March 18, 2018

I Really Got Beaten Up!

I fished one of my favorite small streams the other day. The water has started to rise and go off colored, due to run-off, but it was not so bad that I couldn't fish.

The winter dropped a lot of trees across the creek this year. There are always tons of snags, as well as live branches to harass your progress, but this year it seems particularly tough. I could hardly cast at many of my usual spots.

It was more challenging than it looks.

Because of all the branches I had a hard time setting the hook on some nice fish. They got off right after the missed hook set. That is one of the frustrating things about small, overgrown creeks. In places you can use the sling shot (bow and arrow) cast to deliver the fly, only to have the fish take the offering and not be able to set the hook. At least with western gear you can strip the line to set the hook. Not so with fixed line fishing.

I caught a few little browns and that kept me going. But I'm going to need to come back and do a little gentle creekside husbandry before the foliage comes out.  That should improve the creek some.

March 11, 2018

March 8, 2018

This has been another unusual winter on the streams that I fish during the winter (yes, I usually fish different streams in the summer/autumn months). Most winters there is plenty of ice along the shore to lower then water levels. Last winter and this, there has been very little ice. Because of this, there has been higher water levels than usual. This makes it challenging to use unweighted subsurface flies.

The water temperatures have been running around 38-40°F. so the trout are holding right on the bottom. I usually use bead head nymphs to reach them, but this winter I decided to try to stick with kebari. I've been able to take trout that are holding right along the shoreline, or are holding in shallower water, but I've not been able to get my fly deep enough to take the larger fish holding on the bottom of the streams. I've been using all the "tenkara" techniques to get the fly lower in the water column (plunge pools, thinner flies, pausing the drift, etc) but still no go. This has lowered my catch rate as well as overall fish size.

Another technique I've used is using larger flies to try to entice them off the bottom, but with the cold water temperatures they don't want to move. When I go back to using bead heads I easily hook the larger trout (14-15 inches) that are on the bottom of the deeper runs and pools.

That's how it went today. I hooked plenty of smaller fish (8-10 inches) holding along the shore, but water levels and current speed made if difficult to get the fly down into the deep water. I only used one fly at a time though. I'm sure if I went with a duo tungsten bead head set up I could have reached the bottom of the deepest runs. Too much hassle to do that though.

Still, it was fun and great (as always) to get onto the stream.

March 7, 2018

Fishing with John

On day two of my Park City conference I had the opportunity to fish with John Garlock. I first met John at the Oni School 2017, which is hosted by Tenkara Guides, LLC of Salt Lake City, UT. At that school I had fished with John, who's a very accomplish tenkara angler, and we had a great time. So, a few weeks before my conference I shot John a text to see if he wanted to go fishing again. He said yes!

Since he was more familiar with the waters near his home, I let him choose the fishing venue. He chose a mountain stream that flows right through the town where he lives. He promised brown trout. I was excited to see.

John fishing where we started. 

The first fish I hooked. A nice little brown.

We met up at noon, got our gear on, and were fishing before 1230. Sure enough, the browns he promised were very cooperative! I bet that within the first 20 minutes we fished we had caught at least eight trout! Also, we caught them in less than 30 yards of stream.

John hooking a fish.

Playing the fish.

Both of us started out with a UKB, as John stated, his confidence fly. As we fished we would change flies from time to time, just for fun. We didn't have to change, we just wanted to.

Another one of my fish. 

The stream started out with a park on one side and a food wall on the other. As we moved upstream it was more channelized with flood walls on either side. People out walking their dogs would stop and ask us how we were doing. Some of them saw us catching fish as well. It was fun!

John landing a brown...

...and another.

After about 2 hours we had reached our end point. The last few fish I took were taken in a large pool with a dry fly. That was something I hadn't done in many months, fish a dry. It was fun, but I think I'll go back to subsurface fishing.

Another one of mine...

... and another for John.

So, here's to John! Thank you for a fun afternoon! I had a blast and hope to be able to fish with you in the future. Next time I need to get you up north onto some of my waters!

March 4, 2018

Windy on the Provo

I recently attended a therapeutic endoscopy course at Park City, Utah. The majority of the lectures were in the morning and late afternoon, and mid-day most of the attendees go skiing. Rather than skiing, I went fishing.

The first day of the course was very windy. The winds were strong enough to blow a couple of semi-trailers over onto their sides and close the ski lifts at many of the resorts. Still, I wanted to fish.

I decided to hit the Provo. I went to a section where there were more trees in attempts to reduce the affects of the wind.

Sorry, my gloves got into many of the pictures. 

The water was low, running at 69 cfs, but still very fishable. I used the TB40 with a 390 cm #2.5 level fluorocarbon level line with 3 feet of 5.5 X tippet. This was very manageable most of the time, as long as I timed the casts to correspond between wind gusts.

I caught numerous fish, all browns. The largest was about 14-15 inches. The section of the river I fished is not known for its really big browns, as in other reaches of the Provo, but I have no issues with smaller fish. I'm no respecter of size.

BTW, if you attended the 2017 Oni school and camped with Tenkara Tanuki, then you the place that I fished and caught these beauties.

I fished for my usual 1.5 hours, then went back to Park City. It was a very nice get away.