Tag Archives: Midges

Utah Trip 2011

Okay, the west is cool too. The above video is from a little fishing I did out in Utah around the Altamont area. We stayed at Falcon’s Ledge Resort . There were twelve of us and we all split up and fished different rivers around the area. Which ran the gamut from freestone mountain streams such as Yellowstone Creek, to the Green River tailrace. The guides and accommodations at the lodge were amazing. Plus the food was off the charts, who knew you could actually make cauliflower taste good!

The first day I fished with Tye Krueger from Bend, OR and Kurt Fiegel from Bethesda, MD. Our guide was Bryan Eldredge who works for the lodge and also runs Utah Fly Guides. We hit up the near by Strawberry River which is a very short drive from the lodge. The Strawberry is not known for huge numbers of fish but for it’s huge brown trout. It requires a lot of stalking and percise casts. However if you do the work you can be rewarded by a really nice fish. The video above was shot on the Strawberry. I’ve also got to give Bryan a shout out as he really worked his butt off for the three of us.

The second day I got really lucky. Tye and I drew slots to float the Green River. If you have never heard of the Green, you should google search it. The river boasts upwards of 18,000 fish per mile. We fished with guide Gordon Tharett at Trout Creek Outfitters. Gordon was also an incredible guide. His guide resume includes Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Alaska, up-state New York and our very own South Holston River. We talked briefly about how great the Soho really is and how it is still fairly unknown. The Green was epic to say the least, I’m not going to bore you with numbers and sizes. Imagine what your best day on the water would be like with consistently good sized fish on dries with great company, food and an excellent oarsman.  That was our day times 2.  It definately ranks as one of the top ten days, I’ve ever had on the water.

Before my visit to Utah, if someone had asked me if I wanted to go fish there or Yellowstone National Park, I would have probably chosen the National Park.  Now on the other hand, after seeing the varieties of water that the area has to offer, plus not seeing any other anglers, with exception to the Green, it would be a tough choice.  There are some really beautiful areas and very few crowds, plus they have just about any type of fishing you would want to do.  Give the guys a south at Falcon’s Ledge, let them tell you what they have to offer and if you go be sure to catch a 5lb Tiger Trout from one of the Lodges still water trophy lakes for me.

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Size doesn’t matter with a skunk on your back

Okay…go ahead and admit it.  You’ve been guilty of wishing for a small fish.  Sure, we all hop in the water with visions of one of those grip and grin laviathans that will make us the envy of all our angling buddies.  We picture the perfect hookset, the admirable fight, the headfirst guide into the net, a smattering of accolades from angls who saw the whole thing and were impressed by your skill.

Then the real world hits…

You’ve been fishing for four hours and haven’t got so much as a twitch.  Nada.  Nothing.  It is around this time, when you can see the end of your trip in the distance, that you are just wanting to get the skunk off your back, just one fish to justify the trip, just one fish to put a bend in the rod; even if the fish is so small that the rod only bends a couple of inches from the tip.  It is moments like that when you don’t really want to impress anyone, you just don’t want to be the poor schmuck who leaves without anything.  This usually occurs when those around you are catching a few.  Pride has a way of making us ruthless in our desire not to be odd man out.

Recently, I was on such a trip, in this exact set of circumstances.  I was fishing with my ol’ buddy Jermz, who by the way is one of the most prolific anglers I have ever seen.  I’ve even seen him catch fish literally right on top of his boot in six inches of water.  Love the guy, but sometimes I just wish I’d see him get skunked.

To continue with the story…I got to the river at around six, full of the aforementioned thoughts of glory.  He showed up about fifty yards down stream three hours later.  I had yet to get a bump.  Not fifteen minutes later and he has an impressive bend in his rod.  So, in line with these modern times, I broke the anglers code and called him on my cell phone.

“Hey man!”, he says full of glee.
“What did you catch that one on?”
“Pheasant Tail”
“Thats what I am using and haven’t caught any.”
“C’mon down!”

