Monday, December 21, 2009
As fly fishing guides in Utah we like to show our fly fishing clients a really good time catching huge tiger and rainbow trout. We accomplish a quality fly fishing trip by taking our clients to the best trophy trout producing waters in Utah. In fact these waters are close to Park City, Heber City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, Orem, Bountiful, Layton Utah on a private family owned ranch in Tooele County, Utah. I will share this location at the end of this blog. Tooele county spring creek properties located at Dove Creek West @ Hogans Ranch always offers great success for all levels of fly fishing skills by providing the ultimate quarry of huge trout offering both massive Tiger Trout and extreme Rainbow Trout for your fly fishing pleasure.
Photo 3 Lb. "+" Rainbow Trout Caught Fly Fishing Close to Salt Lake City Utah
Our last article on fly fishing secrets a couple of months ago spoke about selecting the correct location and the correct fly for your outing in search of the elusive giant rainbow trout or tiger trout of a 1,000 casts.
Now I will address proper fly selection and the best presentation of the fly. To catch the elusive trophy trout you need to be open minded and remember these big boys get big by being selective of what they eat and where they hide.
Sometimes The Right Fly Is The Right Pattern, But The Wrong Size Or Color Combination.Big Flies don't necessarily mean you will catch trophy size fish. The majority of the insects your target fish eat are really quite small in size. I have caught many trout in the 4,5 & 6 pound class on flies in the #20-#26 hook range. When using flies this small you have got to have some good steel that won't break or bend too easily, so buy the best hooks available for this task. You must also have your drag ready for the heavy load, not too tight and not too loose, because if you try to "horse" a big fish the hook, leader, tippet or knot is going to "give" and your fish of a lifetime will be gone forever.
Make That Knot Tight!!!
Speaking of knots, a quick note: I use a Duncan not that goes through the eye of the hook "twice" creating a super strong connection point between the line, hook and the most important factor in knots that slip, the tag end. The double loop created by the Duncan assures the angler of virtually "0" slippage of the tag end, which is disaster when you hook a big trophy. If you don't currently use the Duncan, look it up on the Internet and start using it. You will be glad you did. In closing, the knot is really fast and easy to tie with plenty of knot strength.
Photo Trophy Rainbow Trout Caught Fly Fishing In Tooele County, 4 Lb. "+"
Match Fly Colors With The Correct Presentation Back to proper fly selection. A few weeks ago at the start of the winter trout spawning run I started throwing a standard leech pattern in a small #20 nymph hook but changed my colors to a black marabou tail with a pinch of bright orange marabou for the body with black thread for the thorax and head. Nothing really spectacular, in fact a pretty bland and simple pattern to tie. I selected the colors of black and orange to contrast each other and to add some flair with the orange similar to a brook trout coloring. But the pattern needed a good presentation. I opted for a non standard leech retrieve.
Whip it, Whip it Good...
The presentation I used was similar to casting and retrieving a streamer or small minnow. The nice color combination with the orange and black creates some of the same color as a spawning Brook and Tiger Trout. The presentation worked! I was ripping lips in the first 2 or 3 casts and landed some nice 4 and 5 pound tiger trout. As I moved up and down the stream things seemed to cool off and I quickly switched to another color combination. Same pattern, a leech, but this time with a olive green marabou tail and orange marabou for the body and of course olive green thread for the thorax and head. Simple, same streamer presentation and wham! I nailed two really nice 3 pound rainbows in less than 15 minutes! Not bad considering the majority of the time was spent playing the fish and trying to get them to the net. These big boys run like a freight train when they feel the bite from my steel.
Share The Wealth With Others
Photo Big 4 Lb Winter Rainbow Caught fly fishing Near Salt Lake City
Now my buddy wanted in on the action and of course (he was tired of just netting my big brute trout) I shared my collection of various colors as well as the presentation. He quickly tied on the olive green and orange pattern and started nailing the trophies. About 6 fish later we were kicking back and laughing about how many times we have failed to experiment with various colors on an old standard pattern and vowed to keep experimenting with both color and presentation.
Advantage Of Tying Your Own Flies Or Not...
If you tie your own flies you can have all the crazy color variations you want, if you don't tie your own. Find a fishing buddy who does tie and you will always have a great selection. That's why my buddy always goes fishing with me. I tie and he shares in the wealth.
Tooele County Location For Giant Rainbow Trout & Tiger Trout...
As I promised at the start of this blog I will share the greatest trout fishing location near Salt Lake City, which is located near Tooele.
Visit our website for additional winter photos and fly fishing information!
Talk with you soon.
(my fly box is always full and ready to go)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Year Round Fly Fishing tournaments in Utah, Dove Creek West At Hogan Ranch
A Premier Spring Creek Trout Fly Fishing Location November 2009 Tournament Results
Photo 6 Lb. Tiger Trout Caught At Tournament
Saturday November 21, 2009 was a perfect day for late fall trophy trout fly fishing in Northern Utah. We had all of the elements necessary for the perfect fly fishing contest: over cast skies, a slight wind, cold, but not too cold. We had assembled some great teams hailing from different cities throughout Utah (including Bountiful, Tooele, Tooele county, Davis County, Utah County, Summit County to mention a few) for this competition fall fly fishing tournament. All the teams were anticipating hooking up with some incredible trophy tiger trout and rainbow trout. The tiger trout and rainbow trout were ready for a fight and already putting on the winter feed bag to beef up for the coming season! Our teams would not be disappointed! This is the best fly fishing than can be found in Utah.
Photo Rainbow Trout In Spawn Colors Caught At Tournament
The Absolute Best Location In Utah For Rainbow & Tiger Trout Fly Fishing.
The location couldn’t have been better; a spring creek located on a 10,000 acre family ranch in Tooele County, Utah that bubbles up from a free flowing artesian well located about 200 yards from a large kidney shaped pond. The pond looks more like a river basin than a pond; complete with an outlet to keep the water clear and moving. This meandering water is full of t natural habitat for the abundant insect population which provides year round dining for the trout. The waters never freeze over in winter so there is never a winter kill to the fish so they grow big and fat all year long. This is anglers’ fly fishing paradise where we fly fish all year round for big trophy tiger and rainbow trout. To give you an indication of what kind of food was available for the trout; Fenwick dredged up a large handful of green “salad” from the deeper reaches of the pond. He shook out the plant on our table. We were all astounded at the hundreds of freshwater shrimp (scuds), sow bugs, damsel nymphs and other critters wriggling on the table top. No wonder the trout continue to grow bigger and bigger!
