It's been far too long since last I fished. Life has been busy and the last couple of weekends haven't offered much time to drill any holes.
As many of you may have noticed on the national news, most of Utah's population has been covered by a toxic smog inversion that was considered the worst air quality in the country. This has made a lot of people sick, including myself.
The past week has been brutal here in Utah County and even worse in Salt Lake, just north of us (and slightly lower in elevation). My workplace is located right by Utah Lake, so I've spent much of my waking hours at the bottom of our valley, sucking sludge all the while.
My own ailments peaked on Friday, causing me to cut my work day short (I never do that). Luckily, Saturday was a little bit better and today was just beautiful. By beautiful, I mean it stormed and chased away the toxic haze.
Not wanting to wait it out and see how the air in the valley would treat me, I set off in the morning to try out my brand new NILS hand auger that a very kind soul sent me. Currant Creek Reservoir would be my proving grounds, which I had never ice fished before.
Getting to the lake, the air was crisp, clean, and seemingly magical. My condition instantly improved and continued to do so throughout my stay. What a relief! It wasn't even very cold.
The drilling went VERY smoothly as 8" holes were bored through the ice, almost effortlessly. It was amazing to feel the difference that the NILS design made over other manual augers that I've tried.
As good as it felt to use the auger, it felt even better to get a line wet for the first time in almost three weeks! My first drop in the hole yielded a beautiful cutthroat.
The fishing was pretty good for the first 30 minutes or so, consistently getting bites or bumps from both rods. A couple of rainbows came through the hole and were sent back. One was pretty nice, but sent back without a photo.
Suddenly, everything slowed down significantly. Even when the bites came, instead of a quick twitch of the line, a subtle droop of the rod tip was what I needed to watch for.
Sadly, most of the bites were coming from the short rod (tube jig tipped with a small minnow) and somehow I always seemed to miss those bites. Not to blame the rod, but in the three years I've owned it, I've only been able to catch a total of five fish with it, including today's.
Out of those five fish, here are two that I was finally able to pull in today:
A couple of other rainbows made it to hand a bit later, then the big one hit.
Noting that the small minnows were getting more attention from the tiger trout than the meal worms were, I tipped my long rod's cut'r bug jig and fished a hole that I drilled very close to the dam.
In only about 5' of water, I actively jigged the presentation for about a minute, when I lifted the tip to stiff resistance. Immediately, the rod tip went down and line spat from the reel. My hog had answered and I let the camera roll.
What a beast! My best tiger from that water and probably a top 5 from anywhere, it measured 24" and 4lbs, 5oz.
Leaving had crossed my mind a couple of times prior to that catch, but I knew some bigger fish would be worth waiting for. I'm glad I stayed.
Here's a look at my jig. Luckily it held, though she may have finished straightening it, had the fight lasted much longer.
What a day! The fishing wasn't incredibly fast, but the action I got was well worth the wait. The new auger was a thrill to use and the fresh air was much needed.
Driving home was a little bit scary in spots, due to some blizzard-like conditions, but all went well. I'll leave you with some shots of Currant Creek, itself.
Happy Fishing, Humans.
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