Most people will never understand why I get up before dawn, in the rain, snow, or summer heat, to stand at water's edge. Whenever I am asked why I do it, my response is..."for the rise."

Family trip to Fairview Canyon

Posted in Uncategorized on August 23rd, 2011 by orvis1

There are certain spots that I go with the family each year. Fairview canyon has a special place in my heart because I used to go up here with my father when he was alive. Most of the fish are not of trophy caliber that I would normally spend time chasing but there is such good camping, great four wheeling trails, and an abundance of water to fish that I find my way back every year. We have a traditional spot to stop at on the way up the canyon a little slice of heaven that I call Little Acorn they make all of their sandwiches and burgers on homemade bread and have awesome shakes. We had to stop and have dinner on the way up the canyon:
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
We made it up to the camp spot in a downpour. We attempted to set up in one site only to find out the spot we had selected was totally not level and we got drenched trying to set up in 2 different spots in the pouring rain we finally did what we should do in the first place and took the wheeler out scouting for a spot. We found an awesome one with a view of the lake that was open and quickly pulled in and set up to see a double rainbow.
Photobucket
The plan was to fish in the morning come back let the girls go for a ride while me and my son took an afternoon nap. Then go out on a family ride later in the evening. My fist destination was to check on the fish at electric lake I check on them once a year. This year it looks like the tigers have grown a few inches but the cuts where the standard size 13-18 inches. I never understand why this lake doesn’t produce monster fish because of all the minnows in this lake. That will forever be a mystery to me:
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

It was time to try out the lake right below where we were camped. It was Cleveland Reservoir I had seen a 5lb cut come out of here this winter through the ice but mainly supposed to be planter rainbows. We set up shop on a rocky shore line and did some dough from the shore. I saw how the fish can get big in here because of the various size minnows I saw swimming close to shore but it was not kind to us. My son caught a crawdad on his pole and that was it for the action it gave us the skunk job!
Photobucket
Photobucket
The final day my daughter wanted to go tubing with me WOO HOO! I wanted to bypass my plans to chase some other waters and take her to a place she would have a good chance at fish. Remembering what I read on the fishing reports Millers Flat Reservoir was supposed to have good action for stocked rainbows. We got set up and away she kicked to the middle of the lake. Finally I hear I got one DADDY I row out to help her because she is still afraid to take the fish off the hooks. She got it by herself on a jakes spin a lure those rainbows sure love them. I was doing well on plastics and I wanted to give her a chance so I lent her my rod. She cast out and slow kicked with an occasional jig then it was fish on! I think she likes just kicking out on the water and the snacks as much as the fishing but a proud pappa was glad she agreed to spend some time doing what I love.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

Wandering the Boulders

Posted in Uncategorized on August 3rd, 2011 by orvis1

I had been anxiously awaiting my trip to the Boulder Mountains for several weeks. I have this crazy goal to fish every lake on this mountain there are between 65 to 75 lakes depending on what you consider fishable lakes. Several are not on the map and many have no roads or trails leading to them. At first it didn’t look like the trip was going to be able to happen at all but it turned out I actually had 1 to many that wanted to go. We decided that with only being able to take 3 four wheelers that one would have to ride doubles. The terrain we were going to wasn’t going to be that rough and we could make it work. Instead of leaving Thursday afternoon one of the guys had to work so we ended up leaving at 6am on Friday morning. For me that is like sleeping in until noon I am like a kid at Christmas time when it comes to this mountain so I couldn’t wait. Once we were loaded we were on the way to Payson to pick up our 4th guy when the roads where getting rough. Now Utah County is under construction but the shaking was getting bad it was not just the road. Luckily one of the guys looked in the rear view and saw that we had a problem.

