Monday, December 10, 2012

Lees Ferry

On May 16-19 2012 our local fly club (DFC) went to Lees Ferry. I got to go along with 10 other members and get a haul to the Glen Canyon Dam and float down the legendary Lees Ferry of the Grand Canyon. This is my trip:

On Wednesday I got my gear ready for the three day trip to Lees Ferry. I had a drybag for my sleeping bag and tent and a stove with food for three days and two nights.

gear for the trip DSCN0327.jpg
WWe got to the Ferry in the afternoon and fished the walk-in while we were waiting for our 2:00 p.m. haul. The Ferry is known for its wind gusts and I lost my favorite Sage hat but also caught this healthy Rainbow.

Walk in trout DSCN0331.jpg
We got the Haul up to the dam right as scheduled.
 DSCN0335.jpgOur captain gave us a look at the Dam before we got to the camp sight. It was really windy.

The Dam DSCN0338.jpgThat night I didn't get much sleep because I was so excited to fish and the wind was really noisy. Not long into our float I started catching fish. they were all about 12 " in size. I decided I wanted bigger fish and started fishing streamers and sculpin. Here are a few that I caught.

First good size trout DSCN0354.jpgThis one I caught at Horse Shoe Bend. I liked its colors.
horseshoe bend DSCN0362.jpgAnd this one was long but pretty skinny. There were many fish in the river and you could have easily caught 100 or so nymphing but I was after the bigger fish.
Trout DSCN0365.jpg
This was the biggest of the trip. I think it was 19" and healthy.
I was fishing my bigger rod and a sinking intermediate tip. Some of the fish were a little on the skinny side for their size.
long and thin DSCN0361.jpgThat night I floated past the group and camped by myself...not on purpose. This is 9 mile campsight.
camp alone at last DSCN0371.jpg
It was cool to have the night all to myself. No fires allowed that night but I had my headlamp. The next morning I started hearing the boats coming up the Ferry and woke up to a guide and two fisherman on my beach. It was cool though! I fished with them and then floated out.
9 mile campsight DSCN0387.jpg
 The bottom was not as good of fishing as the top.
looking back DSCN0395.jpgThe last little bit could be a pain if the wind is at your face but it was good for us. Tis is Joe Staller, he had a lot of gear. He was used to floating in Alaska.Joe Staller DSCN0391.jpg
This is Garry. He was on our trip too.
 DSCN0390.jpgSteve and I went to the campground but decided to leave before the party that night.
 Steve and I going home DSCN0397.jpgI know my hat is pretty ugly but I lost my other hat and needed one with a strap. This is the view from the campground. It's pretty cool.
campsight of walk-in DSCN0400.jpg
I'll definitely go again. The trip was one of my favorites. I really love floating rivers in my 'toon!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wind River

OK, I have been reading a book about this guy who goes backpacking in the Wind River Mountain Range. The book is called Fly-fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry by Rick Osthoff. I did some more research and found that Finnis Mitchell in the late 1930's planted Golden Trout in these mountain ranges and ran a fish camp for 1$ a day during the Depression. I love back packing and I decided that this would be my next quest.
On the way of our 20 hour drive, Cassidy and I stopped at the bridge of Lees Ferry. The spot is famous because it was the only crossing for Mormon honeymooners traveling to St George temple. The Colorado River crossing was one that I had previously fished in the spring (see Lees Ferry article) this article has not been created yet but is way me! The tail water begins at Lake Powell or Glenn Canyon Dam and goes through the Grand Canyon.


Here is a look at the river. The rafts are embarking on a Ione week or two week trip down the Grand Canyon, I got the privileged of doing that trip one time as a dishwasher...but that's another story.


On the way we also had some fun with the manikin police officer in Hatch, Utah. The Manikin is designed to be put  in this old truck to deter speeders..ha ha

After the 20 hour drive we finally started backpacking. Here is the motley crew.


The first day we hiked to this lake and had a beautiful camp sight right on the lake.


The next day we had decided that we would hike to the inlet of the next lake and take day trips to Windy Lake. I set up camp only to find out that the rest of the knuckleheads decided to camp at a mosquito infested swamp previously used by some horse campers. This is my cite that I couldn't convince the others to go to so I moved after the night and camped in the swamp with the horse turds.

                                                                My "nice" camp
the next day we hiked up to Windy Lake. I had caught one golden on the stream near Cleveland Lake the night before so we knew that there would be Goldens in the stream. Here is some pics.

 golden palm DSCN0613_zps28d527de.jpg
The Stimis were the trick for the Brookies and the Goldens.

golden DSCN0625_zps1b576d1c.jpg
Once we got to Windy Lake it was Beautiful!!!
 winds landscape DSCN0597_zps8a24d091.jpg

The Goldens were spawning and I finally caught one on a Golden Scud but not as big as we had hoped for. The Goldens in the Lake had also been crossed breaded quite a bit with regular Rainbows and didn't have the color of the Goldens we were after. Here is the biggest one of the trip.


We took some pics near the Lake and went up one other day. This is my main man Zach...he's a stud fisherman.

and Cassidy again.