Winners Were Announced
Once the quarry became visible, the anglers were shocked by the beauty, size and strength of the fish. Their exclamations of; “Look at the size of that fish” and “What a beauty!” Contrasted with a mild cuss word if the fish was lost. Then the angler would quickly rig up again and get right back to the business at hand: hooking, landing, measuring and reviving theses exceptional examples of the trout family. “This is the best fly fishing in Park City, Heber, Ogden, Logan, Tooele, Ogden or Salt Lake City exclaimed one competitor”!
Photo Winning Team Kevin From Highland Utah With Therin From Tooele County Net A Nice Rainbow Trout During Fly Fishing Tournament Near Salt Lake City, Utah.
Regular breaks for hot cider and rest kept us all excited as we anticipated getting to the next station. Then we enjoyed a sensational lunch of smoked hot dogs and hamburgers cooked on Hals BBQ. Thanks to Hal for his exceptional cooking and hospitality.
Finally, we stopped, the catch statistics were tallied and the winners were declared. Team, Therin from Tooele County and his team mate Kevin, from Highland Utah, took the first place prize and were awarded fabulous William Joseph Fly Fishing Packs and everyone else got something to take home.
Fish Of A 1,000 Casts Were Recorded
But the real prize was the fishing. One of our experienced anglers said: “What you have here is completely different than the other private waters I have fished. These fish have abundant natural food and do not depend on fish pellet feed for food, so these fish take skill and cunning to catch and when you do hook one, they can give you the fight of your life.” Several anglers logged catching the biggest rainbow trout or tiger trout of their life so, while the fishing was exceptional, it took skill to hook and land them. Every team caught fish and while we congratulate the winners, each fisherman took home memories which will last a lifetime.
Dove Creek West At Hogan Ranch Is Proud To Announce The December 2009 Invitational Fly Fishing Tournament Open To The General Public. Registration For The December tournament is for teams or individuals who will be placed on a two person team the morning of the event.
Our December 2009 Utah Fly Fishing Team Tournament Will Be Open To The General Public.
Application information, contest photographs and tournament details for enrollment is available on our website: http://trophytroutschool.com
Monday, October 12, 2009
The Fly Fishermens Most Unique Accessory
(If You Like To Travel Light)
No matter where you love to fish for trout, Park City, Heber, Ogden, Layton, Bountiful, Salt Lake, Orem or Provo you always have to carry your fly fishing equipment nowwhere ever you go. Now there is a great way to simplify the packing and storage process. After all the trophy tiger trout and rainbow trout don't care how well dressed you are, and they are the ones you want to impress, with your presentation not how you dress or carry your gear.
Secret To Where The Big Trout Are In Utah
Be sure to check out our fly fishing website for trophy trout private fishing and fly fishing guide services close to Salt Lake, Heber, Orem, Park City, Layton, Bountiful, Provo and Bountiful.
The Fishing Bucket or Priority Storage 101
Photo Fishing Bucket
Nearly empty, my really nice tackle box now sits in my garage.
I have lost track of my fly-fishing vest and have not missed it for years.
As I have gotten older (though not necessarily wiser) I have eschewed such accoutrements and storage devices for something much more simple and convenient: A bucket.
It isn’t a special bucket - it is one of those white 5 gallon types which contain paint, drywall mud and host of other concoctions. I have found that it is far less expensive and far more versatile than the alternatives listed above.
Contents Of Must Have Items
For fly fishing, I carry my fly box (the one I wrote about in the my last Photo Fishing Bucket & Contents blog), my box of miscellaneous hardware which contains hooks, sinkers, swivels, lures and a myriad of small other items which I might need. Tippet material, a bottle of Gink and Xink and perhaps one or two other items I might need. To complete my ensemble, I take my rod and reel - it is really embarrassing when you go with out the rod and reel but its been a while since I did that. All these can be carried and stuffed into my pockets and I am not encumbered too much. That leaves me free to fish. If I need anything else, unless my companion(s) carry it, it would be worthwhile to reconsider whether or not I really do.
On all other fishing occasions, including when I go fly-fishing, my trusty bucket is by my side - well, at least it is in the trunk.
Advantages To Packing This Way
There are several important and significant advantages to my bucket.
First, I am recycling something that otherwise would be at the garbage dump.
Second, because of its size and color, it does not get forgotten or left at home.
Third, in an emergency;
it makes a great water bucket for fire control,
aquarium for minnows or crawfish to keep my grandchildren entertained, while I am fishing,
fish creel (on those rare occasions when I want to take some fish home),
chair - when needed,
and it is an exceptional deterrent to water fights - when my fishing companions feel the need to splash or use water to induce jocularity during fishing. Believe me, only a fool gets into a water fight with a guy with a 5 gallon bucket, though some have tried and learned their soggy lesson quickly and completely.
There are thousands of non-emergency uses the bucket - I will only mention one here: the lid makes great ersatz Frisby for kids and dogs which might be lingering nearby.
Back To Basics
In addition, there is something down to earth about a bucket that I like. It does not represent the level of style and intensity that the vest of a really serious fly-fisherperson connotes. Some of these people look like they were standing in a fly shop when someone threw in a bomb; so festooned are they with hooks, pads of wool, things tied and otherwise affixed to them. They remind me of Christmas trees.
In addition, the bucket is the antithesis of the bass fisherman’s professional assortment of perhaps a dozen tackle boxes, numerous pre-rigged rod and reel combos, enough electronic gear to make an AWACS pilot jealous and a boat nearly as fast and expensive as a water born Ferrari. Tournament fishing is a wonderful pastime for its participants and fans, but it is professional - with all the good, and not so good that that entails.
Finally, there is a hidden advantage to the fishing bucket: it creates its own priority storage system. Everything is thrown into the bucket, the things I need on a regular basis tend to stay at the top and things which I don’t need, migrate to the bottom. So, when someone asks where my “______” is, I can answer with a reasonable amount of accuracy: “Look in the bottom of the bucket.” And I can go back to concentrating on fishing.
