Friday, December 31, 2021

The Beehive State: Part One

June 5, 2021
The first day of the trip was a travel day to try to get as much distance as we could.  Our destination for the night was a motel in St. George.
June 6, 2021
When we woke we looked for a breakfast place besides a greasy spoon.  After some internet searching I found one that looked promising.  It was located a bit further into town than we wanted but I wanted to start the trip with something healthier. I ordered smoked salmon eggs Benedict which wasn't bad.  Once we finished we made our way northbound.
The original plan to fish Lower Fish Creek was scratched because of a forest fire nearby.  So we looked for an alternative along the way to the Green.  I called Cory what he'd would fish Strawberry or Currant Creek.  He said he'd choose Currant among the two.  So we fished it.  It look promising and very fishy but it was very poor.  I did manage one fish to rise at the very end of the day.

Since the fishing was poor we gave up early to make camp and dinner.  I had recently acquired charcoal grill form Japan so I made yakitori for dinner. 


Thursday, December 30, 2021

May 2, 12, 25. July 12 2021

May 2, 2021

2020 was such a bummer.  This year my attention was diverted to other activities so it took five months to finally get out on the water.  I fished a local with good results.  Fish were plentiful with over sixty to hand but they were definitely getting smaller.  After years of drought the fishery took several years to return after being devoid of fish.  It returned better than I had ever seen it.  Then fires, forest closures, a dry year and covid lockdowns now are putting the fishery on a likely downturn.  What an absolute shame.

May 12, 2021 Canyon Lake

After a few invites that I had to reluctantly decline but I got to finally to get out with Luc.  As like all spring and summer outings it was popper fishing.

May 25, 2021 Canyon Lake

More popper fishing with Luc.  I would begin all my fishing sessions with the Shimmy Frog pattern.  I saw this fly last year and began tying them during the lockdowns.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Local Oct 22. Nov. 1, 12, 17. Dec. 2, 11, 16, 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Fishing was excellent on dries.  So good we tried throwing mini articulated streamers at them and they took it.

November 1, 2020

Decided to check out a piece of water we hadn't checked out in ages.  Back then we were sight casting to browns in gin clear water.  When we arrived the water was merely a puddle and doubtful any fish survived.  In addition even if fish had made t through we were unable to fish for them anyways as the area was closed due to the yellow mountain frog.
So instead we got off the mountain and made an impromptu trip to a nearby creek we hadn't fished in ages.  Once a nice fairly secluded area to cast to a mix of browns and rainbows.  The parking lot was filled and the creek was a joke.  It was crowded.  If that wasn't bad enough graffiti and garbage now lined every corner.  Fucking covid lockdowns certainly ruined everything.

November 12, 2020

Called Jim to see if he wanted to fish a local before he moved to Idaho.  He wasn't available obviously so I went out alone.  Ended up hiking around 12 miles with great results.  Fish were all healthy and on the bigger side for locals.

  November 17, 2020

Another 8-9 miles today to try out a brand new TFO trout finesse 6’9” one weight. Not bad for an entry level rod. Even better when they are on sale for $145. Must have landed at least 50 fish today.

December 2, 2020

More time spent in the localCaught more micro dinks than in previous trips.  Few fish in the 6-7 inch.  A couple fish in the 10 inch range. 

December 11, 2020

Fished Location X to see how it was doing.  After taking Luc here earlier in the year and not seeing anything we weren't expecting much but to our surprise it was excellent.   Chul and I planned on hiking in further than I did with Luc.  We stopped at one of the pools a couple miles in and I threw a cast.  Within a handful of drifts a spectacular local trout came up to take.  I yelled over to Chul and he was more excited than I.  After landing it we were stoked that the fishery was back.
More quality fish would be found throughout the system.   We fished all the way to the end and it only got better.
I'm glad our favorite local fishery is returning to it's former glory.  Let's hope the trend continues.

December 16, 2020

A few years back we checked out a fishery on the other side of the mountain range.  At the time all the local fisheries were in their prime and 'big" fish were just about everywhere.  So when we checked on this fishery we were disappointed in the size of the fish, despite getting some in the 10 inch range.  The numbers were good but we were spoiled at the time so we were disappointed. When we arrived the road was closed because of the fire damage.  So we had made it all the way out here for nothing.

