Big Lake, Small Stream

Yesterday, I had a rare opportunity to fish Strawberry Reservoir from a boat and jumped at the invitation.  My Mom and her husband got a ski boat over the summer and this would be its first fishing trip.

Kevin (Mom's hubby), Al (their friend), my Uncle Jesse, and I got on the water a little after 9:00 and the conditions were sunny and mild.

Being the only hopelessly obsessed fisherman of the bunch, my advice was sought for a place to drop anchor.  Eventually, the third option I offered was taken and we zipped across the lake to a place none of us had been to.

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The northern channel of the narrows looked great, so we found some steep rocky walls to park next to for the first hour and change.  A couple of us got bites, but no fish were brought to hand until a cutthroat finally committed to me.

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We eventually moved to a promising corner and anchored there, allowing the breeze to keep us in a good zone.  The fish came by in schools and Kevin and I got some rainbows.

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After another move, the wind really picked up and it was hard to stay anchored.  One last fish came in and it was time to head back around 1:30.

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Barely in the slot on that one.

Getting back to the marina was pretty choppy.  Even inside the breaker docks, the boat got tossed around quite a bit.  Landing it on the trailer took some skill on Kevin's part.

It was great to get out and see unfamiliar parts of the Berry and especially nice to finally fish with Kevin.  We've talked about it for years.  Also, the last time I fished with my Uncle Jesse, I was probably 6 years old.

They dropped me off where I'd parked to meet them and I was intent on finding somewhere to Christen my new float tube.  After driving around to different parts of the lake, I decided that the wind was going to keep me off the water this time around.

Bummer, but next week I'll be floating in style.  Some new waders will be headed my way too, as soon as they're in stock again.  Can't wait!

The wind had turned me away from the Berry and my thoughts drifted toward faster fishing.  After some indecision, a fleeting thought captured my attention and my next destination was set.

A little while later, I was hopping up a beautiful canyon, from boulder to boulder.  The clear cold stream was full of actively feeding browns in the 6-10 inch range.

This pocket water was an absolute treat to fish, just as it had been, my last time around.  A feast for the eyes, the stream was beautiful and the fish were starting to color up for the spawn.

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Almost every hole produced quick strikes and most were missed.  The tiny inhabitants were all over my plastics.  Working a Gulp through the deeper holes was very effective.

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A couple of those pools had some better fish in them.  Several bigger-than-average fish wiggled off the hook after a few leaps.  Finally, a really good one stayed on long enough to snap a blurry photo before it escaped.

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That was a great catch for such a place and I'm sure I've got more hours to log up there in search of others, plus the other species that can be found higher up.

Though most of the fish were quite small, the experience was thoroughly enjoyed.  It's great to spend time on small water, ambushing fishy holes under the shade of a healthy forest.

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Happy Fishing, Humans.

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Puddles in the Rain

Sunday wasn't a classic example of great fishing conditions, but it was my only chance to get out, so I took a little drive and did some exploring in an area I enjoy.

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At first, the sky was overcast, but it wasn't raining.  Within 20 minutes of leaving my truck, it was pouring and I was soaked.  It rained pretty hard for awhile, but calmed to a steady shower and stayed that way most of the day.

Already wet, I saw no reason to stop fishing. 

Exploring was the main purpose of my trip, but visiting a couple of familiar spots was also on the menu.  The usual haunts provided a few small brookies and a cutthroat, all of which were pretty colorful.

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Needing a break, I went back to the truck for a bite to eat and a change of clothes before setting off for some exploration.  My original plan wasn't looking too great with the weather, so I went from memory and lots of map-gazing to find a couple of small ponds.

The first was a pond I checked on about 4 years ago.  Though it was very shallow and I never caught anything from it, I recalled seeing a ripple on the water and it has eaten at me ever since.  

Upon my return, I realized that it really was too shallow and that any ripples I saw must have been from a muskrat or small beaver.  Nice looking place though.

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Next on the agenda was to try and find a really small spot in thick timber.  It actually took a long time to find without my GPS or knowledge of any trails to it.  As is usually the case when I leave my GPS at home, I ended up hiking way too far back and way too high.  

Eventually, I realized where I'd gone wrong and found my way to a rock slide that I knew I could follow down to the lake.

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What a sight!  Even better, as I was making my way down to the water, the surface parted for a rising brookie.

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As small as it was, it was still pretty deep.  There was no inflow or outflow above ground and the water was very cold.  .

The fishing was actually pretty difficult and I was only able to bring in one mid sized brookie.  It was just good to catch something there at all, let alone taking in the beauty of such a place.

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The rain even let up for a short while.  It was still getting late though and I needed to get out of there.  Naturally, I found a good trail from the lake all the way back to my truck which I'll be glad to use next time.

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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.