Monster Utah Rainbow Trout & Tiger Trout Locations
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Free Locations & Hatch Chart For Our Readers
Free Hatch Chart & Fishing Guides Locations In UtahAt the end of the article there will be some location information as well as a year round fly hatch chart for our readers to access. There will also be some information about our trophy trout fly fishing guides for Salt Lake, Park City, Heber, Ogden, Provo & Orem areas.
Photo Fall Rainbow Trout The Basic Flies
I usually don’t carry a large selection of flies with me. Rather than carry boxes of dries, emergers, nymphs, terrestrials, and what we used to call “wet flies“, I carry a few of each of the patterns which have served me well over the years.
Carry Only What Will Work
What I do not carry is numerous fly boxes of multitudinous selections of flies; i.e., six each of BWO’s in sizes 14 through 20 or similar collections. Why I do not carry such a menagerie of flies and sizes is that it is simply too complex for me. I cannot discern between a size 18 or size 20 Beaded Hares Ear, and; while some purists insist trout can and do tell the difference, I am not sure I am interested in those fish anyway. They are, do a degree, like some of the girls I knew in college - one had to put up with so much just to get to know these ladies, much less build a relationship with them, that after a while, it just wasn’t worth the effort. There were lots of beautiful, kind, loving and happy girls to be found that such machinations. In fact, I married just such a girl and have never rued my decision.
Photo Trophy Rainbow Trout Targeting The Trophy Trout
If the fish I am after are that finicky (pardon the pun) are they really worth the time and trouble to catch them? And, if one does finally catch such a selective target, what have you really proven? It takes a real leap of ego to go from catching a selective trout to validating that I am a superior and more intelligent angler than the fellow down the stream who cannot catch them.
Blasting Trout Out Of The Water
There are no guaranteed methods of catching fish unless you want to start throwing sticks of dynamite into your favorite lake or river. And, if fishing ever becomes so mechanical that taking steps one through five guarantees you catch a fish, I just don’t think very many people would be interested any more. Rather than fishing it would be like going to Wal-Mart: give them your money and they give you your goods.
Catching Exceptional Trout
The fish we catch, even the most selective, are the exception. The vast majority of fish do not succumb to our skills and techniques If this were not so, the rivers and lakes we ply would be emptied in no time. It takes a head full of hubris to assume otherwise.
That is not to say that we should not take pride in our skills and try to improve them. Rather, as we learn and improve, we should keep in mind that a good deal of luck factors into the fishing equation.
Still, there are those who insist that fishing is skill and luck has nothing to do with it. But, if that is true, do not those in the past who fished, netted and dynamited some species of fish into near extinction have a greater claim than to skill than we do today? Hey, they caught more fish, didn’t they?
How To Hook The Largest Trout
When I hook the most fish or the largest fish, I am justly proud; however, I never let go of the notion that part of what makes me such a good angler is that fortune and luck are on my side. I have confidence in my skills and luck and - for that reason, perhaps more than any other, I end up being both lucky and good.
Much of our skill at catching fish is designed to entice the fish to strike, but a good deal of the art of fishing is that we do not inhibit the process. The enlightened fly-fisher strives not to make the perfect presentation, but to make the least errors. It is not perfection he is striving for, he is reaching out to become a part of nature and finding harmony, realizes perfection is not needed. And, when luck, skill and some willingness on the part of our prey coincide, good things happen. I think that explains much more than just fly-fishing.
Post Script: Fenwick only carries the basics, on the other hand I pack everything I can carry in my fishing vest so I can be ready for any situation. Especially those times Fenwick needs a fly pattern that is catching fish that he doesn't have in his limited inventory. Ah, yes if you only take the basics, make sure they include a good fishing buddy who packs it all and is willing to share.
Hatch Chart, Locations, Photo's & More !!!
Now For The Free Hatch Chart & Trophy LocationTrophy Rainbow Trout and Trophy Tiger Trout Location & My Free Fly Hatch Chart Where The Trophy Trout Are For Park City, Utah, Heber Utah, Provo Utah, Orem Utah, Ogden Utah, Salt Lake City Utah, complete with Updated Information And Photos.
Check out the Tiger Trout photos, they are currently in full spawn colors and look just like salmon with their big orange bellies. They maintain these magnificent colors throughout the fall, winter and early spring months here in Utah.
For adding line to your reel be sure to check out this unique product!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Photo Big 4 Lb. Rainbow Trout Caught Fly
Fishing Near Salt Lake City, Utah
Go Where The Big Fish Live
Location, location, location
In order to catch the big rainbow and tiger trout you need to do a little home work and find out the best locations to fish. That is, the best locations where no one else will be fishing but you. Yeah, you may get a little cold or wet and lose some flies and tippets and maybe a foot or two from your tappered leader.
You may even need to find a local ranch that you can access or pay a guide to gain some good information and experience. Whatever you do you must go where the fish reside. But this is the price you pay to earn the reward of hooking into a big rainbow or tiger trout. I will share a truly incredible location near Salt Lake City that you can access for trophy rainbow trout and tiger trout that are ready to accept your fly at the end of this article. This location has wild trout and the access is controlled by reservation so there is never a crowd and the fish are never stressed.
Photo Fly Fishing In Rain With A Guide &
Catching A Huge Rainbow Trout Near Park
What Fly Do I Use
Keep Good Records or Use Mine
Selecting the proper fly is critical to catching these big guys. After all they did not get this big by being dumb. So you must be armed with what they are eating the day you show up. For years I have maintained my own personal fly hatch chart that also details nymphs and streamers that have proven successful in the area's that I fish. I will share this year round fly hatch chart with you at the end of this article.
Photo Rainbow Trout Full Fall Colors
Caught Near Park City Utah
Go At The Right Time
When The Fish Are Active
Time of day in the fall is usually late morning to early afternoon, when the insects get warm enough to move around. Early evening is also a great time. These are the times when the insects are active and hatches are taking place when the warmth of the sun is felt on the colder water surface. The warmth acts as a trigger to the fish that the food buffet is about to begin so you need to be ready.
There Is No Hatch...What Do I Do?