 December 22, 2020

Went out again to another local.  Fishery was fishing well but the larger fish seemed not to be there.  Could have been fished out or they just weren't taking what we were offering.  This would be the last outing of the year as just after this Chul got covid and I went into quarantine.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Canyon Lake Oct. 11 2020

Fished with Luc and honestly I don't recall much from the day.  All I have to remember it is this photo.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Truckee: Fall in the Sierra

October 3-7, 2020
Made our way up to the Truckee for the fall.  Forest fires completely wrecked havoc throughout the state.  On multiple occasions the fires ruined our chances to visit and fish Yosemite.  With covid the park began restricting visitors to a certain number and required a reservation to enter.  I thought this an excellent opportunity to finally see the park without massive crowds.  This would never be though as every time we had a reservation the smoke was so heavy we wouldn't be able to see any of the landmark sites.  
This weekend we had reservation for the park but decided to forgo it as the haze was too great.  Instead on the way up we fished the upper for the morning before reaching Chul's timeshare in Truckee.  The next couple days we fished the main river and the Little Truckee.  None were fishing great.  I don't recall much from the trip and any fish caught were unmemorable.  

On the way south we'd camp near Bridgeport to check fall colors.  On the way home we'd decide whether or not to enter the park but since the haze hadn't let up we decided to fish McGee instead.  It seemed like all the fish in the system were dinks.  Micro dinks.  It was pathetic so we didn't stay long and went straight home.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Escape From LA Redux Part Four: Coming Back Home and Trying to Complete the Utah Slam

August 31, 2020

Morning was cold and after hotcakes and sausages it was time to head back to the Mike Lawson's for another day license and some more flies. 
Whatever construction that was happening a few days prior must have been completed because we entered the park easily and quickly.   We hiked in and started to see multiple hatches but mostly tricos.  Amazing to see how much bug activity occurs here.

Like earlier in the trip we would try and help guide each other.  One would stand on the bank calling shots while the other was on the water.  Fishing was promising as fish continued to rise in the overcast weather.  We were trying to time their feeding cadence. By the time we were starting to get a groove and understanding the fish the weather turned.  Rain fell and the feeding ceased.  Since nymphing is very frond upon in this section we continued to try to get them to rise with no avail.  In the afternoon we went back to the Box for one last session before we left Idaho. 

September 1, 2020

We woke in the morning and skipped making breakfast since we were too tired to deal with it.  So we decided to get something in town for ease.  Since our local shops do not carry it we stopped by TroutHunters to stock up on some leaders and tippet material.  At the shop I asked the staff where they recommend for breakfast.  Of course they suggested their restaurant.  I was reluctant to eat there because they were biased.   Ends up the meal was excellent and pricing was reasonable.  I had the Eggs Benedict with funeral potatoes.  On the way out I popped my head into the fly shop and thank them for the suggestion as the breakfast was fantastic. 
After the meal we started our way south.  Ended up stopping in Malta for gas.  It was a unique gas station with a sense of humor.  It was had petting zoo with interesting gifts.  Chul decided to pick up a finger puppet.

Our destination was the northwestern section of Utah.  Last summer we managed three out of the four Utah cutthroat species.  Because the area where the fourth fish are found is so remote and only found in a small sliver of this state we didn't even consider completing the slam.   This time we'd give it a shot.  The last on the list was the Yellowstone.  

Finding water to fish was part of the challenge.  The watersheds here are no more than a piss trickle.  Casting is almost impossible let alone getting a drift.  Overhang brush,  floating debris or small rocks all affected presentation.  Place is almost unfishable.  There are only a few pockets where you could even get an acceptable drift.  Cast are more like dabs.  Maybe if there were enough room you could get in a bow and arrow cast .  Place abosolutley sucks.

I missed a couple and those were my chances.  Chul managed to get one. The picture is absolute garbage but he wanted to make sure to document it before it got away.

Had we stayed the night I could have easily returned to the spot and completed the task but I had made dinner plans with a my buddy Cory.  With no reception in the area I had no choice but to leave.  I wasn't too happy as I really do not want to return to this place in the future but I guess I'll just have to return.

September 2, 2020    

We arrived at Cory's way later and was not able to take him out to dinner but he had dinner for us ready though.  Cory and I spent the evening reminiscing the good ole days before crashing in his guest room.  In the morning we planned on fishing the Weber in town.  Fishing was rough and access was problematic.  We stayed for bit only to move further east to less populated area. 
I wasn't fishing too hard as it was more about catching up than catching fish.  As the fishing was slow we moved onto the nearby small creek, Lost Creek.  There I caught a few small trout.  When we all met up at the end Chul managed a really nice one in the 18 inch range.  By the time we finished Cory needed to go back home.  So we decided to check out a spot that a customer at Fish Head fly shop told us about to catch Bonnevilles.  When we finally arrived water was pretty skinny and we were pretty discouraged.  So after some exploring from the road we decided it wasn't worth or time and to end the trip and make our way home.  We'd end up at a motel in St. George for the night before we'd make the trip all the way back to California.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Escape From LA Redux Part Three: Montana

