This is an overdue blog post. Due to the lateness, I have decided to combine a couple of trips together as they were in the same area, though at different times. Truth is, fishing trips have unfortunately been few and far in-between lately. As I said in my last post, I have been quite busy lately with lots of changes going on. I am however excited to say that I was accepted to graduate school and am moving to Maine! I am stoked and cannot wait to scout out the area and see what Maine has to offer. I will be super busy in school but I hope to make the time and get out and fish and explore. Stay tuned for future blog posts!
The lack of fishing lately has been a bummer but the trips I have been on have been good ones. Last fall Mike and I went to chase some tigers and I was awarded with a new personal best.
|Smashed a damselfly nymph|
This lake is used for the breeding of the native Colorado river cutthroat. Surprisingly, we caught lots of smaller brookies and just a few cutthroat.
|You know there is a big ol brookie under that tree|
Just this past weekend, we visited the area again but, unfortunately, the tiger lakes were frozen solid. We did find a lake that was completely open (which remains a mystery), and a couple others partially open. The gang this go-around consisted of Mike, his neighbor Conner, and Conners friend Mitch and myself. Upon leaving Cedar City, the weather was not pleasant. It was cold and snowing. I was second guessing this trip but then again, I wasn't because this would be my last time in who knows how long. We were all optimistic the weather would turn and our beliefs were granted. Though, mother nature did make herself known that first evening.
|Mike fell through the ice here|
Plan B was to head to a couple other lakes we had success before. The lakes, to our knowledge, did not contain anything big but, they produced lots of numbers. The first lake we arrived at had a small opening from where the stream came in. Mike immediately hooked into a couple but, no more came out to play.
We then headed to the other nearby lake. This lake, while still mainly frozen fortunately had some open water at either ends. Mike and I headed across the lake and caught some small brookies though it was not easy. Our flies had to dodge all the logs and come in close contact with the ice shelf to entice the fish. This made it more fun than when we were catching countless of these little guys last year in open water. It was rewarding to place our flies in tight quarters and catch the small yet aggressive brookies.
|Big ol caddis|
We decided to light one and chuck it out onto the lake to see if we could blow a hole in the ice. Our plan failed. When the bomb made contact with the ice slush put the fuse out and we were left with no explosion. Within a matter of minutes however the four of us were working on trying to retrieve the bomb to try and light it again. This consisted of Mitch wading halfway out and Mike and I lobbing a tree out onto the ice for Mitch to use to scoot the bomb closer his way. It worked. Though after lighting the fuse again it stopped once again with only a pinch away from going boom. We waited a while and then Mike bravely went over and hurried and grabbed it and chucked it into the water. Maybe a fish ate it and was dealt a lucky surprise?
The highlight of the trip for me was a nice brookie I caught under a beavers home. The day prior, I tossed a fly over the edge and waited patiently as I bobbed the leech up and down hoping for a strike. A brookie eventually exploded out but did not commit to the fly. This fish was much smaller than the one I caught the next day with the same technique. This time, I tossed a chironomid over and just as I brought it right up under the beaver home, the fish bolted out and smashed the little fly. I then had the challenge of keeping the fish on as there were logs all over the place. I raised my rod tip high and kept the fish as close to the surface as possible and walked over the beaver home onto the shore. From there, I netted the fish and Mike came over and snapped a couple pics.
The other memorable fish I caught happened right along a deep weed bed. It came from under the weeds and slammed my black leech.
All of us caught nice fish at this lake and the fish were much bigger than the other lakes nearby. Im just glad that my last trip here wasn't a total bust and that we all had success.
|Midges were plentiful|
That evening something special happened. Mitch happened to have a turkey tag and the turkeys were plentiful. It was rather interesting to see so many because we had been there other times and had not seen any.
After fishing we were driving back to camp and stumbled upon a tom turkey and lots of hens by his side. Mitch immediately grabbed his shot gun and hurried out of the truck to chase the tom. He got off one shot and the tom leaped into the air and we though he had gotten him. However, within seconds the group was suddenly booking it over the ridge. Mitch chased them and Mike, Connor and I sat and waited. Soon, we heard another shot, and then another. After a while Mitch came back through the woods with a turkey lunged over his back. He got him.
|Not a bad first turkey|
In all honesty, watching the whole process of hunting this turkey kind of made me want to start hunting for them. I have never hunted before but, this had me really thinking about it.
These two last trips on my favorite mountain made for memorable adventures. I am surely going to miss this place but am glad I got to experience it one last time before the move. I am very excited to move to Maine and look forward to exploring a new area. I will definitely be making time to explore and fish so once again, stay tuned for future blog posts!