Check the hatch chart I have linked for you and go to the nymph and streamers. Remember you are looking for active trophy trout and don't be afraid to move around the area you have selected to fish and use different flies and presentations. If you are with a guide they will take care of supplying the flies as well as all the local knowledge you will need to succeed.
Trophy Rainbow Trout and Tiger Trout Location & My Free Hatch Chart
Where The Trophy Trout Are For Park City, Utah, Heber Utah, Provo Utah, Orem Utah, Ogden Utah, Salt Lake City Utah, complete with updated information and photos.
Check out the Tiger Trout photos, they are in full spawn colors and look just like salmon with their big orange bellies.
For adding line to your reel be sure to check out this unique product!
http://"Spooler Reel Gadget"
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Photo Huge Rainbow Trout 5 lbs 14 Ounces
Fly Fish For 3-10 Lb. Rainbows & Tiger Trout.
I've seached the world over and found Utah fly fishing has some mighty fine locations for small stream trout. The mountain lakes provide a good stock of fish and afford new challenges for the still water fly fishing techniques, but even the trout are very small for unusually large bodies of water. Plus the mountain lakes completely freeze over each winter.
Photo Tiger Trout Fall Spawn Colors
Now Available!Visit Our Website For Photo's & Complete Details:
Utah Fly fishing Guide Service Takes You To Monster Rainbows & Wild Aggresive Tiger Trout On A 10,000 Acre Ranch Destination Just 45 Minutes From Salt Lake City & Utah County Park City, Heber Ogden Just A Little Bit Further to drive. Best Year- Round Dry Fly Fishing Location In Utah For Lunker Trout!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Visit Our Website For Photo's & Complete Details:
Utah Fly fishing Guide Service Takes You To Monster Rainbows & Wild Aggresive Tiger Trout On A 10,000 Acre Ranch Destination Just 45 Minutes From Salt Lake City & Utah County Park City, Heber Ogden Just A Little Bit Further to drive. Best Year- Round Dry Fly Fishing Location In Utah For Lunker Trout!
Dry Fly Fishing All Year Long In Utah's Best Location, A Privately Owned & Operated Family Ranch Near Salt Lake City, Utah. Our expert fishing guides show you the biggest trout on private waters. Artestian wells provide year round crystal clear water at 59 Degrees temperature, so we never freeze and we don't have to replace trout every Spring due to winter die off.
Private waters located on 10,000 acre ranch near Salt Lake City, Park City, Heber City, Utah County, & Ogden. The Utah Fly Fishing Destination. Dry Fly fishing at it's absolute finest. All trout over 3 lbs. and 20 " "+". Monster Rainbow & Tiger Trout Will Strip The Line Off Your Reel. See Our Website For Photo's & Complete Details About Fly Fishing With Guides On Our Private Waters Location Right Here In Utah.
Leeches, Scuds, Woolly Buggers, Lawyer Flies, Glow Bugs, Wool Head Sculpins and Lunker Trout, Oh My
When The Fish Are Down In The Water Column
Dry Flies Won't Work
Photo Double Rainbow Trout On A Fly In Utah
Always rig two flies and you just may double the pleasure and double the fun with a pair of really nice Spring rainbow trout. Let's hope your leader and tippet are strong enough to endure the ordeal. Two large streamers or wet flies are just as good as any other attractor combination. Try out whatever appeals to you. Remember to change it out if the pair are not working. Something as simple as a larger or smaller hook size in the same fly will be the trigger to success. For still water fishing remember to move the flies slowly on the retrieve and be patient on the cast to let the flies completely sink to the bottom when using streamers or nymphs before starting the slow retrieve. The basic food of still water trout are Scuds, Leeches and Chironomids (covered in the previous article). 90% of a trouts diet comes from insects living below the surface of the water so it is a good idea to know what these insects are and how they live in and move around in the ponds and lakes they call home. Dry flies are a true adrenalin rush but they are not always available to the trout so the avid fly fisherman must be prepared if he also wants to be the year round fly fisherman.
Utah Guide Service Fly Fishing
We now offer guide services for Utah fly fishing on private waters only 45 minutes from Salt Lake City & Utah county Park City, Heber & Ogden just a little bit further. Enjoy fishing for trophy rainbow and aggressive tiger trout on a 10,000 acre private ranch. We control the access so there is only one group per day! These wild trout are all over 3 years old, over 20" long with a football girth and appetite to match. Limited access means they are well rested and not over exposed to humans. They forage for their meals in the pond, designed like a long slow moving stream in a "dog leg" shape, complete with bays, inlets, drop offs, ledges and it is full of aquatic insects. Our waters are spring fed from artesian wells and never freeze in the winter so we don't suffer winter kill. The water is crystal clear and the fish are hungry. Visit our website for Fly Fishing Photo's and complete details on fly fishing and guide services right here in Utah.
My Original Chenille Halloween Leech
This is my take on a night crawler or a really long leech with some color contrast. Jigging this long body creates a really nice curling pattern and the
quick rod tip action allows the leech to really stretch out long and lean as it shoots through the water for 4-6 inches and then drops back to the bottom, and allowed to rest for a few seconds before starting all over again. On an open lake, right after "ice off" I like to drift fish this one from my one man pontoon boat just a couple of feet below the surface. It has the look of an easy meal to slow moving lake trout and I believe the presentation of floating in a fully stretched out position has the appeal of an easy meal that is just waiting to be picked off by a hungry Spring trout.
Photo Bead Head Woolly Bugger
Colorful Woolly Bugger with a gold bead head has contrasting black with orange body and white hackle. "Jigging" and slow retrieve is the ticket to successful Spring fly fishing using contrasting colors for attraction. This is another favorite for ice off on the lakes both big and small. Is anyone thinking Strawberry Reservoir, besides me ? Try stringing up a couple of these combinations and create a parade of color. What, two streamers at once ? Oh, Yeah. Give it a try and you just may be surprised at which contrasting colors pull in the big ones. With a short stubby tail I don't mind a bead head for extra weight and glitter on this fly but I do fish it a little differently than a non bead or cone head. Quick jigging with the rod tip while moving the rod side to side to create a back and forth swimming action when combined with a slow "finger over finger" line retrieve will give this fly all of it's action and it doesn't require a lot of movement to generate a hit. Remember to lower the rod tip so the fly makes a quick dive to the bottom at the end of the upward tip lift and before the line retrieve or after the rod tip lift and at the end of the side to side rod movement creating the swimming side to side action. Try both methods.
