Tigers & Cutts!
Today's plans were originally to wreak havoc on some big brookies in small ponds, but due to a road closure, some improvising was in order.
A couple of guys from a local fishing forum and I met up in the wee hours of the morning and set off for a day of fishing adventure. About three hours later, we arrived to find that our destination was unreachable, thanks to a locked gate with a sign proclaiming the road impassable. We respectfully declined and timidly explored other options in the area.
We were within minutes of a creek that I'd heard good things about, Lake Creek, which runs between Fish Lake itself and Johnson Valley Reservoir. After scouting the area and casting into a few runs, it was evident by the two small planter rainbows I caught, that we wouldn't satisfy our appetites for a trout fix there.
We moved on, frantically shuffling our minds through the long list of nearby waters. We needed a good back up plan and a sign on the side of the road made it clear, where today's excursion would lead.
A short drive up a dirt road and through a gate (an open gate!) led us to a trailhead, where we bid adieu to the vehicle and started hiking with a twinkle in our eyes. We knew some basic information about this particular creek, but had no idea what kind of treat we were really in for.
A high mountain creek valley greeted us and we followed that through a short canyon and finally into a huge open meadow.
Our luck was rather poor at first, but luckily Keala figured out something that the fish would bite.
Using a "Copper Pat" marabou jig, he latched onto a gorgeous Colorado River (Strain) Cutthroat Trout with beaming coloration.
Not long after, it was Riley's turn.
They both caught a couple more before I finally hooked into something, the first tiger trout of the day. At about 16 inches, it was a welcome start to my catching for the day. Keala was able to get some video of the catch, but I didn't get any photos.
From there out, we kept following the creek into a grand meadow with a nice meander, all the while earning more catches in the very fishy holes throughout.
We felt spoiled to be able to enjoy such a place on such a beautiful day.
We had the entire valley to ourselves! Quite the accomplishment, we thought, since today was Utah's annual "Free Fishing Day", where fishing licenses are not required and the area is extremely popular. Lucky us!
Keala and I both got into some pretty good tigers too. Each of us scored a large male of almost 20 inches and over 2.5lbs. Such nice fish on a smaller creek made our day!
The last hole I caught any fish out of was the same as where I first caught fish. Surprisingly enough, I caught the same exact fish, this time with a different lure.
My last fish was the one that really sent me over the top. I was already excited by the tiger, but a vividly colored cutthroat of decent size slurped my lure as soon as it splashed.
With that cutt out of the way, I was content with the day's events and ready to call it quits to another great day of fishing in Utah.
Happy Fishing, Humans.
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