There's something special about beaver dams. A lot of people tend to dislike them, but I really enjoy fishing a good beaver pond.
In celebration of landing a new job, I decided to go out and hunt down some beaver ponds today and also to either confirm or dismiss a hunch that I've had for the last 4 years.
The places I had in mind were somewhat close, which was needed, having to be home to take my wife to work in the late afternoon.
For years, I've driven past certain parts of a creek I like and always wanted to spend some real time investigating some of its beaver ponds. Also, there was a mysterious puddle I've seen on the maps for quite some time and it was close enough to my creek that I could check that out too.
While driving to the place I would eventually call a "trail head", I had to pull over and try to get a feel for the day's fishing on the creek. Luckily, the fish were ready to play.
First came a sturdy little brown:
Then a pretty cutthroat:
It's a great little creek that often gets overlooked by passers-by.
After testing the mojo there, it was time to heed the call of curiosity. The hike wasn't brutal and as I got closer to my mystery pond, I could see some promising signs along the path of its outflow.
A mental note was made to just follow the water back down the hill and work that system back to my car instead of using the easier route along the mountainside.
First thing's first though, I had a date with a pond. Upon arrival, it was difficult to tell whether or not fish were present, but on my second cast with a Gulp minnow, I found my answer.
A giant smile spread across my face. It's a beautiful thing when I finally take the time to check out a hunch and it pays off. Seeing how the other fish in the area were nowhere near that size, usually, I knew I had just stumbled upon something special.
The fishing continued and the catches got better and better.
A couple of others were came in without a photo, then I got the nicest one of the day:
What a beauty!
For some reason, the pond went quiet after that. Not a single bump after noon. Some time was spent in hopes of reviving the bite, but it wasn't meant to be. No matter. I've got a new place to fish for good sized cutthroat, within an hour of my porch.
As I had promised myself earlier, I took the scenic route down the hill and got my fill of beaver dams along the way. It was magical.
This tiny trickle was responsible for the highlights of my day.
Eager little mouths awaited the drop of my jig (now using a black marabou) and the next couple of hours were spent enjoying a free for all, catching beautiful little cutthroat, practically at will.
Stacks of ponds. The beavers have been busy.
Here's the biggest fish I got out of the beaver ponds.
Another stream flowed into the area and I wandered upstream for a short while on that, missing a few strikes from tiny cutts along the way.
Back to the dams, I slowly made my way back to the area where I was parked. It took awhile with holes like this around every bend:
Oh yeah, I broke a personal record while I was at it.
My smallest cutthroat to date. A close runner up also paid me a visit:
Strangely enough, I was every bit as happy to hold them as the others. It was just a joy to be out, doing it my way for the day.
And those cutts just kept rolling in.
They never cease to amaze me with their snazzy looks.
What a great place to spend the time.
Once I got to my car, I took my time driving back home and took a slight detour to test the waters in a spot where two smaller streams converge. About a year and a half ago, I hooked a pretty good brown in this hole and today I did the same!
It was probably snacking on tiny cutts to get like that. On my next cast, a smaller one came in, but it had a very peculiar spot pattern. X's and O's. Anyone for Tic Tac Toe?
More great water.
This hole looked like a winner, but I ended up missing the bite I got.
This hole looked even better.
Nothing big came from it, but I was still able to pull one in.
After that, it really was time to hit the gas and get home. The day was filled with surprises and I accomplished everything I'd set out to do. It was another amazing day playing in the water.
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.
This is a photo of my kitchen blinds, through the bottom of a drinking glass.
Collect Neat Stuff?
Relic Mercantile might have just what you're looking for.
Travis Sylvester, of Travzart.com
Travis Sylvester is a local Utah artist, whom I've known for a few years. His artwork is sensational and he seems to improve with every new piece. He reproduced one of my cutthroat photos in colored pencil and it turned out great. Check out his website and click this pic.
While Googling trout images one day, I stumbled upon some art by A.D. Maddox and became a fan right away. Photos link to her site.