nymph slapped hard and I was surprised it didn't spook Mr. Spotty. He assumed the opposite and aggressively attacked! He put up a good fight for a Blacksmith baby of a brown. To make an already long story short, I had a great time catching my fill. The sight fishing was an added bonus as well..... The smile is wide. Yes Joe........the poo stick actually catches fish.