June 23, 2009

Jealous Fishing Buddy

Katy suggested I go fishing this morning since she was planning to visit her sister today. I put everything together last night before going to bed. Four hours later, I was up and getting ready for the day. Kyle and his crew went yesterday and had limited success. The report was the fish were easily spooked and not very hungry. I wanted to bring Oakley, but I was afraid he might spook the fish. But last minute as I was feeding him his diet chow, I couldn't resist taking him along.
I dropped the tail gate of my pickup and Oakley jumped in without prompting. We got to the stream around 7:30a. I've fished this stream a few times and have never caught many fish. But I knew eventually my fishing curse would have to pass. Oakley was a little hesitate to follow me across the stream. Apparently this Golden is afraid of water!
I hooked into a 16"+ Brown in one of the first holes. It had been such a long time since I've seen my indicator drop, I almost forgot what to do. It bulldogged to the bottom and wasn't about to let up. But just as I was landing it, it came unbuttoned.
A few more casts and I snagged up on a subsurface branch. I pulled my fly free and my hand was covered with midge larva. I switched my bottom fly to a #16 black body w/ gold rib Zebra and the fun started from there. I hooked rainbow after rainbow for the next few hours. Although they were stocked trout with poorly developed fins, I was happy to actually catch a number of fish on an outing. Man I needed that.

It seems that Kyle is a little jealous of Oakley getting the spotlight on fisheatflies. Well after an outing like this, I wonder if Kyle has been the bad luck charm. But just so he feels included, here's your spotlight Kyle...

Kolob Kyle and I started fishing together early this spring. On that outing, neither of us caught fish. In fact most of our fishing trips together, neither of us catch many fish. Kyle has stress urinary incontinence in the evenings and if you ever go on an overnight fishing trip with him, never get between him and the bathroom. With his DDMR yellow Chums and his trusty orange fishing shirt, Kyle woos the fish into submission. He secretly eats bananas when no one is watching and blames others for the low catch rate. He is top-crust in his 7-year-old Simms and bottle of Purell. Kyle is dedicated to the sport of fly fishing and I am pleased to call him a friend.

June 22, 2009

New Fishing Buddy

Katy's sister was nice enough to give Oakley to us. He's two years old and loves to be outside. Katy grew up with a Golden named Bently and I'm excited for Connor to be able to have the same opportunity. At the park today, I felt like a cliche...wife, toddler, and a Golden. He still needs a little training, but I think he will be a great fishing companion.

June 21, 2009

Trip to Bishop Jan and Grandma Marg's

I went on a family vacation the beginning of June. The plan was to spend the first part of the trip with my wife and son and meet up with a few friends later in the week. We stayed at Bishop Jan and Grandma Marg's in Payson most of the trip. The first night, I snuck up the canyon just before dark and was able to coax a small Cutt to a white GF just before dark. Although I went a few more times for a quick fishing session, that was my first and last trout on that little stream.
I planned to go fishing with Jed Tues AM, but due to family illness, Jed was unable to make it. I still went that AM and fished a river I hoped would clear. The water was running high and slightly off-color. Once I picked a starting point, I began working the edges. I missed a few subtle strikes, but the fish didn't look very active. I came upon a grassy bank along the outside of a bend that look promising. After spooking a fat brown with sloppy wading, I watched my step. I cast my rig along the edge of the bank and immediately hooked into a fatty. It shot into the fast current and before I had a chance to think, it was gone. A few steps forward and the scenario repeated. I was bound to get it right eventually! The next fish I hooked into, (all within about 50 feet of bank) I jumped into the river and ran to the other side. I was able to keep up with the fish and landed it in a small pool below where I'd hooked it.

As the morning's crisp air began to warm, I noticed what I'd hope to see on this trip...Salmonflies!

I tied an Amy's Ant on and hoped for the best. I didn't see any fish rising, but I knew they couldn't pass up my morsel of foam, fur and feathers. I was able to hook a 13"ish brown that came unbuttoned once it got below me. I guess the fish must have gorged themselves on SF before I got there. As I drove out of the canyon, I stopped to speak to a couple spin fisherman that reported the SF were all over the place a little further down. And the fishing was slow for them too.

We took Connor to the Zoo the next day. It was raining off and on all day. We had a couple hours before we were to meet Katy's friends at the Pie. We took a small detour and I was able to make a few casts in the rain. Earlier in the week when I fished this stream, I didn't bring any wading gear. I wore my hiking shoes and rolled up my pants. The water was freezing! and it was all I could do to stay out of the water as much as possible. But this time, I luckily had my waders and rain jacket. I fished poorly and spent most of my time untangling my line from the trees above. Just before having to leave for some tasty pizza and micro-brewed beer (heavy on the root), I hooked into a little cutt.

The beginning of my fishing trip began Thursday morning. I've been wanting to fish Pinder's Pond for a few months. I packed the car the night before so I could get an early start. Just as I was putting my cereal bowl in the sink, Bishop Jan came out and asked to tag along. It was another hour before we left, but I was happy to have the company.
The drive took forever, but we finally pulled up to the bank of the lake and I unloaded my gear. It looked like it was going to be a good day. I spoke to a couple fisherman and they reported mixed results. Right as I go into the water, I could hear splashing from the other side of the lake. Two anglers stood perched on the edge of a steep drop-off. One with a bent rod, the other with a full net. The Tiger trout had to be over 25"! "that's got to be the biggest fish I've ever caught" echoed in my ears. I hoped to make the same statement by day's end.

