April 27, 2013

Jigolos, Beads, & Meat

Last weekend I took a trip with Bishop Jan and a member of his Zoobie congregation to visit my cousin Nolan. Nolan is an ER doctor in Vernal, UT who has recently found himself short on fishing buddies. I am more then happy to help fill this void, so our adventure begins...

Before I continue, let me fill in some blanks with the back-story. Bishop Jan (no, not Jon...Jan, my dad's name is Jan, and his little brother's name is Kerry BTW) is an impatient fisherman; in fact fisherman is a loosely used term.
I grew up with a very loving, involved father. We spent a lot of time in the outdoors camping, hiking, motorcycle riding, hunting, and even a little fishing. My fondest memories of my childhood involved family trips in the wilderness; so now I try to build these memories with my little family. But enough brown-nosing, back too the back-story...
Long story short, as much as I love flyfishing, I've never been able to get BJ to go. It's not from lack of trying, he just seemed to always squirm his way out. In fact, as we finalized our plans for this trip he chimed in about borrowing the neighbor's motorcycle and going for a ride part of the trip...THIS IS A FISHING TRIP!!!
Bishop Jan's idea of fishing in plunking a treble hook covered with Powerbait in a friend's heavily stocked pond...oh and the rod-fee must be free99. Needless to say my father never mentored me in the fine art of flyfishing. If anything, the highlight of this trip was going to be BJ finally flyfishing!

 A light snow-pack and cold spring led to a lack-luster run off this year. But Mother-nature decided to blanket the ground with some fresh snow the night before our trip began. It was an amazing site as we drove to our destination. As we pulled up to the boat dock, There was a sheet of ice covered in a couple inches of snow. We about slid into the lake but Nolan maneuvered us safely to a stop. Without a shovel, Jeremy (Zoobie ward-member) went to work clearing the way with an Igloo cooler.
 With a little finagling and a lot more luck, we were finally able to launch the boat. I thought we had paid our dues and it would be smooth sailing from here on out...

As we turned the corner into the cove, we were praying there weren't any other boats that beat us to this little tributary. Instead we found 100+ yards of ice blocking us from our destination. Without hesitation, Nolan crashed his boat through the ice and navigated us to our playground for the day. Nervous excitement filled the air as we rigged up and headed out. 

Nolan was the first to connect with a nice buck. His prescription was a Jigolo, which is an egg pattern tyed on a very small jig hook.
 Jeremy had another technique planned which involved a mottled-egg bead suspended 1" above the hook. I lined the rod and handed it over to Jeremy to work his magic setting BJ up with the killer combo. It was so killer in fact, the next three fish were caught by Bishop Jan. Here I am showing pops how to pose for a picture with a fish he caught...
 Bishop Jan's first official fly-induced "grip and grin"...
The catching continued...except for me. Everyone else seemed to be living right because I couldn't buy a hook-up. I hiked ahead to find fresh water as the other three stayed back and pounded the honey holes. I was finally able to connect with a couple fish.
On the way back down to reconnect with the group, I saw Jeremy wedged between two boulders flogging water. He reported having some takes but no sticks. I maneuvered below the huge boulder  and on my first cast hooked into a beast. The water exploded with fury and  I tried to keep it in the pool above me. But soon enough the fish headed down-stream and I feared I was going to loose it. Below this pool was swift current that led to a plunge-pool eight feet down. I yelled out for Jeremy to attempt and net it. Just as my trophy was heading over the crest of the falls, Jeremy went Matrix-ninja, judo-chops just in time for the fish to dive head-first into his net!
Jeremy and I sat on this hole for over an hour taking turns hooking fish. I switched thinks up a little and threw some 6" articulated streamers after they turned their nose up at the bead-egg. My first cast was slammed by a feisty buck. I was able to pick up another one in the pool below.
  Jeremy's bride of one month gave him the nod to join us for this adventure. I wasn't sure about adding to the roster for this trip but I'm happy he came along; and not just because he epically netted my fish of the trip. You will likely see more of him on this blog since he spends time at a family cabin near some of my favorite summer haunts. We've already made plans to broaden his perspective on southern Utah fishing to include some moving water.  

While Jeremy and I were batting clean-up in the boulder pool, Nolan and Bishop Jan were killing it...literately...in the scum line behind the boat. Jan insisted they bonk a few over the head and made Jeremy and I clean them. Jeremy was a little too eager to gut them, who's the brown-noser now?
It was way too much fun and I'm sad it was over so quickly. Until next year...Like it or not Nolan I'm making this annual!