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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Time for fariview...

There are certain spots that I go with the family each year.  Fairview canyon has a special place in my heart because I used to go up here with my father when he was alive.  Most of the fish are not of trophy caliber that I would normally spend time chasing but there is such good camping, great four wheeling trails, and an abundance of water to fish that I find my way back every year.  We have a traditional spot to stop at on the way up the canyon a little slice of heaven that I call Little Acorn they make all of their sandwiches and burgers on homemade bread and have awesome shakes.  We had to stop and have dinner on the way up the canyon:

We made it up to the camp spot in a downpour.  We attempted to set up in one site only to find out the spot we had selected was totally not level and we got drenched trying to set up in 2 different spots in the pouring rain we finally did what we should do in the first place and took the wheeler out scouting for a spot.  We found an awesome one with a view of the lake that was open and quickly pulled in and set up to see a double rainbow. 

The plan was to fish in the morning come back let the girls go for a ride while me and my son took an afternoon nap.  Then go out on a family ride later in the evening.  My fist destination was to check on the fish at electric lake I check on them once a year.  This year it looks like the tigers have grown a few inches but the cuts where the standard size 13-18 inches.  I never understand why this lake doesn't produce monster fish because of all the minnows in this lake.  That will forever be a mystery to me:

It was time to try out the lake right below where we were camped.  It was Cleveland Reservoir I had seen a 5lb cut come out of here this winter through the ice but mainly supposed to be planter rainbows.  We set up shop on a rocky shore line and did some dough from the shore.  I saw how the fish can get big in here because of the various size minnows I saw swimming close to shore but it was not kind to us.  My son caught a crawdad on his pole and that was it for the action it gave us the skunk job!

The final day my daughter wanted to go tubing with me WOO HOO!  I wanted to bypass my plans to chase some other waters and take her to a place she would have a good chance at fish.  Remembering what I read on the fishing reports Millers Flat Reservoir was supposed to have good action for stocked rainbows.  We got set up and away she kicked to the middle of the lake.  Finally I hear I got one DADDY I row out to help her because she is still afraid to take the fish off the hooks.  She got it by herself on a jakes spin a lure those rainbows sure love them.  I was doing well on plastics and I wanted to give her a chance so I lent her my rod.  She cast out and slow kicked with an occasional jig then it was fish on! I think she likes just kicking out on the water and the snacks as much as the fishing but a proud pappa was glad she agreed to spend some time doing what I love. 

We have one more extended family trip planned before the season ends it has been fun getting the family out in the new trailer.