Finally, the good spring fishing is here! It's been such a relief to stomp some earth in the high country again.
Two weeks ago (4/21), I had a rare solo opportunity and found myself driving up a familiar road until some snow stopped me a little bit short of where I'd hoped to drive.
No biggie. I got the tube pumped up, grabbed some rods, and off I went.
The hike in was a little tougher than usual with the snow, but I knew a nice warm day would really mess up my exit. Once I got to the lake, all that washed away in the glistening beauty of the open water, rippling before me.
My first cast from shore was rewarded with a beautiful blood red cutthroat:
Photos don't do it justice. It was gorgeous.
A long time passed before I met any other fish. Next up was a cutthroat on the fly that was a little smaller than the first.
After another long dry spell, a cast landed just right and I anticipated a strike as my jig sank next to a rooted shelf. A quick jolt on the slack line was all the indicator I needed and I set the hook into something heavy.
A strong battle ensued and I was relieved to scoop up my 2nd largest brookie to date. Weighing 4lbs, 10oz at 21", it was so fat that I couldn't really hold it in my hand for a proper photo.
What a fish!
Sadly, that was the last fish of the day, but it was well worth the effort. A big brookie is worth a rough day with little other success.
At work, I reached a new milestone and now get an extra week of PTO every year, as a result. This means I don't have to blow all of that time off for our Christmas break anymore.
With that in mind, I had planned a day off on Friday, specifically for some fishing. Holdsworth and I mulled over ideas and eventually landed on some remote water at the end of a crappy road.
Having never fished it, and with very little information about it available online, we were hopeful that we could find some good fish.
Our original plan was to float, but casting from shore was working just fine. We saw a lot of this:
Aaron wasn't doing super well, but he was catching fish here and there. My own luck was better, catching quite a few on jigs before switching to my fly rod.
The Egan's Red Dart I tied on got bites frequently and I ended up catching several before we decided to check a different part of the meadow we were in. An even smaller pond was our new target.
Wow, talk about small! Casting to the other shoreline wasn't very hard with a jig. Getting into the deepest spot with my fly rod was a cinch.
Within the first few casts, we knew that most of our remaining time would be spent picking on the fish there.
The nice fish were quite the surprise, but welcomed gladly. They required a little more work than the rainbows in the big pond, but the fishing was good and many stout tigers met my hand.
Only a couple of fish bit Egan's fly in the little pond, so I switched to something everyone screams for, ICE CREAM!
The ice cream cone was destroyed. Even after the wire was unwound and a sorry thread dangled from the shank, the hits kept coming.
Everybody loves ice cream. I was having a great day on the fly rod, which is kind of rare for me. It was a blast.
My presentations switched between flies and jigs whenever there was a quiet spell and that seemed to be all we needed to stoke the flame on hot fishing again.
The size of the fish was already nice enough, but the cherry on our sundae was the appearance of the male tigers. The deep hues and crisp vermiculation made the trip!
Beautiful fish are definitely a trademark for the region and these were no exception. Such clean lines!
It was hard not to get lost in their patterns. They were a-MAZE-ing.
It was a very rewarding trip for me. Aaron didn't fare as well, but he still made out alright. One male tiger in particular teased him a bit though.
It swiped at his gear several times and even held on for a moment, but he never managed to land it. It was a deep red/orange male he could see hanging out by some weeds. Other fish came in though and some were pretty nice.
His truck surely has some new little brush scratches in spots from the narrow rugged passage. It handled the nasty stuff well though and kept us mobile, which is always appreciated. Good truck.
It's been a great couple of weeks and I'm elated to finally have some good trips pan out. Hopefully I'll have more exciting trips to share soon. Thanks for reading.
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.