Saturday, October 23, 2010


Get ready to call PETA because this blog will be about killing (and eating) trout!

We live in an “enlightened” age and keeping trout is not politically correct. Keeping, killing and eating trout is it is not only discouraged, some anglers consider killing a trout blasphemy, anathema or worse.

However, there are several instances where our state Division of Wildlife Resources has encouraged anglers to keep a few fish. The Provo River has abundant fish and would benefit from removal of some of these fish to help the remaining fish become larger and healthier. At Flaming Gorge, anglers are encouraged to keep Lake Trout for the same reason. At Bear Lake, where sterile rainbow trout were stocked, anglers were encouraged to keep rainbows because the fish probably would not survive the winter. This probably holds true for a number of stock and harvest community ponds as well.

So, there are good reasons to keep trout and sometimes other species as well. Note: please take only that portion of the daily limit you will actually use and consume. Trout and other fish are far too valuable to be wasted.
When you take a few trout home with you, you are assisting the fishery by fulfilling your role as a predator and “thinning” the herd. The remaining trout face less competition and can get larger. The habitat as well benefits from having less fish in it. Obviously, the capability of any given habitat to sustain a given number of fish is left to the experts but when they say “take home a few fish” I feel it is our obligation to do so provided we can put them to good use.

There is another issue at work here. There are many who would like to see fishing eliminated entirely based on the notion that it is cruelty to the fish. I do not for one moment believe these individuals are at all concerned about the fish, rather, I feel they are trying to impose their philosophical vision of the world on everyone else. Nonetheless, if anglers accept the idea that they should never kill a fish, to a great extent, they are supporting that argument. Conversely, by acknowledging that; sometimes, even in the best of circumstances, fish are killed, and when they are, we try our best to utilize the animal for food, we lessen the potential argument that since fishing is not for survival (You don’t eat the fish, do you?) it should be eliminated. So eat a trout every now and again to maintain your right to fish!
Incidentally, one of the most underutilized methods for controlling illegally introduced or unwanted species of fish in waters is the fishermen. A bounty placed on Squawfish in the Northwest improved the survival and recruitment of Salmon. A bounty placed on illegally stocked or unwanted fish such as Burbot , Lake Trout (illegally planted in waters they should not be in) or other species can certainly put a dent in the population if not possibly eradicate them completely. Our Nation’s history is replete with examples of overfishing taking out entire species from some waters. Why not harness that natural power of fishermen’s ability to decimate a fish population by rewarding those willing to target unwanted species. It’s a “win-win”.

Ok, you have your fish home – there are other tasks you should perform each time you clean your fish

First, assess the general health of the fish just in case you find something alarming which should be reported to your local Wildlife Resource Division. Be sure to record the water, date and time of your catch. I am sure they will appreciate the feedback if you find something that should not be there.

Next, do an autopsy on your fish to check the stomach contents. You will be amazed at how much you can learn from this examination. I would never have learned that trout feed on snails, crawdads, cigarette butts and even Daphnia had I not taken this extra step. You can do this on live fish, but since fish taken home are already destined for consumption, you don’t have to do risky “field surgery” also known as stomach pumping of fish if performed incorrectly or by an "untrained" angler. So if you do pump the stomach be sure to learn the correct technique so you donot inadvertanly harm a fish that you plan on safely releasing.

Now, eat your fish. If you do not eat them, give them to someone who will. Of course, be sure to obey all possession limits and laws relating to the giving of fish you have caught to someone else.

Trout are delicious and I suspect that those who do not like eating them have not had them properly prepared. Even if you bring home some “planters” (which you can just about count on if, like me, you fish with your grandkids) and you are unsure about their flavor, you can still make a delicious meal out of them. I marinate mine for about ½ hour in Italian Dressing prior to cooking in the method of your choice and you will be surprised how firm, good and unfishy they taste.

Finally, be thankful that you live in an area where you are free to fish. Even with the access issues we face here, we still have many opportunities to fish and many people do not have that same freedom. We have been given a great heritage and a wonderful place to follow the traditions of our predecessors.

When I was a kid, I remember neighbors coming home with gunny sacks full of trout. The ladies in the neighborhood dutifully canned these trout for winter use. It was an important part of preparing for winter and the trout helped people survive those harder times.