Photo Bead Head Chartreuse Leech
Broadcast Your Fly To All Trout In The Area. Change your patterns and your colors if the fishing is slow. You want to have as many presentations as possible while you move up or down the stream or pond bank or just drift along in your boat. You are looking for active feeding trout, so be sure to change color patterns, move (only a couple of steps every few casts, wind and waves will do all the work on lakes and ponds) and "dance" your presentation for the best success using bright colors. Remember to let the fly settle back down and rest on the bottom after each dance so it appears to be in trouble or hiding from any of the opportunistic fish in the area.
Photo Black Egg Sucking Leech
This fly creates a "two-fer" meal for the trout. The leech and a tasty fish egg (two for the price of one)! Contrasting the bright red glow bug with the jet black body these colors allow the fly to stand out in clear or stained water of Spring. There is no leaded wire on the fly or a bead head for extra weight. To properly weight this fly locate sinkers on your leader above the head so the fly can freely float in the currents and be unfettered from the rocks and debris on the bottom, the sinkers will take the abuse of these obstacles. The sinkers can also be bounced using the rod tip allowing the fly to dip and dive without the extra weight from lead wire or a bead head. The fly also flows more smoothly in the currents for a more realistic look without the extra weight of the bead right on the head, but it also moves more slowly so use patience to let the fly "flutter" all the way to the bottom on the first cast and at the end each short retrieve.
Bright Orange Says Here I Am
Photo Gold Bead Head Orange and Red Leech
Add some red and get a really brilliant pattern moving through the water that is hard for even the most nonchalant lunker to ignore, let alone miss. This type of bead head I usually fish one to two feet above the bottom and allow the head to dive and rise using my rod tip and short strips of my line, two to four inches at a time. On still water a strike indicator also assists in the rise and fall while letting me know when the fly hits the bottom. The strike indicator will move backwards toward the fly while the fly is floating down and the indicator will stop moving when the fly is on the bottom. I give a slow count to "10" when the strike indicator stops moving, lift the rod tip, drop the tip back down near the surface, and strip a 4-6 inches of line in and start the process over again. Strikes come as the fly is falling. Be ready for the strike indicator to move in one direction as cruising fish swim and suck in the fly as they continue to swim steadily in the direction they were heading when they encountered your fly. Set the hook solidly by pulling the rod backwards with the rod tip just above the surface of the water and parallel to the top of the water. Lifting the rod straight up will have you miss a lot of strikes since this movement lifts line off the water, before it places pressure on the fish this extra time allowing for a slow response allows the fish time to feel the pressure of the slowly tightening line in it's mouth and have time to "spit" the hook and swim away.
Don't let the big ones get away! I have seen professional fishermen on video's fail to use this technique and have the undesired results of missing the big one time and time again!
What Looks Like A Fish And Swims Like A Fish
Photo Wool Head Sculpin
With a wool head, feathers for fins and a rabbit zonker tail this critter imitates tadpoles, small fresh water catfish, salamanders and dozens more. Next to marabou, rabbit hair adds the most incredible shimmer and live look to an artificial lure when submerged in the water that can be imagined. The long tail sways effortlessly with the slightest tug of the line by an angler, sliding and slicing through the water like the natural tail of a fish. It is truly mesmerizing to watch as it moves gracefully in the water. This fly is large enough it could have a gold cone head for weight, but this one does not. I prefer to add two or even three snailed sinkers on the leader, the first on located about 6 inches from the eye, and another up the line about 14 inches and if the water is fast or deep a third sinker another 12-14 inches above the second sinker. Thus the line from the fly to the last sinker sits fairly level in the water as it sinks and the current can carry the free floating fly up and down to the bottom as the sinkers bounce and sometimes hold to the bottom. I like the fly to be as free as possible imitating a very natural swimming action. I can raise my rod tip to release the sinkers from the bottom and let them sink again while the fly takes on a life of it's own unencumbered from extra weight on it's head from a bead or a cone.
Gold and Olive Offers Flash And Subtle Natural Color
Photo Gold Bead Head
Fly fishing is not a science, but a sport and a hobby. Use the techniques, tips and fly patterns you see I offer and try some of your own.
Remember it's called "fishing" not "catching" but with some good ideas, basic understanding and a willingness to try you too will catch some fine trout and earn some bragging rights.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Our Website: http://sites.google.com/site/trophytroutschool/
Utah’s temperamental spring has finally given over to summer - no longer do we need to use heaters and air-conditioners on the same day. The waters have warmed considerably and that means it is time to go fly-fishing for carp! Let’s briefly review the benefits of going after Utah’s golden bone fish and if you haven’t fished for this excellent quarry, you are simply missing out on one of Utah's finest and most resourceful game fish. They are large, wary, and strong and will test your skill and equipment to the breaking point.
Photo Utah Carp Caught On A Fly
So, how do we fish for them? Your first step is to find water where carp are visible in shallow, clear flats. In Utah, the warm, fresh water flats adjacent to the Great Salt Lake afford quite a few locations, as well as Utah Lake and other waters. Your next step is to make sure your equipment is ready. You may be able to land large carp on less than 6 lb. test tippet, but we do not suggest going any lighter. I fish with a 9’ 5 weight rod and consider this the minimum weight fly rod capable of reasonable landing of the carp. We want to land them, not tickle them into submission. Your choice of fly can be just about any available nymph pattern matching the natural food sources available to the carp.
Pick Your Flies Wisely and Cover Your Scent
Remember that carp are omnivores and eat plants as well as insects. Nymphs which match the color of the available plant life seem to be more successful than other colors. Also, do not hesitate to fish in the moss or algae where the carp often feed. One secret technique is to rub your nymph or even a sculpin with local mud and moss to cover your scent! Experience has taught us that carp have an unbelievable sense of smell and if you want to get a “quick” hit, get rid of the human odor. Otherwise you may end up letting your fly soak in the water and after some time goes by the scent will eventually be gone but so may be the carp. So use this tip wisely.