Photobucket

It turns out that one of the tires on the ATV trailer had the tread peel off of it. We had a jack in the truck but no star wrench. We made a call to our buddy in Payson. He was going to bring one up but we would have to wait about 30 minutes. Soon after a policeman pulls up behind us, in my younger days this would scared the crap out of me but today it turned out to be a good thing. I explained we had help on the way –expecting he would leave but he offered to help and told me he had a star wrench we could use. Not being the most handy person in the world, I was able to get the tire off and changed and we were off to the tire store. Met a nice guy and we talked ATV’s and they had us in and out quickly and with my wallet $240 lighter and 2 hours of delay later we were on our way. The truck was loaded to the max and the bikes where ready to get dirty.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Since we were already late we wanted to stop and get lunch before  setting up camp. My favorite spot, Mari’s, was not open so we tried a local diner that was famous for weird pies.

Photobucket

They had kidney bean, buttermilk, pickle, and oatmeal pie samplers. One of the guys was brave and gave it a try, very different for sure.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The sign showing alpine splendor is just ahead!

Well it was finally time to get after what we came up here for — to explore and fish! We headed up the mountain only to find a Boy Scout camp at the lake we originally wanted to camp at. We were here for solitude so we opted to move to another spot on the mountain. We got to the end of the road and I had limited room to move around. I had to jack knife the trailer out onto the road to get turned around. I went too far and hear the CRUNCH of metal never a good sound. Turns out I bent my bumper in on one side and dented my gear box in my ATV trailer!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
This side of my truck bumper got pushed out…

Photobucket

This side of my truck bumper got pushed in…

That is going to leave a mark on my wallet, a minimum of $500 lighter maybe more if we don’t claim it on the insurance. We get our camp set up and make out to our first lake.

Photobucket
Home sweet home for the next couple days…

Photobucket

View from the front of our tent – you have to love the high country!

According to the map there is a trail that should lead us to three other lakes with a short 2 mile hike. We get there and there is a sign, which up on the boulders is not the normal. It is rumored that a local guide goes around and takes all the signs down making it harder for you to explore on your own. Two guys were ready first so they tore down the trail, eager to fish. I was in the group that got left behind and we waited back and finished getting ready. Turns out there really isn’t a clearly marked trail and it was more of a bushwhack. We get to the first lake and it turns out to be nothing more than a puddle with no signs of life anywhere. We headed on down what we thought looked like a trail only to find it ended at a cliff. You could see down in this gorgeous valley and see two lakes in the distance and a great looking stream wandering though a meadow.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

You would have to either have a helicopter, or rock climbing gear to repel down into this valley. I found what looked like  more of the trail and it went across a river and up the ridge some more. It looked like I had found a way down, yes – fishing time! It turns out it was just another ridge looking down over the valley. So here we are now having to hike back several miles and all we got to do is take a couple of pics, not what I had in mind for the first day. We get back and the other two are nowhere to be found. GREAT!!!!! We debated on visiting another lake or staying put waiting for them and after about 1 hour they wander back. “We just stayed at the first lake and caught nothing, how did you miss us?” That is how heavily the mountain is timbered, you can walk by your friends and not even know it! So I knew of a lake reasonably close by that I had done well at in the past and we attempted to salvage a couple of hours. We get to the lake with about 2 hours left to fish before dark and all of us get fish.

