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."

Sleep When You’re Dead

Posted in sleep when you're dead on January 7th, 2012 by kyle

The past two years have been amazing here at For The Rise. I plan on posting occasionally here in the future but I’ve started a new site. I hope you will continue following my adventures and writing at www.sleepwhenyouredead.com. There you will find stories about not just fly fishing but hunting and other outdoor activities as well.

Annual Idaho Fall Trip

Posted in Idaho on October 31st, 2011 by kyle

Its 8:30 PM here in Arizona.  I’ve been home for five hours and just now have enough feeling in my hands to be able to write a few words.  Myself and two dear friends spent the last three days fishing some of the best trout water in the world.  The weather was cold but worth enduring for some spectacular fishing.  After a short plane ride on Thursday I hooked up with Brandon and Everet in Idaho Falls.  We cruised over to Jimmy’s for a few supplies then ate what I consider the best burgers on the planet at Snake Bite Grill.  Great start to what would be an epic weekend in Southeast Idaho.

Our first target was the Henrys Fork.  Everet struck first with a fat rainbow that pulled hard in the fast current.
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We got a bunch of white fish and a few smaller bows after that.  We headed up river and pulled over to view some rather large trout in a no fishing zone.
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Oh well, further up the road we stopped an hiked down to Upper Mesa Falls.  Its an impressive sight and I couldnt resist the urge to throw a line just up stream.  The picture turned out pretty neat.
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Day two we headed North to Henry’s.  Stopping in Ashton for flies we ran into the man, the myth and the legend, none other than Bill Schiess.  He gave Everet a hard time about fishing and told us some great tales of Denny Rickards from this year.  Henry’s definitely has its own culture and Mr. Schiess is as much a part of is as anyone.  Having just come from the Lake he pointed us to some key flies he ties.  Please excuse the cell phone picture.
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Some days it clicks there, some days it does not.  From the time we arrived we had a steady North-West wind at about 25 miles per hour that made for tough fishing.  We still managed a few on the flies Bill recommended.  Always nice to say hello to the fish at Henrys.
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Having worked up quite the appetite we cruised up to West Yellowstone and sat down for two large pies at Wild West then hit some fly shops.
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Back to Rexburg to tie flies that were lost and rest for another day on the water. As we passed Island Park the sky exploded with color and we pulled over to catch the shot over the Henrys Fork.
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The next morning we headed out with high expectations for somewhere Everet has been doing very well.  This place did not disappoint. We walked the most productive bank and launched casts out to the drop off.  After some time the indicators would tank and on some of the hook sets the water would absolutely explode.  The fish that came to hand were almost unbelievable.
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Thanks to two great friends for a most memorable weekend.  Everet is a great host and an even better fly fishing mentor.  Cant thank him enough for all the stuff he’s taught me.  We are already planning our next big trip… we are thinking something involving salt water.

The Pictures Tell the Story

Posted in High Country, Utah on September 7th, 2011 by kyle

I am sitting here totally stumped on what to write about this trip. I’ve started and then erased a bunch of clever lines. The words are not deserving of these fish and these places. The two spots I was able to fish with good friends for the last four days are so special to me that I really have no words to describe them. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. We started out on the Boulder Mountain where we spent two and a half days fishing all over the mountain targeting Brook Trout in some lakes and Cutthroats in others.
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There were a few stand out fish that rewarded us for our hours of standing in one spot stripping dark colored leeches. Matts fish was 20 inches and close to five pounds. A size few Brookies achieve, even on the Boulder.
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We left the mountain elated and headed down to Hatch. Hatch Utah is one of my favorite places on earth. Its where I went as a kid to visit Grandma and Grandpa, its where I caught my first Trout, and where I watched my great uncle fly fish which was the first person i’d ever seen cast a fly rod. I’ve explored miles of the river there and have a good understanding on where the big fish hang out. This trip did not disappoint. Each of us caught several Browns over 20 inches in a small stretch of river. This is truly great Brown Trout fishing and the rainbows seem to be doing well this year too.
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A huge thanks to these guys for the great company, phenomenal photo skills, and many laughs. Can’t wait to get out again with all of you.

Fishing the Salt

Posted in Blue Water on August 14th, 2011 by kyle

This past week I had the privilege to spend three days on Kauai and three days on Maui. It was a much needed break from the monotony of 105-115 degree heat. Kauai was beautiful, untouched, and had a local feel. We searched for Puff the Magic Dragon at Hanalei bay.
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Didn’t see him… The next day we kayaked up the Wailua river for two miles.
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Then hiked to a waterfall.
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So pretty.
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We were pretty hungry after so we hit up old Koloa town and bought two pounds of Poke. Basically like a cross between Sushi and Ceviche. Fresh Ahi and smoked Marlin. REALLY good and fresh fish.
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My buddy Brandon lived there for a whole summer and suggested we hit up Keokis Paradise.
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He said to get a Roy Rogers which I did and it was really good.
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Oh and the fishing… it was pretty good too. I got some good advise from some people before the trip. My heaviest rod was broken in Alaska and is in for repairs. My next two are three pieces and not as travel friendly. Those of you who have fished with me know I LOVE light rods. I have three 3wts. So I brought the Sage VXP 386-4 and has a total ball fishing around the reef.