After many failed attempts to hook into a fish, I got out of the tube and worked the shore-line. Within the first few cast, I hooked into a bright red Cutt.

A storm rolled in with hail, thunder, and lightning. I hid under my POS1997 and waited out the storm. I wasn't sure if it would ever pass. The lightning looked as if it were at my toes and thunder rattled me to my soul. Once things looked to clear a little, I came out from under my tube and began to fish. I hoped the storm would wake up the fishing. I began to hear a buzzing noise and looked around to see what it was. My body began to tingles and it felt like my eyelashes were standing on end. I threw my rod down and began to run until the feeling subsided. I thought I was about to become a crispy-critter!. After that, I grabbed my gear and walked around to meet BJ on the south side of the lake. I spooked a pig of a tiger on the way over. After lunch, I went out for more abuse. Without any more action, I called it a day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I made plans to pick Kyle up around 6:15am the next morning. Were planned to meet Cheif Wiggum on the way up to Pinder's Pond. But a missed exit in the fog left us headed the wrong direction. Wiggum went ahead of us and we planned to meet at Pinder's. As we rolled up, Dan and Charlie's had their lines in the water. We worked the shallow side for a few hours. Fish came and went, but none stayed to play on the end of my line. Dan successfully foul hooked a few Cutts in the mouth. Kyle was also able to coax a Cutt to his fly. The Tigers didn't seem to want anything to do with us. Just before leaving, I hooked into one, but it came unbuttoned faster then a prom dress.

We went to a stream running high and clear. I was intimidated by the fast, deep flow. I don't think I would have waded it had I not seen Dan and Charlie in it already. I'd never fished in water like this. I had difficulty getting my fly down deep enough. I spilt all my split-shot out as I tried to add more and more weight. Luckily it all fell into my pack and I was able to retrieve it.

We moved to a new spot after dropping Charlie off at another spot. Kyle gave me the secret weapon. As I tied it onto the end of my fly, Kyle and Dan walked ahead of me. I didn't see which way they went, and at first went the complete wrong way. After some prayers and a little luck, I spotted them. Dan had just missed a trout as I walked up. A few minutes later, Dan was hooked into a beast. It looked to be nice, but it never came to say hello. After a respectful fight, it headed down stream and spit the hook.

Kyle and Dan both picked up fish as I flogged the water. I had a great time even though the fish were prudes.

June 2, 2009

Katy and I made a deal that if I would exercise with her this summer, she would fly fish with me. I held up my part of the bargain for the past few weeks and now it was time to cash in.
After work, we loaded up the car and headed out for a fishing adventure. I've fished Bean Stream a few times, but haven't been back for a few years. As we got close to the stream, we saw a turkey with its two chicks in tow.

I set Katy up with an "Amy's Ant" and a SJW. I had her make a few practice casts to get the feeling of the rod. Katy has gone with me a few times and she can place the fly where it needs to go. But she's never connected with a fish by herself on a fly rod. Katy made some good casts and we went to the first hole. It was a tough cast with many branches to tango with. But Katy was able to get the fly in the small current running into the pool. She had a few takes, but her timing was off. I stood behind her and helped her cast right up into the head of the pool and showed her how to hold the rod tip and take up line to avoid drag. We caught a couple fish tandem. Katy made a few more casts and the hole seemed to go stale. While Katy walked up to the next hole, Connor and I found "big rocks" to throw in the stream. Conner was not happy when I would stop searching for throwing rocks to snap a picture of him or mom.

I began flipping rocks over in the stream and showing Connor all the bugs that live under them. This stone fly's older brothers and sisters were flying around taunting the fish.

Without waders, Katy and I were limited to only a few accessible runs and pools to fish in this area. We went back through the best sections and tried to pick up any fish still hungry. Katy had many takes, but her timing was still off and they would disappear before the point of the hook could settle in their mouth. We loaded back in the car and drove along the dirt road a little further. The stream meandered through thick brush and hid in deep slots cut into the mountainside. We came upon a meadow where the stream slowly curved around its edge. I re-rigged the rod and handed it to Katy. There was only one pool with good current and the light was beginning to fade. I coached Katy as she tried to get a drag-free drift. Connor was still in the car munching on gold fish crackers. Connor realized he was alone and the jig was up. I ran back to the car to entertain Connor as Katy continued her quest. "Mike, I got one!" The rod was bent and Katy had a grin from ear to ear. I grabbed Connor in one hand and the camera in the other and ran to see her prize.

Katy's first fish on a fly rod by herself! I was so over-joyed. I helped her release the fish and it swam back to its home. As we drove back to our home, we couldn't stop talking about how wonderful this evening was. "That was fun! Now I'm going to be jealous when you go fishing without me." I think Katy is converted to a fly rod on small streams.