Photobucket

The best fish being about a 15 1/2 inch brook trout, yea – no skunk age today! Since we were not able to get to the lakes we were hoping for, we re-arranged our plans for the day. We got up the next morning and rode ATV’s to a lake closer to camp and tried our hand at the cutts.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Having seen some pictures of some tanks out of there in the last month, we were anxious to get up to the lake. I led the charge and got to a nice looking lake that had tons of promise. We fished it hard for 3 hours but only 1 cutt would come out to play, and it was tiny. We headed over to the other side of that canyon to get back to the lakes I could not access. We rode our wheelers into Crescent. I had fished this last year but it was fast fishing for pan size cuts so I wanted to make up for the lack of fish the day before. I was hoping someone would join me on the hike to the other two lakes but everyone wanted to stay at Crescent. I was given a GPS and took a look at the map and off I went solo to try and get to the lakes. Once again there was supposed to be a trail but same thing, it ended and I was bush whacking solo! I got more than 1/2 way down the mountain this time only to find that same rock ledge on the other side. There were only 2 lakes on the map so these had to be it I was SO frustrated I decided they were not fishable lakes and was going to have to cross these ones off the list. I wanted to head back and try for a fish. Guess what! I got so turned around I spent the next 4 hours doing nothing but wandering around in the forest completely lost! I could not get the GPS to show me what direction to walk in so I would walk for a 1/2 mile then go the other direction a mile. All I could think of in my head was all the survival shows I had seen telling me if you sweat you are a dead man. I was drenched with nothing to light a fire, only a light jacket, and my fishing gear. I was sure I was spending the night on the mountain to make it worse they wouldn’t come looking for me until dark because they would assume I am killing it at the other two lakes. If you haven’t had this type of experience before it will shake your senses and scare the crap right out of you. I had a small bag of beef jerky and less than 20 oz of water that was not going to last long. I decided I would try and walk around different directions until dark then I would find a spot to hunker down for the night and try to get out the next day. I finally saw some water though the trees and hiked toward it. This is finally when the GPS helped me because it told me this was Circle and Half-moon I was looking for. These were not the lakes I could see from the ledge earlier those lakes turned out not to be on the map. At that point I knew I was safe because there was a trail from those lakes back to where my 4 wheeler was parked. I decided since I was here might as well give them a try. Typical to how the trip was going neither lake would give me a sniff at a fish and there were no signs of life at either of them. I finally after hiking around both sides of the lake ran across the trail, and boy was it a welcome site! It dissipated several times but I managed to find my way back.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Finally a sign! Although it was ripped down it saved my bacon!

They others were just leaving and ready to head on to the next lake. They did well as expected some got as many as 50 fish from this lake. I had to shake the skunk off so I borrowed a tube that was already set up and kicked out got 2 fish in 10 minutes and went on to the next lake. This lake looked good but it also gave us the middle finger– no bites, and no signs of life.

Photobucket

Photobucket

I was ready to get this day over with,  so we headed back to camp. The new plan was to get up at 3am, pack down camp, drive to the other side of the mountain, hike in to a remote lake, fish 3 lakes, then head home for dinner Sunday. This turned out to be a bit ambitious. It rained all night and everything was soaked. We finally got packed up and on the road by 4:30. We got to the other trailhead and because I had been here before no need for a map or GPS right? I get us to the first lake, no problem, but we have to hike past this lake and the other one should be just right around the corner right as I remember. There was a sign that said if we hiked 2 more miles we would end up and a lake so worst case scenario we will fish soon! Turns out our guide friend took down the sign at an important fork in the road that none of us saw and we ended up going the wrong way! We hiked in a circle nearly back to the trail-head. What a waste of time. Some people took it in stride and others were pissed. It was my fault and I felt terrible but so far this is how this weekend was going for me. I said that I would skip this lake hike back to our starting point and fish the lake I had not fished we could meet back up and still make it home for dinner. So I walked 6 miles round trip without fishing and was on the water at 11am prime fishing time right?

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

At least the wildflowers were out..

Photobucket

More color…

I got the middle finger from this lake and I left the guys a note that I would be waiting at the truck so I could get my wheeler loaded and my gear put away. I waited at the truck for 4 hours and they finally show up around 4pm. They had caught fish; they did not knock it dead or get any big ones but got about 17 between the 3 of therm. We loaded up and headed home. Honestly my worst Boulder trip ever; a total of 8 fish in 2 1/2 days. 7 new waters fished and all of them I got skunked on! Honestly makes me think if I still want to continue with this quest to fish them all or just keep fishing the dozen or so lakes I know are the good ones. I am not sure if I am going up again in two weeks for my last exploration trip of the year or taking the family out. I know I have at least 2 more trips planned for the year but to lakes I have already fished — one targeting brook trout and one targeting tiger trout. If I can learn some bushwhacking skills hopefully by the end of next year I will have accomplished my goal.

AKA Orvis1

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22nd, 2011 by FTR Admin

We’d like to welcome Craig to the FTR team. He’s a great fisherman who really puts in the time and effort to catch big fish. So check back often, and follow his fishing adventures.