Cast Where Your Target Is Going
Photo monster common carp Utah
When you see the carp cruising or see them rolling on the surface, do not cast directly to them; rather, try to guess which direction they are moving and place your cast in their path. The clearer the water, the longer the lead; if the water is very clear lead by 6 to 10 or even 12 feet. In water less clear, your lead can be shortened to 3 feet. Sometimes, you will need to tease your nymph jerking it 6 to 12 inches to entice a strike. More often than not, however, simply letting the nymph drop and sit on the bottom induces a strike. An adjustable strike indicator is also a good idea and may help suspend the fly just off the bottom of the pond or lake in the proper water column the fish are feeding in.
Set Your Hook and Hang On !
Photo trophy carp caught at Lake Bountiful Utah
A solid hook set is then required, this hooks the carp in its rather rubbery mouth. Now, hang on for a reel burning first run! Keep your hands clear of the reel or you will get a really bad “knuckle buster” of a “whack” on your fingers. You need to fight Carp aggressively; do not “horse” them in, but keep pressure on them, work you line back onto your reel, and let your reel’s drag and your rod fight the fish. Carp typically “run” parallel to your position so gently swing the rod tip in the opposite direction of the run. Also maintain the reel position about navel high with the rod pointing at the fish. To slow the run slowly point the tip upward. This lets the rod work in conjunction with the drag of the reel so you don’t apply too much pressure and risk breaking the line. If you feel this tension is too great simply lower the tip and point at the fish to relieve some pressure and allow the drag to run out some more line or backing. Big carp will let your line see sunlight for the first time in years! This technique is used to successfully land all big freshwater or salt water game fish.
He's Running South To Mexico !!
(and taking all of your line and backing with him)
Photo Monster Common Carp Utah
Make sure you get the fish on the reel, your hands can’t compensate for the changing line pressures like the reel and rod. So use the tools that were designed for the job. As you direct the fish from one side to the other during the parallel run you can reel in line as he comes directly in front of you, if you reel quickly . You can also point the tip of the rod up to “coax” him to come straight in for a few seconds. Trust me; it will only be a few seconds before he goes sideways again. Carp are some of the finest fighting fish I have experienced in the Western States. So go out and have some reel fun. Be prepared for several hard runs, like he’s going to Mexico and watch him closely near the shore. They don’t give up like trout or bass often do when they see a human. I have seen many a carp head straight south after I have had them to shore two or even 3 times.
Say "Golden Bone Fish", Click
Photo another uncommonly big carp in Utah
Once you have landed your fish, take pictures and revive the carp quickly. In some waters, you are encouraged not to return the carp to the water. Unfortunately, the bias against carp is justified in some waters so we suggest following the recommendation; however, wherever possible, release the fish so someone else has the honor and opportunity to catch it.
No fish is better suited to test your skills of casting, fighting and landing large game fish with exceptional fight and stamina. They are great practice for landing that trout of a lifetime.
It may be true that in spring, a young mans thoughts turn to love but as the afternoons warm and evenings lengthen, the summer fly fisher begins to think about his strongest – and possibly wariest – adversary. And that is why we call them Utah’s golden bone fish.
Fly Hatch For Week Ending Saturday June 6, 2009
Afternoon rain turns to dry sunny afternoons this week and that will affect the evening hatch pushing it later into the day, in some cases right up to dusk. The time just before sunset when the Sun drops below the West mountains and the air begins to cool and the emergers become active as well as the older adults from hatches of days gone by that come into the pond area to deposit eggs for the next generation. The old adults "flit and Skirt" across the waters surface trying to avoid the preditors that lurk below while ovipositing the next generation of eggs into the pond. This is also the time when the fish rise high in the water column to feed. The dinner bell has just sounded and the lunkers are ready to "Come and Get It" !!!
Generally ignoring the older adults, they feed on the emergers as they try to escape their shell and crawl through that thin layer of water surface, the miniscus, to escape their water world and enter the air as a new adult. This is the time the trout are feeding and taking advantage of the moving "buffet" as it makes its break for the new world. It is also the "magic" time for the dry fly fisherman. The trout seize the emergers and turn down with the mouthful they have just slurped or gulped. If that happens to be your fly the trout is about to get a really sharp surprise and the reaction is typically to go back to the surface and rocket out of the water like a missle launched from a submarine. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!
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Monday, May 25, 2009
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Amber's Fly Fishing Experience:
Here is a sad - but true - story:
Jason and Amber had been married for 5 years. Jason was a golf nut and Amber absolutely hated golf. She was getting upset about all the time Jason spent golfing. And now, Jason had taken up fly-fishing. His golf clubs gathering dust in the garage, Jason had enrobed himself with the latest in fly fishing clothing and armored himself with the finest gear. Amber was really interested in learning how to fly-fish and thought this would be a great opportunity for them to quality time together. They were even planning a special trip in the fall to fish the legendary waters of Montana.
So, Jason and Amber purchased equipment for her and headed off to a lake two hours drive away to teach Amber the finer points of fly fishing.
It was a beautiful day for fly fishing: chilly, overcast with an occasional cold drizzle - the kind of day fish love and ladies despise.
Jason started to show Amber the "four count rhythm" he had learned from A River Runs through It. Trying as best she could, Amber couldn't seem to make it work right. Valiantly keeping at it, she tried again and again but her line would either snag the back cast or pile in front of her like a large pile of limp, green spaghetti. This was accompanied by Jason's rising frustration.
The ensuing argument seemed inevitable - the rising tones of anger, the misconstrued meanings and finally, icy silence was about to separate the two, now frustrated and angered opponents - when, rocketing up like a submarine launched cruise missile, a very large cutthroat trout lept from the waters surface. It was enormous! It was the largest fish Jason had ever seen and larger than anything Amber would have even imagined inhabited this, or any other, body of water. Even in the muted, dismal afternoon, its colors shown as if it had been enameled and jeweled like a Faberge egg created for the Czarina. And, affixed to its toothy maw, was Amber's fly.
The fish, now re-entered the lake making the water erupt like a fat kid doing his favorite cannon ball into the swimming pool.