I remember having my very first “trout sandwich”. Mrs. Anderson, my neighbor had just “put up” a bunch of trout and had a little cooked trout left over. She asked me if I wanted a sandwich. She sliced up one of the last red, ripe tomatoes from her garden; put a little Mayo on toasted bread and topped it with a thick layer of beautiful pink trout. It was delicious. And, in the end, that is really what fishing was about.

Today, fishing for me has little to do with catching trout. It is far more about where I go, who I am with and being with and in nature. But fishing’s roots are far deeper and more primal. It is at its deepest about survival and today our survival is less about filling our hunger and more about filling our hearts.

See more photos and learn about our trophy trout ranch in Tooele County Close To Salt Lake City, Park City, Davis County, Weber County, Utah County, Summit County, Uintah County, & All locations in Utah.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Successful Still Water Fly Fishing In Low Water & Weeds For Trophy Trout

Weeds & Low Water Equals Ideal Conditions For Trophy Tiger & Rainbow Trout

It never ceases to amaze me how many so called fly fishing anglers will walk up to a beautiful body of water and refuse to fish there because of the weeds and moss in the water.  They are looking for perfect clear water and fishing conditions, for them, not the fish.
Weeds & Low Water Are Trout Paradise & You Need To Know How To Fish These Conditions
Learn To Read These Great Beds Of Food Where The Lunkers Live & Thrive

The truth is prime conditions for quality fish are usually not the conditions most fishermen are looking for.  Too bad...if you walk away from a scene like this one because of the weeds you are leaving behind the opportunity to catch truly trophy size trout.  You just need to understand what flies to use and how to approach the weeds to be successful and with a little practice you will walk away at the end of the trip catching the biggest trout of your life.

Grass & Weed Beds Means Food, Lots Of Food
For Large Hardy Fish & This Is Where You Find Them

With a little patience & the right dry fly you can avoid hanging on weeds and catch trophy rainbow trout like this!

Look At All The Insects In The Weeds & Moss

There is a trout buffet of high protein insects on top of the weeds as well as underneath the moss and that my friends is exactly where the lunker trout are hiding and feeding.  Now that you have  recognied that the trophy trout you want to catch are so close by and accessible, due to lower water, you are ready to start selecting your initial starting dry fly.  After all you are going to fish close to the weeds and in the openings!

Terrestrials Are A Great Starter Pattern In Summer & Fall When Weeds Are Plentiful
Doe Rainbow Trout 22" caught on a #20 hopper pattern

Now The Fun Begins, Catching Trophy Tiger & Rainbow Trout

In still water fly fishing it is important to think about all the insects you see as you approach the water from your car or truck.  Look for the grasshoppers, ants, beetles, bees, gnats as well as the may flies.  These insects are bigger than their aquatic cousins and provide more protein to the larger trout.  They are the cherry on top of a hot fudge sunday for these lunker rainbows.  The also float high on the water and can be cast near the edge of the weed beds or even open water within the beds and moss on the water.  The edges and open water are exactly where you want to present you fly..then hang on for the fight of your life as the trophy hits your fly and heads into the weeds to ditch you.  Now you have a fight on your hands and if you "horse" this monster he will either bend your hook or break your tippett.

So Now Try Some Other Dry Flies
Now You Know How To Fish The Weeds For Trout Try Some Other Dry Flies

Mayflies & Gnats Also Have A Place In Still Water Moss & Weeds

Now you know where to place your fly begin experimenting with other dry flies in your box.  You will be pleasantly surprised how much you enjoy fly fishing in summer and fall when others are walking away from these great conditions.  When you look at the weeds remember to focus on the open spots as well as the edges to cast you fly.  These are the areas the trout are also watching and waiting for their next meal.

Using Nymphs & Wet Flies In Moss & Weeds For Trophy Trout
You can see the weeds tangled on my line between the 24" Rainbow Trout & Strike Indicator
Use The Strike Indicator to help you spot a fish taking the fly in the weeds and moss.  This technique has you dropping your nymph along the weeds and moss just like a dry fly.  However you allow the nymph to slowly sink until the strike indicator moves away from you (it is pulled by the sinking nymph) until it stops moving.  The stop tells you the nymph is at depth.  Now slowly retrieve the nymph one or two inches at a time and allow the strike indicator to move away from you again.  Keep repeating this action until you get a "hit" or need to cast again.  You will catch the biggest trout of your life. 

Come visit us at our ranch in Utah for some great trophy trout fishing.  We are open year round.

Learn More About Still Water Fly Fishing At Our Website.....Plenty Of Photos Too!

Happy Fishing!