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:

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That one went 18" and 3lbs, solid.

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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.

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

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Dan got a pretty one.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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She was massive.

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The next couple were smaller, but pretty colorful.

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

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Then it was back to the rainbows.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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That was fun.  It's a pretty canyon.

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Then on through the town of Junction.

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

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

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The Firehouse burger:

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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.

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

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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:

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Following those, it was more of this for awhile:

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Running into the occasional tiger was nice.

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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.

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Happy Fishing, Humans.

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  1. Some really nice fish! Ice fishing seemed to lose it's appeal quickly for me this year too.

  2. Justin
    That is one awesome set of images--I suspect those frozen areas have some nice trout waiting when spring arrives. thanks for sharing

  3. I swear you catch the most beautiful fish I've ever seen anywhere and during a time when most of us are cuddled up at home staying warm.

  4. As many nice fish as you posted pictures of in this post, I can hardly wait to see what happens when the fishing season picks up! Fish On.

  5. I always leave your page incredibly jealous, great looking fish and a few chunks in there. Tight lines and keep us updated. Love the blog as always.


Like it? Hate it? Drop a line.

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.