August 27, 2020

In the morning we packed up to head up to Galloup's shop.  I always enjoy paying a visit there to speak with Kelly and Jeremy for intel and general bsing.  Last year Kelly told us about fishing the Upper Madison below Hebgren and how the best way to cross the river.  Given that we we already exhausted from a week long trip we screwed up and never did find the boulder he was referring to.  This year we wanted to make sure found the spot.
We made it to the parking lot and immediately we noticed the massive amount of baetis flying in the air.  Kelly had let us know before heading up there but I didn't rig a dry fly because I wanted to fish streamer.
Fishing was hard on streamers and in reality I probably should have fished a dry.  By the afternoon the weather changed and rain began to fall. 
By late afternoon we were beat and went back to the shop to gather more supplies and rent a cabin from Kelly.  There it was time to make a steak dinner with mash potatoes and water spinach that was intended for the night we had three cup chick but I was too lazy to prepare it.
We had dinner on the back porch of the cabin with a view of the valley and Madison.  In the evening we fished three dollar bridge section.  Swapping the streamer for the mouse pattern in an attempt to get my first fish on that fly.  Still no luck but unlike my earlier Colorado trip I didn't even get a blow up this time.
August 28, 2020
We awoke early before the sunrise to go back up to the same section as yesterday.  Mist filled the air giving an eerie atmosphere. As sun slowly crept we hiked our way downstream to the infamous boulder. This time would cross the river and fish the other side of the bank.  Our target as was the whole trip were large predatory browns hoping they attack our articulated streamers.
We fished til mid-morning and headed back to the cabin to make some breakfast before we had to check out of the place.  We ate, cleaned up the dishes, checked out and fished the thee dollar bridge section.  We headed downstream on the west side.  I didn't quite like this part of the river, finding it lacked the type of structure I preferred.  Just like every afternoon we switched to dry flies, mostly terrestrial patterns, with mixed results.  Tired and wanting to see something different  we opted to see another part of the river.  The vast number of anglers also prompted that decision.

We decided to drive downstream for some exploring and stopped at The Bluffs section.  This area is loaded with drift boats.  It's hard to wade fish here and therefore not productive for us.
After a couple hours on the water, we'd come back to Reynolds Pass to camp for the night.  I had spoke with another angler who fished upstream and told us it fished awesome that afternoon.  He was fishing a black caddis and "killed" it.  The following day we'd head back to shop and Jeremy told us that there was particular ant hatch (the type of ant I don't recall now).  He did tell us that these ants have some chemical that reacts to the trout and makes them drunk.  So drunk that they'd often miss the fly.  On one trip, Jeremy told me that the fish get so drunk they'd crash into his drift boat.
That evening we'd fish below Reynold's Pass.  I'd be throwing my mouse pattern again in an attempt to get one but I couldn't even get one to rise.

August 29, 2020

In the morning fished three dollar again with mixed results.  The Upper wasn't fishing quite as well as in the past and with increased pressure due to the increase of visitors due to Covid lockdowns we wanted to fish elsewhere.  So we drove to Ennis to fish The Braids.
We'd stop at Madison River Fly Company for info. The pro staffer was helpful with not only flies but how to best access the river.  We loaded up with hoppers and went on our way. 
Fishing was hot and cold but if you found a section it was loaded with them and certain stretches would be void of any fish.  Or at least they would be unwilling to take.

Having fished for few hours we headed into town for dinner.  We needed to fuel up for the evening session.  Unfortunately the pizza was mediocre at best.  We returned to fish the night and it seemed harder than in the afternoon.  Seemed like the bite shut down.  On the way back to truck, we found a pond and we threw mice at the banks in the moonlight.  We managed to get a couple blowups but no hook ups.  We camped right on the water for the night.

August 30, 2020

We woke up again before sunrise to try and get those fish we stuck out on the last night.  But this morning they weren't interested in the mouse pattern.  Once the started to poke out we switched to streamers and started fishing downstream.  Once the sun was bright we switched to hoppers but by late morning the blue wings began to hatch.  Instead of completely rerigging for lighter tippet I simply added the BWO as a dropper. 
By noon it was time for lunch on recommendation of the fly shop staff we went to Sugar High.  We had told him we intended to eat at the cafe and he told us that their burger was average at best and we should go to Sugar High instead.  I'm glad we asked him because this was the best burger I've had in all the mountain states I had to date.  In fact it was so good we went back again for dinner.  The burger is made with fresh local beef.  The soft serve and huckleberry sauce was also good.  Worth a visit if you're in the mood for a burger in Ennis.
After lunch we fished another section of the Braids we yet to check out.  We'd be fishing hoppers all afternoon with good results.  After dinner we decided to start our way back but instead of staying on the Upper Madison we'd fish Henry's Fork once again.  We made it back to our favorite campsite on the river and while we planned to fish the Box Canyon for the evening we decided to to rest up instead.  We were exhausted by now and we needed all our wits to challenge the Ranch section the next day.