The pile of spaghetti slowly began to move toward the murky depth as the fish end of the fly line rocketed away as if shot by a crossbow. Amber stood frozen as Jason started to babble instructions,sounding like a cleric calling for prayer. By some mystery (probably a manifestation of string theory) the spaghetti pile disappeared, the line tightened and Amber's reel began to sing. She stood motionless and, hearing Jason's incoherent expletives, some of the meaning began to work its way into Amber's consciousness. She was not only stung by the vindictive nature of the tirade, but also offended by the verbiage and - even more hurtful - the language. She looked at Jason as if he had just landed from Planet Vulcan. Realizing that he had crossed some verbal boundary and ventured into the no man's land of female indignation - he suddenly stopped.
The scene was now supremely silent and the ashen sky was a mirror of their ashen expressions. Amber and Jason looked at each other,as an icy wind began to blow between them. Suddenly, the silence was ruptured by a sound. It was a quite sound but resounded with all the violence and portent of a grenade:
The drive home was a mere foreshadowing of the ensuing arguments and recriminations. Amber and Jason's love, which once shone as bright as the cutthroat's crimson neck wear, now seemed as gloomy as the sallow skies that had accompanied them on that eventful day.
Jason no longer golfed or went fly fishing - instead he began drinking - and Amber wondered what happened to the gallant knight she had married.
Nonetheless, there is a happy ending to this story.
In the interest of brevity, we shall simply say that it took professional counseling and training to root out the deep seated emotions and disappointments.
And, in the end, Trophy Trout School ...well...we really don't know if it saved the marriage but; the last we heard from Amber, she still takes pride in being able to out double-haul her husband. And Jason; proud husband, felt that each trophy caught and released, was never more worthy of admiration, or as beautiful, as his fly-fishing wife; Amber.
"Click Here For Trophy Trout School"
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
But First A Quick Up-Date On Dry Flies This Week
Fly Hatch For Week Ending May Saturday 23, 2009
Midges in the morning and late evening: White body, clear wing and Black body clear wing. Quite small 20-26. Wasp and yellow jackets are also present in very very small numbers so I use a number 16 dry fly immitation. Attractor patterns include royal humpy, royal coachman, and mosquito patterns in gray and dark brown. Lunker Rainbow Trout are cruising high in the water column just below the surface and easy to spot. They are active and feeding at Sunrise and Sunset but quite wary. Strikes are hard and fast with lots of airobatics on the strike and hook set.
In the celebration of all-around-fishing-for-fun we take one more look at urban fisheries. They are located close to where we live, usually have some "easy to catch" stocked fish and are great for a quick get away with the kids or grandchildren for an hour or two any day of the week. Unfortunately no lunker rainbow trout are found here.
How Did You First Learn To Fish, Not With A Fly Rod I'd Bet
So it's time to think about how most of us got started with the sport of fishing. Using bait and lures. Sit back and enjoy the fun of teaching our youth about fishing and how someday they may choose to widen their horizons and venture into the world of fly fishing as they build memories and just have some fun. Teach kids to fish!
"Popular" Is An Under Statement At Municipal Ponds.
As I mentioned earlier, regardless of what these municipal ponds are called, they are becoming more and more important to people who like to fish. They are also a great place to start kids fishing – you can fish for an hour or two but not spend hours driving to and from the distant fishery. So, most likely, there is an urban fishery in your future and here are some additional tips and by the way, teach kids to fish.
Photo Clinton City Pond, Clinton Utah Pond
One of the disadvantages of the urban fishery is that it can often get crowded. First, try to find a suitable place to fish where you are not too close to others. If you cannot find a place, you will probably have to squeeze in between others. The best way to handle this is just ask; “Is it "OK" if we fish here?” or “Do you think there is room here for us to fish?” The worst approach is just plopping down and acting as if no one else is there. And, what if there is simply no room? Then you go home or do as I do; wait till someone leaves and as they are leaving ask;
Photo Jensen Nature Center Pond, Syracuse Utah Urban Fishery Utah
“May we take your place?”Make every effort not to cast over someone else’s line, and if someone casts over your line, don’t be a jerk about it. This is especially true if the offending party is a child. I have given several impromptu casting lessons “See, you hold the rod behind you and then cast it straight out so you don’t catch other peoples line’s. Great job!” For younger children who just need to be kept busy, I give them a casting outfit with a lure which has had the hook removed and let them cast away. Remember to be encouraging and compliment the casts they make so they will keep trying. You may also want to have an extra heavy monofiliment line so they can easily untangle knots in the line, bird nests and even reel in the weed beds from the bottom of the pond. I used to put a 20 lb test line on for my kids. It helped them to learn how to manage the rod, reel, line and hooks.
One of the best things about the municipal fisheries, or Urban Fishery Utah is how nice the people are. Generally, they are happy to tell you what is working and how much luck they have had. In addition, when certain baits aren’t working and I don’t happen to have the “hot” one, I have even had people offer me a gob of their Power Bait, some worms or even a lure or fly. I now make it a part of my fishing routine to try to carry extra and offer some to others if they are not having any luck. Having my grandson along on these excursions seems to help alot. I notice a lot of grandparents with grandchildren as well as parents taking part in spending time together in this great outdoor diversion to daily life.
What Goes Around Comes Around
It is funny, but the more you try to help others, the more pleasant the fishing experience. When it is crowded, be sure to cast straight out, perpendicular to the shore to avoid tangling up with other people’s lines!Often, the difference between having success and not, will depend on your casting ability. Unless the fish are near the shore, the ability to cast farther than anyone else will generally improve your luck. So, make sure your equipment is in good shape, your line is fresh and untangled, and light enough to land your quarry but still cast a good distance. Accuracy is also important especially if you are close to other people casting. Nothing wastes precious fishing time than a tangle created when lines get tangled!
How To Really "Whang" It Out There
My first introduction to fly fishing as a child was learning how to rig a clear bubble filled with water trailing a fly behind 4-6 feet of leader. The bubble of course kept the fly in the top of the water column while providing the necessary weight so I could cast a "mile". Since the bubble freely slides or allows the line to freely slide you may want to use a small sinker (a small split-shot works fine) between the fly and bubble to keep the bubble a set distance from the fly. To keep the fly from sinking too deep a second sinker is placed on the line above the bubble so the fly will not continue to sink to the bottom from the extra weight of the lower sinker. The water filled bubble is buoyant enough to keep both sinkers and itself very close to the surface of the water. Like many of you, this technique taught me how to cast accurately and how to maneuver a fly "slowly" across a large area of still water. I also learned the affects of "fast" or "slow" retrieves as well as "jigging" the fly to create different and unique presentations. Some times they worked and sometimes they didn't. Back in those days, I was fishing in lakes and mountain ponds (high Unita mountains of Utah). This is still a viable teaching method for someone of any age to learn the basic concept of using dry flies or nymphs and working on that all important aspect of accurate casting.
