Much like last year's early months, 2015 has held a lot of slow fishing for me. Despite my long day trips, the fastest action has actually come on my lunch breaks.
The year kicked off with a feisty largemouth:
That same day, a big channel cat paid me a visit:
Currant Creek Reservoir teased me with smaller fish while two really nice tigers broke free.
Another attempt to catch better fish resulted in a long drive for one missed bite and two rainbows for Holdsworth:
Back on lunch, a local creek that connects to Utah Lake has proven to be a fun stop, providing a few small browns and quite a few sightings of northern pike. The pike aren't supposed to be there, so our DWR is quite concerned.
A foul-weather day kept me local one weekend and I marched my way up Battle Creek, just to see if I could find some fish in the tiny stream.
It was a great hike, but no fish were sighted. Call it a wild hair. The only fish of the day came from one quick stop from the Provo River on my way home.
Lunch, again, gave me something to wrap my hands around.
Holdsworth and I tried our luck at some freshly-thawed water at Minersville Reservoir, but our efforts led to only a few fish for me and a skunk for Aaron.
The Beaver River ran low and clear, making it difficult to catch anything in the canyon. A few still came to hand though.
Another trip led us out to Starvation to fish more open water, but I got served a steaming pile of skunk while Aaron picked up one good rainbow all day.
A small window of open water at the Ladders of Strawberry was loaded with tiny rainbows and we picked on those for a few minutes on our way home. They don't count.
With much of my fishing gear in dire need of replacement, I obliged and picked up a decent spinning outfit. It's always so nice to cast new line from a new reel, flying through the eyelets of a new rod. I had almost forgotten that feeling.
A nice largemouth gave me my first good battle on the new rig:
Handled it nicely!
My "new gear bug" still wasn't quite satisfied, so I cleaned out some broken old rods and a damaged pair of waders to send in for warranty replacement. I've been putting that off for far too long and it felt great to watch it all drive off in a brown van.
Good customer service should be recognized and I feel as though my returns were handled well.
My first fly rod, a 9ft 5wt was a charming stick to swing and we roped a lot of nice fish together. Temple Fork Outfitters took great care of me and had my rod back to me within a week of sending it.
My second fly rod, a Redington RS4 (8ft, 3wt), proved its worth on a few stream outings, but it was short-lived. The fragile little rod didn't last very long and it's nice that Redington replaced it as best they could, having since discontinued the RS4.
In its stead, the newer Voyant is what they sent me, at 7' 6". After a couple of trips, I have yet to land a fish with it, but I'm looking forward to giving it some real work soon.
My other return is still traveling back to me, but William Joseph is also treating me right and replacing a pair of waders whose knee blew out. Another discontinued model (V2), Willy Jo let me select the replacement waders out of a couple of choices.
I'll make sure I get some good use out of those when they get here.
To those companies, I extend a very warm thank you. A satisfied customer, I am.
Last week, staying local was needed to keep the peace at home, so I went to my preferred spot on Deer Creek Reservoir and surprisingly lucked into a bunch of browns.
Catching 5 or 6 of those and a rainbow, it was a nice trip with decent action. Considering most of this year's trips, I was glad to catch anything at all.
The last day of February led Holdsworth and I to check on suspected open water. My timing was slightly off and we were a little early. The only open water was in shallow, weedy areas and it seemed as though the fish were scarce on that side of the lake.
We each caught one smaller fish in our hours trying for better.
The fishing was lousy so we hit one more place before calling it a day. Right away, a couple of thick rainbows cooperated with me, which was really needed.
As slow as it's been on most of my trips, I've still held some pretty nice fish in these first three months. More water should be opening up soon enough and the rewards should only get better. We've got some big plans for the fairer weather this year and I can't wait to get that rolling.
Until then, I'll keep staring at maps and daydreaming about what's coming.
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.