My how time flies! In the five weeks since my last update, much has changed. Just reviewing the photo string for this post, I see some dramatic differences, mostly weather/climate related.
My kids and I spent some time at a nice park in Provo while my wife attended a baby shower nearby. The sun was shining brightly and the temperatures were fair enough for shorts and a t-shirt.
A notable trait of the park is the cold spring at the eastern edge, flowing into a small wetland area, then into a couple of shallow ponds before disappearing underground.
Prior to that day's events, I had studied possible distractions in the vicinity of the baby shower on Google Maps, where I noticed the ponds. That decision was an easy one.
After some careful observation, it became apparent that fish were in fact present in the ponds. The park's playground played host to the kids while I tested the water. Unsure of what I was fishing for, the black marabou jig with a small nymph trailing behind it was a good choice.
It seems that the Utah Chub thrives in the ponds, as well as a good population of goldfish, some sunfish, some carp, and even largemouth bass. Who knows what else might be present?
The kids enjoyed holding the chubs when they bit.
Since then, I've exploited that park's proximity to my job, spending quite a few lunch breaks working on my fly casting. Fun spot!
In other local happenings, my lunch breaks are still spent fishing some spots on the lowest stretch of the Provo River. I've had two more break-offs from something really big in there, in the same spot. It keeps me coming back, though I also enjoy the ambiance.
The next day, several hours were spent on the tube at Strawberry, getting bucked around by the swells in the wind. The rainbows and cutthroat did their best to avoid me, only yielding one small cutt and very few small bows.
Not all the salmonids were so fortunate though. At the tip of a long bay, I spotted a mess of confused kokanee that had taken late-season residence far from any inlets. Not expecting much, I dangled a tube jig and carefully hopped it through them.
Several gave chase right away, but getting them to swipe took a few minutes. The only takes I could get were aggression strikes after I had twitched a jig by them long enough make them angry. After all was said and done, three were caught and the novelty of catching big and colorful near-death fish
They sure looked neat though.
Those kokes made the trip, having never caught them that large or that red. It was right next to shore though and my previous hours on the tube resulted in much less than I had anticipated. I was really hoping for a slot-buster cutthroat. Still, it was a great way to spend a Sunday.
My family and I went to the Energy Loop to see what those waters were up to. A creek I like yielded some rainbows and small cutthroat while my crew watched.
We enjoyed ourselves there for awhile before checking in with Electric Lake. Some decent cutthroat and tiger trout were either missed or broke my line. Sonia caught the first and biggest fish of the day, a cutthroat of 17". (Image withheld at her request...lol)
Eventually, I caught a few mid-sized fish before we used the last of the short day's light at Huntington Reservoir. The fam waited in the car as I scrambled across the dam, periodically stopping to cast and pick up a small tiger.
Keeping the stop to only 20 minutes, I managed to catch a keeper at the far side of the dam and several smaller fish leading up to that. We should have been there all day! No regrets though.
Holdsworth and I took a long trip in search of big tigers and big splake. The first place we stopped at teased us with small rainbows as we watched nicer fish swim about. It was fun to take them on the fly though. Aaron even got in his first fly lesson with a catch!
The next place we fished was our main destination and I floated it for the first time. The fishing was red hot for small cutthroat like this one:
We caught about four million of them, so it seemed. Unhooking them grew tedious, though it's a good problem to have. We were primarily using Gulp minnows, but I found that when those tore off, the bare jig head still proved effective. No joke, they were attacking EVERYTHING.
Throughout our stay, the bigger fish eluded us. We both ended up catching better tigers, but the only splake that showed themselves were small.
Aaron caught one slightly larger than that. We ended our trip with an unknown number of fish caught, but it was constant for about three solid hours, with sporadic catching before that. Great action.
Quite a few were caught on various presentations, the nicest being a pretty male on a chamois caddis nymph.
It was a short, but sweet diversion from eventually deciding which lake would be my main venue. The rest of the day was spent chasing rainbows in the desert, literally.
They were big and mean and ate spinners:
The fishing was so good that I dragged my family out there the following week (11-8). My first cast was using a tube jig tipped with a chub tail. It looked like an instant winner as a nice male hit that right away.
Unfortunately, that was the only big fish of the day. Sonia caught a small rainbow on a Blue Fox and I did later as well. Still, it was fun to get out and enjoy the last of the pleasant temperatures of fall.
Yesterday, Holdsworth came along as I took my third trip in as many weeks, searching for big angry rainbows. A couple of river spots on the way ate up a lot of time, leaving each of us with a nice brown, myself losing a bigger male after catching the one pictured below:
At the rainbow spot, again, my first cast brought in a nice fish.
A slightly smaller male came in later, but most of our time there was spent freezing our butts off and casting fruitlessly. We didn't give ourselves but two hours of remaining daylight, though it was worth going.
It was cold and the wind made things nearly unbearable, especially with slow fishing. After only a little over an hour of fishing, we were ready to call it quits. Of course, that meant casting for a few minutes more.
On what I decided would be my last cast, something big hit about 10ft from shore and a tug of war ensued for a few minutes before I was able to get an ID. It was a huge brown! Aaron took my camera and helped me out.
At 26 and 1/4 inches, it marks a new personal best for trout, by length.
What a catch! It's a wonderful thing when three weeks of dedication to something completely different climaxes with a major surprise like this. I'm incredibly grateful to have held such a beast.
Happy Fishing, Humans.
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