Have a variety of baits, lures and flies so you can change tactics. Having said that, I have a few “go to” flies and lures which work well just about everywhere and I usually stick with those. I also have baits about which I feel the same. Incidentally, even though I love to fly fish, I am just as happy sitting on the bank fishing for pan fish with my grandchildren as I am matching the hatch on some blue ribbon stream. So develop your own favorite flies, lures, bait and tactics. If after 30-45 minutes you have not had any luck, change tactics.
“GO TO” LURES FOR TROUT
Panther Martin Gold Blade, black body with yellow or green dots.
Jake's Spin a Lure Gold.Jake's Spin a Lure Black (Great for dark or cloudy days).
Mepps spinners – several colors.
Thomas Cyclone – gold with red dots (Great Brown Trout Lure!).
Rapala’s or similar lures floating and sinking.
Lead head jigs – black, dark green, white.
The basic fly assortment is discussed on other blogs.
So, if you have an urban fishery, go out and make use of it. You already pay for it with your taxes so why not get your share of the fun. If possible, take a child fishing. If you have any questions, leave us a comment.
Fenwick Fleigenbinder & All_Tied_Up
Monday, April 13, 2009
This week we step away from our normal all fly fishing column to talk about all around fishing. Especially for families and young children. It is important to introduce the entire family to the sport of fishing and to be honest the local municipal ponds are a great point of entry. Yes, you can fly fish on these ponds, but be prepared for some strong competition.
Utah Channel Cats, Trout, Blue Gill, Large Mouth Bass, Carp and More
Photo Utah Channel Catfish At Willow Pond
Fishing local, municipal or city ponds has become a part of fishing life for many urban Americans. With the increased cost of travel, less time for fishing and a larger population who fish, for many, the local pond has become the main attraction for avid anglers. And so it should be. "Put and take" fisheries provide recreation, can be quite pretty and are a great place for youngsters. In addition, municipal ponds are great for people who have a challenge getting around and are also a great place to practice your fly fishing techniques. What they do not offer is solitude and a high quality fishing experience. These are public ponds and any angler with a license can fish there. There are several other problems which I will discuss below.
In general, a variety of fish are planted in public ponds: Trout, Catfish, Bass, Bluegill and various minnows to provide a food base. Depending on the water quality and temperature, some natural reproduction may occur.
What Do I Need To Know To Catch My Own Mess Of Fish?
So, how do you fish these ponds? First, lets talk about some basics and then we can get into more technical details.
Photo Channel Catfish Utah Willow Pond
The first step on any pond is to know the rules and regulations. Most often, they will be posted, but if not, check your local regulations so you do not inadvertently harm the fishery.
Second: Observe. Note the water quality and clarity. Find out where the inlets and outlets are, what the source of the water is (spring fed or creek fed). Try to figure out what the topography of the lake is: how deep is it, are there any old river channels and underwater structure.
Next: Research. Whatever research you can do on the front end, will help you greatly. Find the local Wildlife Official and ask questions. Be sure to ask the most important question: what fishing technique is working and what is the stocking schedule! If you cannot find the local wildlife person, ask those fishing the water. You would be surprised how friendly and helpful they can be. I am on a first name basis with many of the fishers at my local pond and I freely give and receive advice. If you are lacking the latest hot bait, sometimes someone will generously give you some. And if you are toting a youngster, which I usually am, other fishermen often will let your youngster land their fish. In reality the social side of the local pond is one of the nice benefits and so, while you are fishing be sure to make some new friends and acquaintances while doing so. Of course, the best way to make a friend is to be a friend so be sure to be helpful with advice and generous if you are so inclined.
Photo Large mouth Bass Utah Bountiful Pond
Also check the pond vegetation as this has a great impact on what the fish will eat and what techniques will work.
Most anglers will be using bait. Power bait and its variants are quite popular here in Utah but they have given rise to "Fleigenbinders Power Bait Rule: Fish will bite on whatever color or flavor you do not have in your arsenal." But, do not overlook the standards: worms seem to work quite regularly and salmon eggs are usually very productive in the spring.
For kids, I highly recommend a small chunk of night crawler on a small hook with no weight at all. That will usually bring in the Bluegill and Sunfish. And, kids want action. A spinning rod with a de-hooked spinner is just the ticket for a youngster to learn to cast and not endangering himself or others around!
When using bait, the best all around rigging is to thread either a clear plastic bubble filled with water or a lead egg sinker above a swivel. Then add 12" to 36" of leader onto the down line end of the swivel where you attach your hook. I often attach two hooks (Double Trouble) either with similar bait fished at two different depths or two different types of bait until I find out what is working. Be sure to check your regulations to make sure that Double Trouble is legal on your water.
Using this setup, you should have enough weight to cast quite a long distance and often this is the trick for municipal fisheries, however don't forget that in many cases, fish will be close to the shore and you might be casting over them.
A common mistake is using too much weight hooked directly to your line. You might be able to cast a good distance but you are simply inviting snags. Don't use too much weight.
The secret to casting long distances is not your weight but your line, reel and rod. I am always amazed at how some individuals can't seem to cast more than about 20'! Make sure you have fresh and not too heavy line - 4-6 lb line is fine for trout and a bit bigger for larger species. Make sure your line is filled to just below the rim of the spool. If you are having trouble casting any distance, take it to someone more experienced and have them check it.
Make sure you can cast appropriate distances, if you cant, you are probably wasting your time!
I'll post more about fishing municipal ponds soon, in the mean time. Happy Fishing!
Photo Bountiful Lake Carp Utah
Photo Carp Bountiful Lake Utah
Photo Utah Carp
Photo Utah Carp
Photo Municipal Pond Murray Utah
Photo Municipal Pond Murray Utah
Photo Willow Pond Murray Utah
Photo Tiger Trout Utah
Photo Spring Bluegill Utah
Photo Arm to Arm Fishermen