Fishing 2014 - Catching Up

It's been awhile since I posted.  2014 got off to a pretty slow start and my interest in ice fishing faded quickly.  Drilling holes has it's advantages, but I'll take casting any day of the week!

This winter left me in a funk, unwilling to write up new reports over mediocre fishing, although a few highlights are worth mentioning.

The lunch break bass spot held a couple of surprises this January:

 photo Fish008_zps959fc02b.jpg

 photo Fish009_zpsb4ddda78.jpg

That one went 18" and 3lbs, solid.

 photo Fish010_zps04515e8c.jpg

My last ice trip of the season didn't go exactly as planned, but I still made out alright, catching a few small cutts and a medium sized tiger through the hole, then onto some serious brown action on a river I like.  A guy I've known on the forums for years and one from Junior High School took me out and we had a nice day.

 photo Fish021_zpsd23edad8.jpg

 photo Fish022_zps670fc9ef.jpg

 photo Fish024_zps09cd15cf.jpg

This next one hit hard and didn't come to hand easily.  A tall 20 inches, it was pretty strong.

 photo Fish025_zpsd2188321.jpg

 photo Fish026_zpsc43d6328.jpg

Dan got a pretty one.

 photo Fish027_zpse09215a8.jpg

 photo Fish028_zpsa1443313.jpg

And his luck continued as we decided to hit a lake with some open water.

 photo Fish029_zpsb3a3f659.jpg

Jared was determined to keep ice fishing, so he parked himself on some ice at the back of a bay that happened to be 10" thick still.  He also did alright.

 photo Fish030_zpse5a41c4a.jpg

Myself, skunko on that lake, both ice and shore fishing.

The next week, I decided to give the previous week's skunk lake another shot with another trip to the river.  This time, with a float tube on board, I hoped to fight some aggressive rainbows and hopefully some perch.

The wind wasn't having any of that!  Skunked again after 4 brutally windy hours, I was determined to rebound on the river.

Luckily, the river didn't mind.  Just a slight breeze there.

 photo Fish019_zps4d25c249.jpg

 photo Fish020_zps1c81f34b.jpg

 photo Fish034_zpscafeeb5d.jpg

 photo Fish035_zps4621ef38.jpg

 photo Fish036_zps1374708d.jpg

 photo Fish037_zps0aa4a26d.jpg

It was awesome!  Feisty browns everywhere.  I really needed that.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard word of open water within about 2.5hrs of home and pointed myself south.  It was a lake I had never fished before, but knew it had a good reputation.  A couple of other forum buddies were fishing there too.

Before hitting that lake, I was seduced by an open spill bowl underneath, that looked really fishy.  Fishy it was, but most of those fish were chubs.  After circling that little basin, I finally landed a couple of smallmouth.

 photo Minersville001_zps9290328a.jpg

The lake was breezy, but not too bad.  Pumping up the tube sounded nice, but I always like to work the shoreline first.  Right away, I caught a really sad looking rainbow.

 photo Minersville003_zps169576e3.jpg

Time passed and right as I was about to give up on the shore fishing, a bloated female found my jig.

 photo Minersville005_zpsb6d324e6.jpg

She was massive.

 photo Minersville008_zps79183566.jpg

The next couple were smaller, but pretty colorful.

  photo Minersville009_zps02e78006.jpg

 photo Minersville010_zps2610f733.jpg

And I even got a cutthroat, which actually fought pretty hard.

 photo Minersville011_zpsb4188b5c.jpg

Then it was back to the rainbows.

 photo Minersville014_zpsf8c29a24.jpg

 photo Minersville016_zps95ea29c5.jpg

 photo Minersville018_zpsf7e40e01.jpg

It was a fun trip and the fishing had its ups and downs.  The fish were scrappy when they would hit anything and that was nice.  I even got out on the tube for awhile, but couldn't make anything happen during that time.

It's in a neat area.  The surrounding mountains look like they'd be fun to scramble around on.

 photo Minersville020_zps793485cb.jpg

 photo Minersville021_zps3135d182.jpg

Some beaver ponds yielded nothing, but the fading light of the day was enjoyable.

 photo Minersville024_zpse83b34a5.jpg

 photo Minersville027_zps63643ae9.jpg

 photo Minersville029_zpsc08dcac2.jpg

Fun trip.

The next week, I fished a small stream that usually treats me well.  A "self-esteem" stream, if you will.  The resident browns aren't usually very big, but they're colorful and usually very aggressive.

