Friday the 23rd:
Happy Birthday to me, I'm going fishing! A buddy and his girlfriend took off with me to central Utah. It was their first time really ice fishing, although my friend went a few times as a little boy.
Hoping to bag some big ones at 9 Mile Res, we drilled quite a few holes near the dam and never got a bite. We spent a few hours there and burned most of our daylight before deciding to leave for what we hoped would be easy fishing at Palisade Res.
Right away, I got a few bites and missed them all, minus a small rainbow that got off at the hole after my first drop. The rod only bounced when I'd set it down and walk more than 5 feet away, it seemed. Actively jigging didn't seem to entice any strikes.
Finally, we got a few to stay on and Steve-o got his first couple of fish through the ice.
A short while later, Shannon got one. They both ended up with several fish.
After waiting all day, I finally got my birthday fish.
It's all good though, I had a great time hanging out with them again and it's always nice to get out and fish, no matter how rough it is.
In celebration of the nice time off we've been spending together (no work from 12-23 thru 1-2), I thought I'd try to get us all out for one last family trip of 2011. My hunch was that Millsite Reservoir would still have open water and I tried my best to find out before embarking on the 300 mile day trip.
Calling the state park's phone #, I wasn't able to get a hold of anyone for the past three days, even leaving messages, so I just dug for some recent info. One report stated that two people floated on it as late as the 16th, so I pushed the "Go" button and we were off to find out.
Here's Sonia at the Shell station in Helper, Utah.
After a long drive, we made it to Millsite, only to find a very large, clear sheet of ice covering everything up. At first, it looked like open water, but then a saw some folks walking on it.
Well that's not what I expected to see, but I was glad I brought my auger!
Turns out, I didn't even need the auger. There were plenty of abandoned holes in fishy looking spots that we fished from.
This was their first time on the ice. It was a good 5-6 inches where we were.
The action was pretty fast and we were into fish right away. We fished about 12 feet down in 16 feet of water and that was certainly the zone. Schools would come through and our rods would start jumping. Fun stuff!
We even got the kiddos into it. My daughter, Debbie and son, James were both glad to help us reel in some fish.
It's nice to see Mama holding fish again. I'm amazed I got her out on the ice at all!
We caught mostly rainbows with one cutthroat and a few splake in the mix. Here's one of the splake.
The rainbows were nice and healthy looking. The splake were pretty skinny, as I'm used to them being in Millsite.
They're all fun to catch though. Right, Mama?
Milliste is one of our family destinations where we have a good day, every trip. The area is so gorgeous in all directions that we just can't lose. Sitting right at the edge of where a desert meets the high mountains of the Wasatch Plateau, it's just the gateway to more water up Ferron Canyon and other canyons are nearby.
There are definitely better fish to be had at Millsite, but we needed to stay on thick ice, closer to shore.
Once we'd had our fun at Millsite, we thought the remaining daylight would be well spent next to a creek that I really enjoy fishing.
Heading north toward Orangeville, we got on Hwy 29 and made our way up the canyon. The sunlight was fading fast.
My Blue Fox got several followers, but they were all afraid to commit. It was still nice to see the creek again. Love that place!
So it ended up being a family ice trip and that wasn't what we were hoping for, but we made the best of it and caught a good amount of fish to satisfy us. The kids actually had fun too!
Happy Fishing, Humans.