Friday, February 24, 2012

Some Exploring Pays Off 2/24/2012

I've been on a mission to find some new streams and sections of streams to fish this year as I'm getting bored with the crowds on The Blacksmith and traffic noise on The Logan. Well, I did some searching on Google Earth last night, and some investigating on the DWR's stream access site as well, and hatched a plan for the sunny day with no work that I was determined to enjoy.

I arrived at my stream of interest around 2:30, but was a little put off by the old beat up No Trespassing sign and fences that I found. Luckily I spotted somebody on the property and chatted for a while. He said I was good to go as long as I stayed in the river. I asked him about fish species and he told me it was predominantly a brown trout fishery.

Well I got suited up in layers of wool, fleece and neoprene and was on my way. Right off I could see that the water was moderately off color, but not terribly high. I decided to go ahead and start fishing with the rubber legged Stimmy and Pheasant Tail Prince dropper that I had left on from The Blacksmith last week. The first couple of inviting pockets brought absolutely no results. I was a little put off by this, but pushed upstream. I spooked a couple of fish in an overgrown run that I wasn't able to fish too well, so that gave me hope. Up ahead I saw a beautiful stretch with a deep run on either side of the river. I started with the left side which stretched a little further downstream. After a few drifts, something took my dropper. It felt nice and solid and doubled my 3/4 wt when I set the hook. It bulldogged in the current, and I figured it was nice brown. Much to my surprise, it was this ugly fatty.

I didn't get any more hits from this pocket, so I moved into position to fish the other side. First cast I had a smaller rainbow roll on the surface and come off. The next cast I hooked this pregnant female bow.

The next cast I got an even better rainbow.

I was beginning to wonder if there were any browns in this stream after all. Cast number four brought another surprise, this pretty little cutthroat.

Finally cast number five got me my brown.


He was absolutely insane. He leaped and tail-walked all over the run. He seriously jumped at least 12 times. The next cast brought another acrobatic brown.

I ended up getting a hit the first 8 casts in a row. I picked off a couple more, and then I hooked into a very nice cutt right on the fast part of the seam. It headed downstream, but my foot was stuck in silt. As I stumbled, the line slipped out of my hand and he was off. Things quieted down, so I switched to a Neon Black Prince. I tied it with peacock black ice dub for the abdomen with fluorescent green ribbing and a UV black ice dub thorax. That did the trick and I was able to catch a few more browns

and bows

on that fly before I decided I had exhausted the run. I ended up getting around 16 hits and landed 12 fish from about an 8 foot stretch of stream. That had me pretty excited for the rest of the day, but unfortunately there was a lot of shallow, channelized blah water up ahead. I had one small brown come up and nail the Stimmy from a little riffle, which was cool for February. Up ahead was a long shallow run, but at the head of it the water dropped down to about 18" deep. I wasn't expecting much, but then this chunky brown clobbered the Stimulator.


Soon after another brown, followed by a couple of nice male bows.

They all came up for the dry. The water was cleaner here, so I switched my dropper to a brown Copper John and pulled another brown out of the riffle on it. I ended up with six fish from that riffle. Things really quieted down after that. I caught a long skinny bow out of a deep run on the dropper, but that was all from there. There was some good water that brought nothing. I was beginning to wonder if it was time to head home as the sun had gotten behind the cliffs and maybe the fish were done being active. I managed a couple more small browns on the dropper, and that was it. I decided to give my old honey hole another visit before I left, just to make sure I hadn't missed any the first time around. Since it was murkier in this stretch, and getting dark, I went back to the neon dropper. A few drifts later I nabbed this pretty egg laden rainbow.

I caught a smaller one, and lost another. It was getting pretty cold now, but I decided to make one more cast. I placed it tight to the fast water again, and this time a pretty cuttbow mauled it.

I ended up with 24 fish landed, which I was pretty happy with considering it's February. Half were browns, and I caught 1 cutt, 1 cuttbow, 1 whitefish, and the rest were bows. I ended up hooking around 20 fish out of that one little pocket of water. I need to go back when I have more time and try to find another spot like that on this stretch. I'm glad I took the time to talk to the property owner and add a new stretch of water to my area trout streams. I'll have to start doing more of that.

Total for trip:  24 browns, bows, cutthroat, cuttbow and whitefish

Total for year:  43 fish

Blacksmith Fork 2/17/2012

I was hoping to do some exploring for access to The Little Bear, but cold, cloudy weather made me debate whether or not to even go for most of the day.  I ended up scrapping my plans of exploring hit The Blacksmith Fork later in the afternoon. I didn't make it onto the water until after 3:30. There were a lot of people up there so I ended up fishing a stretch I don't really like. Fishing was okay. I landed 9 browns, 1 whitefish and a cutthroat in a couple of hours. Nothing too exciting.

The fish hit on a variety of flies. A rubber legged foam stimulator, free living caddis larva, jelly eggs and a golden brown Prince variation.  Sadly the sun came out about five minutes before it went behind the canyon walls.  It was a chilly couple of hours, my wading shoe laces were even frozen when I got back to the car.  It was still nice to get out though.

Total for trip:  9 browns, 1 cutthroat, 1 whitefish

Total for year:  19 fish

A Rare January Adventure 1/5/2012

I hit the Blacksmith Fork yesterday for a couple of hours. I stopped before getting to my usual spot because there was ice on the road in all the shady spots, and I didn't have much time to waste going slow on it. When I got to the river, I noticed there was moose hair on the branch of a tree next to me, and droppings on the ground. Thankfully I never did run into the beast.

Pretty much as soon as I hit the water, the sun slipped beneath the canyon walls, and my balmy day turned chilly. I fished for two hours and caught 8 little browns and missed 3 more. These were pretty typical of the day.


I caught all but one on a little Prince variation that I recently made up. I started with a uv brown head and olive brown body, and later switched to a pheasant tail coloration with peacock ice dub for the head, and pheasant tail ice dub for the abdomen. They seemed to like that one a little better. I switched to a dry dropper as I found most of the fish in shallow riffles and pockets, and I didn't like the way the indicator rig was presenting to them. I picked a size 10 foam hopper for it's buoyancy and visibility, and to my surprise, a fish inhaled it and all that was showing was the head of the fly. That was unexpected for January. Things really picked up at the end with 3 fish in the last ten minutes, and the biggest, a behemoth pushing 12"

(the camera got bumped to scenery, hence the blurry pic).

Sadly it was time to leave for work.

Nothing spectacular, but considering it was early January in Cache Valley, it was just amazing to be out on the water catching some fish. They also fought really well for their size and the cold water. Several even went airborne multiple times.

Total for trip: 8 Browns

Total for year: 8 Fish