So, with my tail between my legs, I wade downstream.  He caught three more by the time I arrived.

Two hours at least pass and I reached the point where I was just hoping for a minnow.  Then I notices a healthy Sulphur hatch.  Of course, I had no Sulphurs.  The only thing I had close in color was a size 14 Yellow Humpy.  Not exactly matching the hatch.

Three or four unproductive casts, and then it happened.  WHAM!!!! A trout that we both agreed would go t least 24 inches came roaring skyward with my fly in its jaw.  I set the hook and the fight was on…for all of about five seconds.  That beast snapped 5x tippet without slowing down.  Never even got him turned.  He felt the hook and just took off.  I was left shaking and empty handed.

“My God that was a monster!” He says.

“I never had a chance.”

“He was so big he could hardle get airborne.”

“Yep.”

In the next two hours, neither of us got another hit.  Storms rolled in.  The day was done.

No, I didn’t catch a single fish.  I left with the skunk I rode in on.  But that morning, I hooked a fish of impressive length and girth in full view of one of the most respected anglers in my circle of friends.  If only for five seconds, I was on top of the world, and I had a story to tell.  A story to tell with a witness.  Sometimes that is enough.  Even though the smell of fish was absent as I slid into my ride and headed home.

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Sometimes Fly Fishing and Religion don’t mix

How many times have you heard fly fishing and religion in the same sentence? How often do you read about the spiritual nature of the sport and how the soul is placed at ease whilst angling?

Well, let me tell ya…fly fishing and religion met in a very unique way for me last night, and being one who is always up for a good laugh, I thought I would share.

There is a fella starting a new company here in the U.S. and one of his products are hooks. I was fortunate enough to receive a free pack of scud hooks in the mail from him and in a fit of absent mindedness I laid them on the kitchen table.

My wife was not home and I was trying to get four kids ready for our churches evening service. If you have never tried to get four children ready to go anywhere quick, it is like trying to put four spastic rainbow trout in a greasy sack. Chaos.

So my youngest (2 yrs.) comes walking into the kitchen and sees the pack of hooks. I dash over, grab them and just shove the pack into my pocket as I shuttle the oldest two into the van and try to get the wild man which is my son to not wear his sandals to church. I pick up the littlest one and put her in her car seat. ZOOM! We are off to church.

I deposit my kids in their appropriate classes and head to the sanctuary. Our church is very contemporary in our evening service. Lights low in the pews, loud music, it is a real event. Anyway, when the music starts we all stand up to sing when this incredible pain shoots into my thigh. I am thinking muscle cramp and sit back down. This is when I realize that the hooks are in the process of doing that which hooks are designed to do. Amidst the praise and worship I am being impaled!!!

“Gotta get to the bathroom”, I think to myself and step out of the pew. The trouble is that with every step the hooks are digging into my leg. So, I walk stiff legged, much like Chester on the old Gunsmoke series, to the bathroom. Thankfully upon stepping into the stall and dropping my trousers, I see that the barb of these three assailants has yet to go below my skin. Removing the hooks was easier than I thought and after wiping the small trickles of blood from my leg, I returned to the service in time to hear one of my all time favorite songs (Revelation Song for those who might want to check it out).

So in closing, what did I learn from this? 1) Don’t leave hooks where a two year old can get them, 2) When leaving the house for anything other than fishing there is no need to have hooks in your pocket, 3) sometimes fly fishing and religion meet and it isn’t peace, serenity, and well being…sometimes its downright painful.

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Friday Float!

 

 Clay and I drove up to the Watauga River and dumped the boat in at Blevins around 10:00am. As we floated down stream we got into a nasty midge hatch with fish rising everywhere. We caught a few and lost too many. So we decided  to streamer fish the rest of the day out.  After an hour of chugging meat I hooked into the  first nice brown trout of the day. (Brown Trout 1 Jake 0) So after losing that battle I took the sticks back and Clay was on point. I pushed down the river till we got to Clay’s run and my man hooked up on the first cast with a nice rainbow!

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