Big Tiger Trout

Yesterday, my wonderful Mother was kind enough to watch the kids for us all day so my wife, Sonia, and I could go fishing together.  This meant that Sonia could actually focus on fishing instead of being distracted by our little ones.  We missed our kids, but it was really nice to have a peaceful "date" type of fishing trip.

Because of our rare opportunity, I decided that it would be a good day for her to try for a hog at one of my big fish spots.  We enjoyed the morning drive and it was neat to see the fog on Strawberry as we drove by.

The Soldier Creek turnoff was pretty thick with it.

Pretty cool to see that.

We eventually made it to our lake and got to work, casting anything and everything at the fish, who seemed to taunt us for hours.  At times, we could see up to 5 large fish swim into view in front of us.  Many of them would follow only to snub the offering at the last moment.

It was frustrating.  We couldn't get them interested with any of the usual gear and nothing else was working either.  At that point, I decided to get jiggy with an extra rod and tied on a 1/16oz olive marabou with a black body.  To the hook shank, I tied on a green killer caddis dropper.

Same story, chasers and sniffs, but no commitment.  That rod was set aside while I got back to casting spinners of all colors.  It wasn't until I threw the orange/brass Blue Fox that I was able to hook into something.  It was a medium sized cutthroat.  Nice to catch, but not what we were there for and nothing like the brutes circling around at our feet from time to time.

Back that one went and I wasn't able to get any more action from that color.  Switching through all types of gear, I finally looked back to my jig/fly setup, which seemed like it was the best option for getting something down to where I knew the fish were and it was small enough that it likely wouldn't spook them off.

Just a few casts later and a big one hit it on the drop.  I'm lucky to have noticed the line move differently with the breeze blowing, but I set the hook and the tug was on.

This happened on my reserve rod and my faith in the crummy reel and older line was low.  It was a nervous battle for me and it was great to get it in.  The shoreline was loose and footing was bad everywhere, so it was difficult to find a place to beach the fish.

Even when it was in my hand, it hadn't quite struck me how big it was and I was underestimating it at 22 or 23 inches.  Turns out, this tiger was 25.5" and 4lbs, 10oz!  A new personal best tiger (length)!
Big Tiger Trout
It had one bad eye and wore a mean grimace.  This fish had seen some battles before I came around.  It wasn't the prettiest specimen we'd seen, but really made the trip worthwhile.
Big Tiger Trout
A definite handful.  
Big Tiger Trout
As soon as I the hook out, I handed Sonia the rod and told her to get busy.  I had a goal of getting her into something big and I really wanted to see it happen.

On her second cast, she hooked a round-bellied cutthroat, chasing off the skunk, but it wasn't the pig she was after.  Still a nice catch though and she did it using something she usually didn't on a tough lake to fish.  That was something for her to be proud of.

We tried for another couple of hours before taking off to try another fishing hole.  The high desert scenery was appreciated as we rolled along.

We eventually arrived at Starvation Reservoir, where we fished a short while in the shadow of the bridge.  My first cast with that same jig/fly combo produced a 6 inch smallmouth and then Sonia did the same.  It was slow fishing after the two bass and we called it quits for the day.  We were missing our children and it was time to go.

Though the fishing was rather stagnant throughout the day, we still enjoyed the trip for just the two of us.  It's nice to experience a day together every once in awhile.  It's sad that Sonia couldn't hook a monster, but she was content and that makes me happy.

Happy Fishing, Humans.


Some Background...


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 creatures 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.

Happy Fishing, Humans.