Saturday, May 11, 2013

Another trip that's now a tradition

I am just now getting back from another trip that has become a tradition for myself and my buddies Steve and Craig. We have been making this trip, every year, about this time, for several years in a row now. This trip proved to be a little interesting, you will see why below.

As usual, on the way up, I ran into a high desert traffic jam

That happens to me, every year. I am usually the first one up there every year as well. This year I made it on a Tuesday morning. Here is something else that happens every year. Every single trip out to this place, on my first cast, I nail a fish, and sure as hell, it happened again. A nice colored bow

The fishing was non stop the entire time we were up there. I had 20, 30, 40 and even 50 fish days. All of the fish were in great shape and were stuffed fat

Wednesday my buddy Craig made it up, and it was raining like a mad man. We probably should have paid attention to the rain and thought things through. On Thursday morning, we decided to go float a section of river. On the way down we hit a very muddy patch of road. I made it down, though sliding every where. Craig slid off of the road and almost made what would have likely been a fatal mistake. He stopped his truck with his back left tire, 3 feet off of the ground, and we attached a tow strap from his truck to mine in case his decided to move and roll.

The pictures do not do it justice, this was one close call. I think the big guy was watching out for not only Craig, but for me as well. Had his truck rolled and he had been in it, it would have likely killed him, and took my truck with it. Craig started to hike the 13 miles out to get a tow truck and by chance the DNR passed him and gave him a ride. While he was waiting for the truck to come the DNR passed on some interesting info Ill share with some folks on a certain fishing forum. Once Craig got back with the tow truck, the truck driver said this was the scariest tow job he had ever attempted

But he was able to wrangle it out of its precarious position, and saved the day, and Craig's truck

We got back to camp and decided that we would stay put and on dry roads and we started fishing right away after we both called the wives and let them know what happened, and the fishing was still on fire

 With Thursday finally over, everyone was beat to death from a long hard day of not only fishing, but dealing with that slight mishap, even my buddy Moose was tired

As Moose and I were relaxing with a cold silver bullet, I walked down to the water and saw Craig wrestling in a fish, and took a quick photo

Apparently I received some sort of reputation as "The guy on the red boat" More on that to come. 
Friday morning we fished some more while waiting for Steve to show up and still nailed a ton of nice fish

That after noon we decided to take off to some where else for a change of pace

The scenes were out of this world 

We made it all of the way down to the Green, which was a muddy mess, and I managed to pull one, 14 inch rainbow out of the Green, in the Canyon of Lodore, the lowest I have ever seen or heard of a trout coming out. Granted, it was along the stain line from the creek we were fishing, but in the Green non-the less

And here is a look at how muddy the river was looking into Colorado

And here is looking into Utah

Saturday I fished until I caught 30 and than decided to call it quits. As usual this place kicked out nice fish, with quiet a few pushing past 24 inches several times. I said before about a reputation. As Steve and Craig were fishing other parts of the lake, several folks asked them how they were doing, and they both replied they were doing well, and the other folks said "The guy in the red boat" has been killing it. They would laugh. This continued as I went into Dutch John for beer and ice, and ran into some folks that asked if I was "The guy in the red boat" which I replied yes and we chatted about fishing for a bit and showed them my rig and how I was fishing it. I just find it comical that happened is all.

Another great year, with some great fishing buddies and as usual some memories that will last a lifetime  Can not wait until next year!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lake Powell on the fly!

I have a few traditions that I like to try to stay up with as best as possible. I always root for the Bears and Cubs, I always get chicken fried steak when I go to Texas Roadhouse. And, when I can, I always go to Lake Powell every year. I started going in 2009, and than in 2010. I was either deployed, going to a deployment, or just returning from one for the last 3 years. I was finally home this year and made the commitment to go. Usually my brother joins us, but he is currently in Korea taking care of business.

I made it pretty early to the lake last Friday and waited for my dad to show up. When he did we started fishing right away the night before we got the house boat. The weather was awesome when we started.

We were able to enjoy the awesome weather while it lasted, which was not for long

We went from Slick Rock Canyon, all of the way up into Red Canyon and almost every canyon in between, and almost all the nook and crannies on the main channel

I did like the way Castle Rock was looking and we spent quiet a bit of time in that part of the lake so I took more than one picture of it

Last year on the trip I was not able to take because I was in Afghanistan, my brother, dad, and family friends camped in Knowles Canyon but since the water level has dropped 40 feet from the same time last year their camp site it high and dry

On the way out of Knowles I spotted some brush under water where a creek would flow in during a storm and decided to bust out the 7 wt with some sink tip and a perch pattern streamer

And the fishing started right up and was non stop for quiet a while. Sunday I caught wall eye, striper, crappie, small mouth, and large mouth all on the fly and we kept a mess of them for dinner and a fish fry.

Monday presented the exact same conditions only warmer. The water temp when we started was 58, warming to over 65 until the crash. We took off bright and early and headed up lake.

And as usual the fishing was non stop. Since the weather was so great it did happen to push a ton of fish a bit  shallower than the previous day, great for me since I did not have to use the full sinking line yet and just stuck to a 6 wt, intermediate line, and clousers. Once again we were able to get into a ton of nice fish, and another mixed bag, on the fly

Tuesday started out just like Monday but come 1030 in the morning a HUGE front blew through. Though the skies were pretty clear, the temp dropped from 25 to 35 degrees, thats a best guess, what was once 90, was now 60. We were still able to pick up fish but we came in around lunch time and were done for the day. 

Wednesday came, and once again the wind was out of control. So I decided to grab the pup and make a hike up on of the canyons. 

He is 114lbs of hard charging lab and nothing can slow him down. He did flush a few small birds and pointed, which was neat to see and he was a little confused because he did not hear a shotgun blast go off, but once he realized we were out to have fun he stopped searching and started having a good time in the little creek on the way up the canyon.

Once we got a little closer to our intended target I was able to spy what we were looking for 

And here is a closer view

And if you looked hard enough you could still see some of the original pictographs that had not been restored 

And here is a very faint warrior 

We wandered around the ruins a little, I took a look inside the Kiva and the cooking pits

And took a few quick pics

Moose, the pup, sat down on the little trail up and stayed, just like I told him, until I was done, he did great, and I almost missed one hell of a view

We made the short walk back to the house boat and once Moose got something to eat, it was lights out right after this picture was taken

Thursday came and the wind was still going berserk but we decided to head out and tried our best to battle the relentless assault and we did pretty well

What we found out, when we cleaned wall eye, we found that a vast majority of them still had eggs, and not newly developing ones, these looked like they were just ready to drop

Friday came, and the wind was finally gone. It was time to get at it.

 I was glad I could finally cast more than 75 feet with little effort. I was rewarded by some hard charging large mouth and small mouth all of which were a blast on the fly rod

It was an awesome end to one hell of a week. even the dog had such a good time, he slept through all of the hoots and hollers

I cant wait until next year comes and we get to do it again. I learned alot about fly fishing for wall eye, and even more about the little nuances of fly fishing Lake Powell.

Another trip is coming up this week as well, so more pics and more fish!