Well this year has really been something else! Starting with a bit of a sputter, ’15 slowly worked up to being pretty good! Let’s review:
First fish of 2015 was a largemouth on lunch break:
Then a channel cat:
Onto some ice fishing, here’s a small tiger and a mid-sized cutthroat from Currant Creek Reservoir:
My first skunk of the year was next to come, with my buddy Aaron catching a couple of decent rainbows while I had only one missed bite all day:
I caught a few pike from a local creek that shouldn’t have any. The DWR was not pleased to learn of this:
Another fishless day followed as I explored another local water called Battle Creek:
Does it count as a skunk if there aren’t any fish to snub you?
This year would prove to be the year of the carp, as I caught more of them than ever before:
Once the ice melted at Minersville Reservoir, I made sure to test the water. It was quite slow, but a few fish were had:
The Beaver River also gave me some action:
Another skunk followed, with Aaron catching a nice rainbow while I watched:
A new rod and reel of good quality were purchased and the first decent catch on the new rig was a lunch break special:
Followed by some decent browns from Deer Creek Reservoir:
Some slow fishing at a tiger spot:
Starvation Reservoir tossed some hard-fighting rainbows at me:
Then it was time to hit a “local” creek that I love:
Lunch breaks have a way of providing strange catches:
Joe’s Valley treated us pretty well. Aaron got a pair of waders and tried a float tube for his first time:
Our buddy Corbin caught the fish of the day after nearly getting skunked, which was fun:
Aaron and I took a brutal hike through crusty snow to find some open water, where we did not fare well at all. I believe I only caught two small cutthroat and he got skunked. Hoping for brookies, this was quite the let-down:
Can’t complain about a gorgeous little cutthroat though.
Strawberry Reservoir was next on the list. I caught small rainbows while Aaron got a couple of cuts:
After that, it was redemption time on the river:
First brookie of the year:
Next up was Currant Creek Reservoir with my family. My little girl reeled in a pretty good rainbow:
Aaron had driven his own car and met us there. He caught some rainbows and a medium tiger:
I caught some too, but left with a sour taste from a big tiger that broke me off. Doh!
Another lunch break special, a nice channel cat was caught from under a road:
Warmer weather prompted Aaron and I to head south in hopes of finding some open water after a long drive through the desert:
Our first float of the year yielded cutthroat, rainbows, and brookies:
Then some sightseeing at Capitol Reef:
Next up was a family camping trip to one of our favorite places, Goblin Valley State Park. It may not be very fishy, but it’s quite the playground. Great campsite too!
Obligatory side trip to the Wildhorse Window:
Next came a trip for some Colorado River cutthroat and tiger trout:
Then it was time for us to pull in some nice brookies and cutthroat:
Here’s Aaron with a stellar example of a male brookie:
Did someone order brookies? Well, our next trip was dedicated to catching some big ones in a new place. Keoni, Aaron, and I hit the Wind River range in Wyoming, pulling up some beautiful fish up there:
Keoni was the first to strike:
Then Aaron found the stroke:
Eventually I started catching them too:
It was a fantastic trip that none of us will forget. Can’t wait for round 2!
Next trip was to hopefully get into some more nice brookies within the state, though I settled for some smaller cutthroat and some exploration instead. The day was soggy and cold, but some fish were still caught.
Aaron and I made sure to hit some more southern water, once it was accessible:
Southern Utah high country is sacred ground. Always glad to visit.
Before we knew it, the Uintas were ready to host our adventures, throwing some surprisingly nice fish our way:
Gotta love that!
Next was a hike-in lake at Brighton Ski Resort with my family. Lake Mary treated me alright, with Aaron hiking up later to meet us.
It’s a nice place to visit.
We actually did a lot of hiking as a family this year, many of those leading to this, which we lovingly call “our waterfall”.
Time for some more stream action!
Here’s a 22 inch tiger from Currant Creek Reservoir:
My cousin Aaron from Phoenix called and set up a fun camping trip to Navajo Lake in southern Utah, bringing his brother-in-law to join in the fun. The fishing was pretty slow for tiny rainbows, but we still had a blast, getting together and jamming hard on our guitars.
