No Famine at Starvation

With a heck of a cold messing with all facets of my existence lately, I only fished for a couple of hours on the Provo River last weekend.  It wasn't extremely eventful, but I did end up with a really pretty rainbow.  

Finding a rainbow on the Lower is a bit of a rarity for me, especially below the Olmstead Diversion, where the special regulations end and general regs are in effect downstream from there.

It came from the deeper part of this run, about 5 feet in front of the fallen branch below.

With this world famous river flowing through my stomping grounds for the last 27 years, I've spent my fair share of time near its banks, although I find myself neglecting it these days.  It's nice to pay it a visit from time to time when traveling to distant venues isn't on the agenda.

A couple of the typical dink browns came to hand, but there was one really nice brown in the 4-5lb class that I could see right below my feet.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get its attention with anything I threw at it.

Here's the best of the smaller browns that I was able to catch.

Even though I was feeling awful and I had some conference championship games to watch, I stayed for awhile longer trying for that big brown, but had to call it quits.  Missing both games just wouldn't fly for this football fan.

This week:

With the warmer weather over the past week, I had word that Starvation Reservoir had a lot of open water and unsafe ice, then a last minute report stated that areas near the state park boat ramp had refrozen, with 4 inches of clear ice.  This I had to see.

When I pulled up to the ramp, I noted the presence of open water quite close to where I had hoped to fish.  A quick ice check gave me confidence to push on. 

There was a lot of older ice stacked up on the ramp, but about 100 feet out, newer ice had recently covered over a gap.  I was able to drill through that quickly and measured down to the bottom, which was around 25 feet.  

Immediately upon lifting my jig from the bottom, I felt a tiny bump.  I missed the bite, and the following several, but I knew that there were perch down there taking swipes.  Recent reports had stated that the perch were hanging around the 25 foot depth.  

After quite a few bait checks and retries, I finally got one to hang on to my jig for a ride to the top.  It was no wonder that I wasn't getting connections before, since this perch may have stretched out to a whopping 6 inches.  Back it went and I continued to try at different depths.

It was a long time before I felt any other bumps and those only came from the bottom.  Another tiny perch came and went before something actually put a bend in my rod.  It was a nice thick female rainbow of 17 inches and 2 lbs, just like the ones 2 weeks before.

It was great to break up the monotony and pretty soon, more of her buddies (although much smaller) showed up for a quick visit before going back to grow larger.

After some more depth experimentation, I hooked into the fish of the day, a large male with a mighty girth.  

The day wore on with just enough action to keep me trying and I noticed that nobody else was having much luck at all.  There were quite a few parties fishing similar depths to each other and I only heard of two fish being caught between all of them.  They looked as if they were fishing too shallow in my opinion.

Right before I decided to leave, it happened.  I finally got my first brown through the ice.  Long time coming on that one.  Pretty good size too!

Here's what the park looked like before I left.  Yes, that's open water and it's got fishable ice right by it.

Happy Fishing, Humans.


Provo River, Lunch Hole, Starvation Reservoir

Last week's fishing was pretty slow, so I didn't bother to make a report for it at the time.  A really nice trip to Thousand Lake Mountain was planned, but it fell through at the last moment, leaving me with limited resources for much of a trip.

The Provo River is where I ended up and the fishing was rather dismal for what I'm used to.  Despite the slow fishing (3 small browns all day), the scenery was nice and it's always a pleasure to get out and wet a line anyway.

A few bald eagles were hanging around the area and this one decided to pose for me.

Another treat was seeing some swans in the backed up section of the river, just upstream from Deer Creek Reservoir.

Nothing was working for anyone fishing the river that day.  Flies, lures, bait...NOTHING!  Finally, after fishing for hours, a nighcrawler rested on the bottom of a deeper pool below a riffle got some bites.  Luckily, these dinks were hooked in the lip and successfully released.

In the middle of the week, I stopped at the lunch hole for a quickie and lucked into a pretty decent brown in the irrigation box.

It was nice to feel a real tug on the line, at least.  This one was also released.

After reading about peoples' success on Starvation's ice lately, I caved and just had to see it for myself.  It was a beautiful day and felt more like October than the middle of January.  Blue skies, no snow, no wind, and healthy rainbows!

 The ice was nearly a foot thick and it felt like a mile with the manual 8" auger I was using.  Luckily I only needed the two holes I drilled.

Having never tried ice fishing at Starvation and only catching trout there once before, I carefully scouted out areas where I believed would be a good place to try my luck.

One spot that stuck out to me was a point at the mouth of a small bay, quickly plunging into deep water.  It seemed safe to assume that any fish passing from the main lake into the bay or vice versa would need to swim by that point.  I also recalled reading that the rainbows were typically around 15 feet deep.

All of this was accurate and most of the day was spent running from hole to hole, attempting to set the hook on time.  Great fun!

The rainbows were all the same size, 17 inches and 2lbs on the dot.  Quite a few were brought up and three round females were kept for the table.

Like I said, the conditions were excellent and it wasn't hard to stay comfortable, even though the temperature hovered around freezing all day.

My setup:

The small bay I made camp at the mouth of:

My holes certainly weren't the first in the area.

Once the bite had vanished for over an hour, my attention turned toward the Strawberry River, below the Starvation Dam.  Some really nice fish are in the river and I've seen plenty.

Unfortunately, the only brown that wanted to play today was on the small side.  A few nice ones teased me by following my lure though.  Oh well, it was a great way to cap off a superb day on the water and a beautiful area to spend the time.

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.