April 18, 2017

RR on Willow Creek- circa 2009


While looking over old posts on this blog (instead of working like I should be) I started looking back on my first blog "Pickle's Place" and really enjoyed reenacting this trip in my mind. It was a stressful time in life (one on many to come!) and was a great reprieve from working, going to school, and trying to fix a broken-down truck in my spare time...

Craig and I met at the Shell station and headed up the canyon. We've made this journey many times in the past three years and never once have we been disappointed. After a sour month of missed fishing opportunities, I was in dire need of respite. As we pulled up to the small, willow choked stream, we could see the flow had receded a substantial amount from just one month ago. It was second nature as we geared up and walked down to the first of many honey-holes. I tied on a Royle Wulff and immediately began catching fish.

After losing my fly to a small brown with a deep throat, I fumbled through a few patterns before I regained my momentum. I tied on a modified Boots Allen Emerger with a PT tail and body and the catch rate maintained from then on with about 90% Browns and 10% bows/cutbows.

Craig and I both had great success. I love catching fish on flies I tied and a rod that I assembled. Where these fish lack in size, they make up for in therapeutic value. With my batteries recharged, I'm ready for another week.

March 31, 2017

Boy's Trip March 2017: Camping, Fishing, & Hiking

I promised the boys a camping trip once I completed my Bachelor's in Nursing. It's been a long 18 months but I'm finally over that hurdle! My plan is to continue on to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner; but I'm looking forward to a summer without school to recharge my life. We had a haphazard plan to head due-south and end up camping somewhere near Lake Powell; I hoped to take the boys camping AND get some fishing in as a reward to myself. But I wasn't sure if we would actually make it to Lake Powell and even if we did Oakley (9 year old Golden Retriever) may keep us from fishing off the dock again.

So we stopped midway at one of our favorite camping/picnic sites and the boys swung on the tree swing while I flung some streamers in hopes of an eat. The water was perfect flow/clarity, I had some nice follows, and I connected on a scrappy brown.  
 I cast the fly across current, stripped twice, and let it soak. The brown slammed the streamer and the rest is history. I love the visual aspect of streamer fishing!

We hurried south after this intermission and ended up between Kanab and Lake Powell just as the sun was setting. Connor searched the area on Google-Earth and directed us to a great overlook and flat camping spot. The following morning we hiked down the hill from our camp and explored the wash, rocks, vegetation, and wildlife. We tried some prickly-pear innards and I ended up with prickly-lips (luckily the boys avoided this torture).
video

On the way home we witnessed a deer kamikaze into oncoming traffic. It was an unfortunate event for the deer and the girl driving her friend's parent's Mercedes-benz! Ouch! We stopped to help but I thought photo evidence would have been distasteful; in her defence, that phucking deer had a death wish...   

Bonus graduation trip...

I took off from work a little early this week and hit a local lake that just lost its ice. I spent more time driving then fishing but was rewarded with a nice chuncky Rainbow to knock the new off my graduation present to myself; a Loop Evotec X-grip 6 wt! The pictures are lacking but here's my best effort :)

March 17, 2017

Smallie from the OC

I took a much needed break last week to wet a line. The past month has been a grind trying to finish the last two class assignments before I am finally done with my degree. I frequented this lake last spring and found good success with a crawfish imitation. The pattern is quite simple to tie--a 90* hook with some rubber-legs out the back, a ball of dubbing, and a cut-out of a craw-body using material that came from an old microfiber couch--but it's a dead ringer in looks and action of the real thing. 
The water was a bit turbid with floating algae accumulating on the surface. I used an intermediate line and stripped my fly back in short jerks. Last year I fished from the dam, but that was before I read the sign prohibiting it. I now stand upon a step-stool; making waist deep water only come up to shin-level.
When I felt my fly stop, I anticipated a healthy, chunky rainbow on the end of my line; that's what I have always caught here. A few strong runs and some bull-dogging ensued until the fish finally gave it's first clear view. I at first thought I had caught a carp but was astonished to find a smallie that seemed to be trying it's best to impersonate a football. 

That was the only catching for the day, but I'd take this fish over multiple smaller ones. I'd never caught a smallie in this body of water but I was happy to make its acquaintance.