Sunday, March 17, 2013

So it was about that time for the anual first ice off run down to otter creek with my buddy Steve.  A lot of the others we had been talking headed different directions we were going to be the guinea pigs for this place.  Having heard conflicting reports on the weather, how much open water was available, and fishing conditions we figured the only way to know for sure is to drive down and take a look.  We were sure glad that we did we timed it perfectly our favorite spot on the lake was just begining to uncover.  Just barely enought to put a float tube in the water and yet small enough that a tube wasn't needed.  Both aproaches worked out great.  Lots of chunky otter creek footballs to be had this year ranging from 15-21.5 inches in lenght.  It's not officially fishing season until you get jizzed on by a buck rainbow so I can say my season has officially began!  I will let the photo's do the talking. 

First fish of the season, gotta take a picture of that!

Just had to try that leach didn't ya!

First Jizz fish of the year.

Another chunky male makes it to the net

Such a variety of colors.

Big boy of the day.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Early season float tubing.

It has been over four months since I wet a line and needless to say I had a HUGE case of cabin fever.  Steve and I set plans early in the week to take full advantage of what looked like a greate weekend of weather ahead.  The plan was to head south to Otter Creek and Piute to try and get out hands on some chunky rainbows.  The weather was much colder than expected with the low tempertures being almost 14 degrees less than forecast.  In fact the lake iced over again and left a small area that was ice free for fishing that morning. 

Today was the definition of working for your fish!  We fished it hard for about four hours and managed to get 3 fish between us.  Little did we know this was going to be the best of the fishing we would see today. 
We managed another two before we made our way over to piute.  A little "redneck" engineering helped get the tubes to the next destination.

Puite still seems a year or two away from returning to form we saw little on the way of fish showing up on the finder and gave it 1-2 hours of good solid effort.  It gave Steve the skunk job and I managed one fish.

The day still had daylight and we have heard some good reports of another lake on the way home.  We made the stop and found gorgeous weather and sunshine in fact I have a sunburn in March always a good things.  Altough the reports were promissing we managed to only land 1 fish apiece at this stop and they were around 14".  Although it was a tougher day of fishing it was great to get out and enjoy some time on the water with excellent company! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tiger Hunt...

After the last two trips to the Boulder Mountains being mainly for exploration it was time to go to some familiar spots I have not had a chance to get to this year.  Luckily Tom & Jimmy wanted to come down with me to help me not get lost.  The plan was to stay closer to Torrey this time and fish a couple of lakes know to hold Tiger Trout.  Brookies and Tigers are my favorite species because of their color and their fight that they put on.  We headed up to the first lake and found some fall colors.  

We also found some willing tiger trout and a few cuts that wanted to come to play.  I snapped off several fish off on scuds even using 4x tippet.  I lay awake at night wondering what could have been.  The water was so clear that we could even see the fish attack the jigs and flies.  We saw a monster fish I named "walter" that was well over 25" and I will be going after him next year.  You know what they say big fish don't get big for being stupid.

I also caught one of the strangest tigers I have caught to date here.  It had a huge hump on the fish just like a salmon we had to get a shot of it.

We rode down the mountain to a much awaited bed at a hotel.  We had left at 2:30 the previous morning and some of us had only a few hours sleep so the sun and kicking around really tired us out.  We woke the next morning and headed up to another lake for some more tigers.  Once again greeted with fall colors a great time of year to be in the high country.

We also found some splake and tigers willing to play.  I included a shot of the wheelers and my redneck engineering transporting a tube to a nearby lake.  Tried for some brookies there but only managed 5 smaller cuts.  All in all an great weekend with over 70 fish and 6 over 20" .  If plans work out I hope to go on Tiger Hunt 2 up there in two weeks.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Piute ATV Adventures

Every year we spend and extended weekend down at the piute atv trail.  This year we went a little later in the year due to the fact we had so much snow there would have been no where to ride had we went at our usual time.  It turns out one of the trials was just opened 4 days before our arrival.  We got out a little later than expected on Thursday night so we had just enough time to get set up and get to bed.  I was given Friday as the day I could take off and fish, my buddy that was going to join me for the adventure ran into a snag at the last minute and couldn't come so I was off solo in the dark.  Not smart to ride solo on an ATV in a place you have never been before but you only live once and I would take it slow so at 5:30 am I was loaded and starting up the trail.  There was two lakes that I had researched and over the years of coming here I had not had the opportunity to fish.  One I was more excited about was Barney lake:

They had been putting tigers and cuts in this lake for about a 1/2 dozen years I was hoping they would have some size on them.  Since tiger trout are one of my favorites species I was hoping to get one over 20".  I was the only one at the lake amazing for a holiday weekend but if you get up early and travel a bit I tend to find solitude when I fish.  This was another gorgeous alpine lake I like to fish in the summer at around 10,000 feet.

I stared my kick around the lake.  I found more than my share of SNITS.  For those of you that don't know what a SNIT is here is a photo of a few:

I am not fond of SNITS in any form.  These were of the cut variety and hatchery fresh with worn down fins and everything.  I was really hoping to find a tiger in this lake, still hoping to find a fish over 9 inches as well.

I finally found a couple of tigers they ranged from 13 - 17 inches not the monsters that I was hoping for but a welcomed change from the snits.  I made one pass around the lake and figured I wanted to try plan B while there was still a couple of hours of good morning fishing available to me.  I really did not want to pack down the tube and re-inflate at the next lake.  It was only 1/2 mile away and my redneck engineering degree came in handy. 
I was surprised on a holiday weekend to find this lake on a major trial with zero people fishing it as well.  I was either really lucky of this fishing was really going to suck here.  It had a nice look to it so I wanted to give it a try.

I have to admit I have always been hard on cutthroat trout because as I say the save the fighting for the net.  I have to say these fish were the exception to that rule.  Not only did they put up a good fight but they were solid fish in all respects.  They ranged from 15-19 inches and healthy colorful fish.  I did not break the 20" mark I was shooting for but I did find a lake I would return to again for a re-match.

The hit hard and would put a bend in your rod.  Fishing solo it was hard to take the "bendo" pics but I did manage to get one.
This was about the best of the day:
We had a pretty good group on our ride the following day.  I also had a chance to take a long awaited drive in a RZR 4.  We had a blast and fell in love with the RZR 4!

We enjoyed an evening by the fire and everyone had a good laugh at my expense when I could not figure out the "going to Alaska" game.  The next day we wanted to explore some trial we had not seen before so we used the atv trailer and drove to Circleville to try our hand at some new trial.  This trip was also to include a trip to a lake Anderson Meadow that was supposed to hold brook trout.  Needless to say with an unexpected bonus day of fishing I was excited.  The trial turned out to be a steep and rock mess much more difficult that we should have taken our 1 year old son on.  The 25 miles of trail felt harder on us than the 90 we had ridden the day before.  We did manage to make it up to the lake along with 40 of our new closest friends fishing from shore.

I gave it a few casts but seeing SNITS being reeled in around us my hopes for a pristine alpine brook trout lake were pretty much out the door.  While Bill and my wife watched me and Bella attempted to give the hatchery pets a workout. 

After the rough ride home we decided to not cook the chicken we had brought for dinner and splurged on a pizza instead.  We headed home after another family adventure.