Here’s Cedar Breaks National Monument:
Aaron (PHX) and Jake (BIL):
A brown from Panguitch Creek on our way home from that:
My next trip was with my buddy Justin, who joined me on the Wasatch Plateau for a great day in a beautiful place:
Then it was another family camping trip, this time with Aaron coming along. Red Fleet Reservoir provided a really good time for all of us, complete with plenty of hiking and scenery:
Even hiked to some dinosaur tracks:
Always a pleasure at Red Fleet!
A really long day at Strawberry Reservoir left me wet, tired, and nearly skunked:
A hard day like that warranted a nice relaxing float with Aaron at one of our preferred venues:
I may have caught the brookies, but Aaron got a tank of a cutthroat that day, at 23”:
What a fish!
Gotta love it!
Our next trip was an overnight stay on Boulder Mountain. With mostly slow fishing and intermittent rain, it was still a trip that I’ll always remember:
Quite a few of these came in:
But it was all about the tigers. A new personal best trout (by weight) at 6lbs, 5oz, this 25” tiger made my year!
Just look at that!
I was very pleased to make its acquaintance.
A couple of “small” 20 inch tigers also came in.
Deer Creek hosted some of my local trips when time was of the essence and after catching only small fish, a decent smallmouth bass came in:
Back to some preferred water for some cutthroat on the fly and to get teased by some brookies:
The Uintas called us back for a family trip, checking on some new waters. Here’s Emerald Lake:
And here’s Castle Lake, where we got skunked after missing some bites.
Our trip ended early when my little girl took an unexpected swim. The dirty face was actually on purpose, however. She called it “war paint”.
Another trip to Currant Creek Reservoir provided very slow fishing, only giving up three fish all day, this mottled sculpin being one of them:
Aaron and I pulled off a long day trip on Boulder Mtn to enjoy the scenery and five different species:
The grayling fishing was insanely fast-paced. This was Aaron’s first time targeting them and he ended up catching plenty of them on the fly. So fun! It was a good day.
Biggest fish of the day was a splake of 20+”:
Some small stream exploring was next on our agenda:
Catching cutthroat and browns from tiny streams is a blast. It was tough fishing though. Each fish caught required stealth and some trickery.
Some great water though!
Our next trip was to a local creek we enjoy, after trying our luck at a relatively unknown pond first:
Testing our luck, we hiked into a spot for big brookies and cuts in hopes that some open water would remain. We were mostly right, but spent most of the day staring at nice fish that were just out of reach, in areas that were frozen over. One small cutthroat, all day long:
The following week, I finally caught a slot buster from Strawberry (slot buster = cutthroat over 22 inches):
It had been awhile since my last. Add a 20” rainbow to the mix on my way back to the car and I call that a reason to smile:
The next week, a classmate from Junior High School and I took a tough hike and ice fished for big cuts and brookies. We were not disappointed with our first ice of the season.
After meeting many colorful cutthroat, I finally found a brookie:
The star of the day went to Dan though. This male was insanely beautiful and measured 19”
Just look at that!
Getting out of there was a mess. Deep snow and lots of huffing and puffing.
Next trip was to Strawberry Reservoir, where some slot sized cutthroat came in. This one may have been over, but I didn't measure it.
It was a windy day, so I decided to finish at another spot from shore. Usually worth the walk in, my hopes were high.
In the closing moments of my stay, a 21" rainbow came in and that was reward enough.
The next week was spent staring at holes up north with Holdsworth. The ice was good and thick, the weather was bearable, but the fish were nowhere to be found. We got completely blanked.
We fished it pretty hard, but nothing doing.
Our next trip was to Strawberry, hoping to find ice after a half mile trot through the snow. The only ice we found was not quite ready to hold us up for very long, so we fished near the edge in open water.
The fishing was slow, but a few still came in, one being over the slot.
My last stretch of fishing for the year was spent over the last few work days before our long Christmas break.
One day gave me two unique catches with a nice mirror carp followed by what may have been my biggest fish of the year, a carp of 9lbs, 10oz @ 28".
And finally, the last good fish of 2015 was kind of a neat hybrid looking carp on my birthday (Dec 23).
Happy New Year, Humans! Cheers to a great 2016!