This time around, I had to search for bites and I was lucky to hook 4 of them.  Tough fishing.  The scenery was plenty rewarding though.

 photo Minersville047_zpsbe5fff82.jpg

 photo Minersville048_zpsdeede7f6.jpg

 photo Minersville049_zps999a3d3d.jpg

 photo Minersville053_zps6dfca99b.jpg

Still nice to get out.

Last week, my family and I went south to capitalize on freshly thawed lakes in southern Utah.  Otter Creek Reservoir had recently opened up and we usually have a good time there.

Fishing from South Point was rough.  The shoreline brush was a real pain, although it's nice to see the reservoir so full.  I caught two female rainbows from there, but nobody else could get a strike.  

 photo Minersville054_zps5ec27457.jpg

 photo Minersville055_zps5497da22.jpg

After the wind turned on, we tried another spot on the north end of the lake.  A hard fighting male tackled a rainbow kastmaster up there, but we left immediately after.

  photo Minersville057_zps744e8817.jpg

My family had been warned that we may take the scenic route home and if so, stopping on impulse to fish would be part of the deal.  This is why the Sevier River through Kingston Canyon sounded perfect.

 photo Minersville058_zps86e77758.jpg

 photo Minersville059_zps2c55bbf9.jpg

 photo Minersville060_zps9790876a.jpg

That was fun.  It's a pretty canyon.

 photo Minersville063_zpsbf9e773c.jpg

Then on through the town of Junction.

 photo Minersville066_zps6cc49bf4.jpg

Then a quick, fruitless stop at Piute Reservoir for a few minutes and some lost gear.

 photo Minersville070_zpsd65a90b5.jpg

 photo Minersville077_zpsbab3a31d.jpg

A little while later, we stopped at Hoover's Grill, just outside of Marysvale for some bomb-diggity burgers and fries.

 photo Minersville083_zps2c7dafc4.jpg

 photo Minersville084_zpse1d50428.jpg

The Firehouse burger:

 photo Minersville085_zps07dd8e64.jpg

Pretty good burger!

The place is cluttered with antiques and novelties that dangle from the ceiling and adorn most of the walls.  It's a fun stop.

 photo Minersville087_zpsec0dc5cc.jpg

 photo Minersville088_zpsac3d3a84.jpg

 photo Minersville090_zps5cb65668.jpg

It was a long day trip at 390 miles, but we made it fun and ended it well.

 photo Minersville080_zps460a03ae.jpg

This week was going to be at another place I've never caught a fish from, but news was that it was still mostly capped.  Fortunately, someone else reported that another lake was ready for a visit and I met a couple of other forum buddies out there.

At first, it was pretty slow.  The breeze was stronger than normal and I didn't want to pump up my tube yet.  The shoreline needed some investigation for the first 45 minutes or so.  I caught a couple of cutthroat about this size:

 photo Minersville096_zps9eb52f10.jpg

 photo Minersville103_zps4acae80a.jpg

Then I picked up a crazy looking tiger with a big heavy head.

 photo Minersville104_zps5fc2f895.jpg

 photo Minersville105_zpse205dd18.jpg

And thanks to my buddy Craig for pointing out the mountain goats bighorn sheep (my mistake) before he left.

 photo Minersville113_zps3a745f07.jpg

 photo Minersville115_zps3d88883d.jpg

 photo Minersville118_zps9689483b.jpg

 photo Minersville123_zpse57718e9.jpg

Finally I cracked and pumped up the tube, willing to fight the breeze to get to my preferred area.

My buddy Jason's party had migrated around to that side from shore and I was picking off a couple of small cutts on occasion, but nothing steady.  Eventually I threw on a Lucky Craft pointer and started pitching that toward the shoreline.  

When that got hit, I knew it wouldn't be a small fish on the other end.

 photo Minersville124_zpsda33927b.jpg

A real bruiser at just under 25" and 5lbs, 1oz.  That one made my day.

 photo Minersville125_zpsd3b80d48.jpg

A few minutes later, on the fly rod, I picked up another 24"+ tiger.  This one was significantly smaller but almost the same length.

 photo Minersville126_zps76c8e5e4.jpg

Following those, it was more of this for awhile:

 photo Minersville128_zps96fe80dd.jpg

Running into the occasional tiger was nice.

 photo Minersville133_zps6af6787d.jpg

 photo Minersville134_zpsd6388909.jpg

 photo Minersville135_zps76a8fd0f.jpg

It was the kind of trip I have been missing since last year's soft water.  A lot of cutthroat were caught and 5 tigers were hooked, one of which broke the line.  Seeing Jason and Craig again was really good and the drive home was pleasant.

 photo Minersville149_zps403bdc1d.jpg

Happy Fishing, Humans.

 photo Minersville150_zps6b6c624a.jpg

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.