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7/27/14

Provo River, Wasatch Plateau, Strawberry

It's been unusually slow fishing lately, but I've gotten out, regardless.  The first trip was a couple of weeks ago with my family and Holdsworth, to the Provo River, in search of walleye and largemouth.

Unfortunately, it didn't pan out too well for any of us.  I figured that many lines in the water would produce at least something, but I managed to catch a couple of bluegill and that was it.

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This one was pretty good.

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We had fun for a little while, the kids played in the dirt (mostly Debbie and Holdsworth), and we lost a lot of gear.

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Overall, it was pretty poor fishing, it was a hundred degrees, bugs were driving my kids nuts, and we were getting hungry.  We'd set out to collect for a fish fry, and ultimately settled for fish tacos at Marisco's, up the road (great food there, btw).

Last week, Holdsworth and I set out early in an area on the Manti neither of us had ever been.  Hoping to explore some ponds that I'd stared at for 7 years on the maps, my hopes were high.

It's always nice above 9000ft.

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Such gorgeous country!

The exploration didn't go too well though.  We ended up only getting a couple of ponds off the checklist, due to a couple of freak storms that moved in periodically, and Holdsworth wasn't feeling too well either  We spent most of our day on the shoreline of stocked reservoirs, getting worked.

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Holdsworth got the skunk and I was only able to get one planter rainbow all day.  It was rough.  A hailstorm dropped on us just as we decided to get out of there, solidifying our decision to leave.

Yesterday, I ran into a buddy on my way to my first destination.  He was on his way out, warning me to just bag the idea, but I persisted.

Should've listened to Craig on that one.  Three hours with nothing but a broken fin strap (4th use on these fins!).

Next stop, Strawberry Reservoir.  Holdsworth had actually gone to Strawberry with his Dad and brothers, so it was fun to stop in and visit for a bit.

Strawberry wasn't too kind to me either, but I got a couple of fish to hang on.

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After awhile, the river called and I spent the next few hours enjoying the beautiful sound of running water and a few fish while I was at it.

It took some time, but eventually a brookie cooperated and that triggered some better luck, where I at least got some bites.

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The next fish was a pretty nice brookie for the river.

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Then a sturdy brown, slightly larger.

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More bites were missed than collected, but it was good to be on a favorite stretch of river again.

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That river is special.  The fish are always healthy and beautiful.  The chance to catch 4 or maybe even 5 species in an afternoon is an added bonus to seeing the gorgeous canyon.  It was a nice way to end the day, and hopefully a slow streak in the fishing world.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

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Some Background...

WHY FISH?

Why not go jogging, hit the gym, start a garden or whatever it is that normal humans do? What's so fascinating about these slimy little animals that live in the water?

Fishing is a bit more to me than a hobby or a sport. It's an essential part of life that helps me connect with the Earth in ways similar to the long practiced traditions of mankind. Wherever man has had a water source, there has been fishing.

It's only natural.

THE PAST

As a fingerling, I only fished a few times with uncles or my father. We typically never went out of the valley except for a couple of trips to Deer Creek, where I remember catching my first perch.

My Dad took me to the Provo River a few times and once up to Ruth Lake in the Uintas. It was always a fun trip, no matter where we went and it got us out of the house. I wish I would have asked to go more often at that age.

At age 14, I went with the Scouts to climb King's Peak, the high point of Utah. We had to hike some 8 miles with heavy packs to get to our campsite at Dollar Lake in the High Uintas. At that lake, I caught my first trout and never got around to fishing again for several years.

When I rediscovered the joys of fishing in my early 20's, a close friend named Holdsworth and I spent a lot of our time at a handful of places within a reasonable driving distance. The first lake that gave us any trout was Currant Creek Reservoir. The fish weren't huge, but they were gorgeous and plentiful once found.



We made it a high priority to fish there every weekend for much of the summer. Every time we went, however, the monkey on our collective back grew a little bit stronger while passing the intimidating Strawberry Reservoir.

Eventually, the seduction of the Berry's fame lured us to turn onto the Soldier Creek Dam Junction. Never having fished it before, we thought we'd start at the dam and test our luck.

We didn't get a bite for over an hour and I started to doze off. I was awakened when my Ugly Stik swept over to the other side of my lap from where I had it resting. Coming to, I started reeling and fought in a feisty rainbow of around 18 inches and fat. We'd never caught anything like it up at Currant Creek, so a new weekly destination was born.



Moving forward a few years, Holdsworth had since moved to Germany, but I continued to feed my passion for fishing. I joined a wildlife forum online, sponsored and run by the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). The DWR forum had an eclectic stew of sportsmen and women from all over the state and abroad.

Participating in the forum made me realize that my fishing license was valid anywhere in the state and that taking on a few new venues couldn't hurt. Ever since I joined, my summers have been spent trying out new waters in between trips to the usual haunts and fishing has never been better for me.

Much information was shared freely between the sportsmen of this online community and it was a good place to get in some useful reading. Being active in discussions there and applying new ideas really helped me develop into a better fisherman.

In the "Fishing Reports" section, you could read about recent trips to places all over the state. Reading the reports, I was inspired to begin recording my own experiences. Why not? Writing was always something I enjoyed doing plus I had a camera and web access...

From then on, I posted detailed write ups of my exploits quite regularly. Positive feedback prompted me to continue and now I have almost as much fun putting the report together, as I do actually fishing.

The DWR forum was shut down abruptly in September of '07 due to bureaucratic red tape. A slew of new "replacement forums" popped up in hopes of gaining the now disbanded 5000+ members.

Once the dust settled a bit, a clear replacement appeared when the former moderators of the DWR forum got together with a former member named "Petersen" to start the Utah Wildlife Network.



Quite a few members donate (myself included) and that helps to keep the site running. Additionally, we're not in any danger of the gov. stepping in and pulling the plug, as this forum is privately owned and operated by Petersen.

Once the news caught wind that a true replacement was found, the pages started looking more familiar with old screen names showing up left and right. It didn't take too long and we had our spot back, essentially.

Aside from the UWN, I also check in with a few other forums, including Big Fish Tackle, (BFT). This nationwide forum is full of knowledgeable anglers from all over the world and can be a great resource.

...But really, if I burn all of my time on the internet, there won't be any left for fishing!

Due mainly to the forums, my fishing eyes have been opened. Now more than ever, I really make it a point to explore new waters and fish the spots that nobody talks about. My day trips have gotten much longer and involve many more stops than before.

Please stay tuned for trip reports and feel free to explore the links in my highlights section, where I go into more detail about specific waters and areas.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

Feed my pets