On the way back, I let Scott take the camera and he found some pretty scary things in the woods. I'll spare you some other images that could leave you scared for life....ever seen a pimple infested hairy ars before?

Fishing the river with his dad is Scott and Zach.


This hole provided my best catch for the week. I called the shot and dropped my line, "on the rock" (to prevent drag from the swift current) and "into the pool" with the fly and "catch the fish." I couldn't retrieve the fish though because I hadn't planned on it going down the river into the crevasse that I was fishing from.

 tight hole DSCN0623_zpse58cbf1d.jpg
From another pool

 DSCN0633.jpgThe The Golden trout were beautiful but not the size we had anticipated. The spot is more of a local's weekend retreat than the backcountry solitude that we had planned for. In the backcountry you have got to pay the price of admission to get the" big ones."

DSCN0599_zpsccae3012 DSCN0599_zpsccae3012.jpg Only Four days into the trip, some of the "Whooped" crowd had to get home to their wifeys. Cassidy and I decided to go to Yellowstone instead of stay by ourselves and catch more little fish.
We saw buffalo,

Had a campfire...everywhere else we had been had been a no burn zone so we were excited!
and were having a great time 'till I realized that it was my Anniversary the next we raced home to save the day....not to mention the marriage ;0)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Famous Jill Quotes

After receiving the much anticipated mission call for my daughter Sydni, her nervous and rather naive  mother stated the following quotes:

"I'm just relieved that she got her mission call to Antofagasta, Chile. I know that if something ever happened she could always walk home."

Of which I stated, "Yea, you're right. If the pioneers could travel from Far West to Salt Lake City, I guess Sydni  could walk from Antofagasta to Phoenix. The only difference is that the pioneers would have travel ten times their journey to equal the distance from Phoenix to Antofagasta. It's only one hemisphere away."

Later that evening Jill stated, "I'm just glad that she is in a country that does not have a lot of crime. At least we can send care packages and we know they will not be tampered with."

Salty Dawg

Ok so tomorrow I am going to float the Salt River with my friend Kyle (a.k.a. Norty)

I went out and scouted it on Thanksgiving morning. I have floated it several times and am in the process of making a map so I can  find the hot spots a little more easily for future reference. It is a tail water that flows from the White Mountains and reaches the Phoenix Metro area and is dispersed down canals. It's really not a great fishing tail water because the "powers that be" decide to shut it off every year and the fish get land locked and die (except for the Large Mouth Bass). The area we are going to fish is called the Lower Salt or what I affectionately call it "The Salty Dawg." It could be a great fishing river if they would try, because it has a prolific midge and mayfly hatch year round (except when they turn it off....are you catching a theme here?)

I tried to get a mayfly pic
 mayflys on salt DSCN10371.jpg

Here are some pics from previous trips.

DSCN09151 DSCN09151.jpg
Tune on the Salty Dawg

There are areas that look quite tropical (Remember: we're in Phoenix and it gets hotter than two gerbils making love in a wool sock) even though; the water temperature stays near 58 degrees

DSCN09181 DSCN09181.jpg
Paradise on the Salt

I caught this fine looking holdover trout that survived the summer temperature and a full year  of marshmallow, recycled beer, and bass-turds (a.k.a.tubers or bass feces...whichever way you want to look at it) floating down the river.


And caught a whole mess of these

DSCN09211 DSCN09211.jpg
Bass above Phon D.

Bass on popper
Not only is the Salty Dawg scenic but it has its corral of wild horses that roam the river. My cycling group calls the horses the Brumbies.

 brumbys DSCN09231.jpg

DSCN09331 DSCN09331.jpg
Brumby on the Salt R.

Did I mention I caught them on poppers??


DSCN09091 DSCN09091.jpg
Bass on poppers

between coons and tuber takeout DSCN10341.jpg
Last time this proved to be a great hole!

We'll see what tomorrow brings, I'm excited!

So the conditions had changed and it was a sunny and warm 85 degrees. I was a bit disappointed that the popper action had completely stopped. Several of my "hot spots" produced no bass on what I thought were great areas to cast to but Norty was pleased and quickly gave up on the poppers and had success on a clouser while I stayed persistent with the poppers. Here are some pics.


 Norty on the Salt. Notice his tube and the inflation of the pontoon.


As we got down a ways Norty noticed that his pontoon was losing air. I was a bit concearned because we were about 3 miles from my truck that we had dropped off. Here is Norty fighting a Sucker that he caught above Coons Bluff.

Here is Norty being "so proud of his sucker".... Man that thing is ugly!!!


All and all it was a good day and I'm glad I got to show Norty the resource that we have available to us in such a close proximity. I didn't see the mayfly hatch that we had last time....kind of weird......we might not have been out long enough in the evening. The Verde began to flow and it was really muddy so I was glad we didn't go down past Phon D. I look forward to further exploring the Salty Dawg and really getting to know it as my hidden gem!!

P.S. I went by Saturday and was able to find a nice bass pond near one of the closed campground and caught some decent bass on poppers, several suckers but no trout. I hopefully set up a spring Rocky Point trip with Norty and my bro-in -law and his friend Jeff to Rocky Point.