The fish were small but fought big and had amazing color. These are Wrasses.
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I caught a ton more but the salt is rough on everything and I didnt have my camera right with me. Couldn’t ask for any better scenery.
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Brandon suggested a rocky pier to try which produced more fish.
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Our days on Kauai came to an end and we jumped on another plane to Maui.
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The first day on Maui we took the dreaded road to Hana. It wasnt too bad. First stop was the rainbow eucalyptus trees. They actually grow like this.
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The mighty Pacific crashes against the rocks on the north shore and the black sand beaches are amazing.
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More reef fishing…
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The last day my dad had booked a charter. We headed out at 2:30 in the morning and ran for two hours to some bouys. The captain informed us that we were fishing in 6,000 (thats right thousand) feet of water.
We brought a few Mahimahi to the boat and a Yellowfin Tuna. It was a new experience for all of us. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures but the fish hit the ice quickly as the bite was on. Here is the best I came up with.
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Thanks for reading and make sure you take a rod with you next time youre near the salt!

Esox of AZ

Posted in Arizona on July 10th, 2011 by kyle

Esox Lucius…. Doesn’t that just sound mean?? Esox Lucius, or more commonly referred to as Northern Pike, is just that; a mean, hard fighting, predatory fish. I can’t think of a more fun fish to chase this close to home with a fly rod. Native to the far North, Pike have found their way into many cool waters further South. Just a few waters in Arizona hold them so I felt lucky to go chase them with Matt Harrison on Saturday.

It was 91* at 3:00 AM when I picked up Matt. After a long week we were ready to get out of the Valley. We headed North towards Flagstaff and watched the temperature drop down to the 50s as we left the freeway surrounded by Pines.
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Our target lake was reached before 6:00 AM. Lake Mary offers the best chance of catching numbers of smaller Pike. Recently the Game and Fish caved to the pressure of the trout loving bait chuckers who cried about how the pike had “ruined” their good trout fishing. Game and Fish netted most of the large pike in the State out of Ashurst Lake this Spring. Ashurst was pumping out 20lb fish in recent years. Its beyond me why someone would rather catch finless 10 inch stocker rainbows instead of trophy Pike but thats another story.

Back at Lake Mary we got out of the car and stretched with big smiles on our faces to be breathing cool mountain air and fly fishing for Pike. An Elk was bugling just out of sight in the far trees across the lake. It was just a good morning!
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Matt is an incredible tier and had a box ready with LARGE rabbit fur streamers.
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Matt picked a good one and got to casting.
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I did the same and within 15 minutes I was fast to a fish. The Pike grabbed the fly about 10 feet from me and absolutely burned the line through the water and through my fingers in an initial run. As the fish was slowing down, sadly, the hook pulled free. I was shaking and excited and immediately got back to casting. What a rush! The fish felt huge but in hindsight was probably around 30″.

20 minutes later I got a second chance and hooked into a smaller, but still feisty Pike. After a short battle the fish came to hand and smiled for a few pictures.
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Matt hooked a big fish a half hour later. The fish chased the fast moving streamer to the surface. When Matt pulled the line tight the fish exploded on the surface. We both got a quick look and figured it was probably just over 30″. The short fight sounded like a bowling ball was dropped in the water and the surface was disturbed for quite a while after. Fun fishing.

A few more fish came to hand for both of us over the next hour. Nothing huge but each one unique.
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A huge thanks to Matt for providing the flies and great company. Also the stunning pictures. Most of these (all of the good ones) are from behind his lens. Besides a talented fly fisherman and tier he is also an accomplished photographer. I’m sure we’ll be back again to get those big ones that got away. The Esox will be waiting, ready to smash the daylights out of anything they can fit in those toothy jaws.

Apache Weekend

Posted in Arizona on June 20th, 2011 by kyle

A few months ago a trip was planned by www.azflyandtie.com.  We rented out an entire lake in hopes of incredible dry fly fishing for Arizona’s own, the Apache Trout.  This fish, found nowhere else on earth, looks like a cross between a Brown Trout and a Bonneville Cutthroat.  Imagine a Bonneville Cutt as far as markings and size go, but yellow/gold in color similar to a Brown.  Our destination was Hurricane Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.  This lake is managed only for Apache Trout and produced the world record Apache weighing almost six pounds.  I’ve been excited about this trip for months.

Unfortunately, on May 29th, an enormous forest fire ignited in the beautiful White Mountains.  Due to high winds, hot temps, and a dry winter, this fire has burned for nearly a month.  As of three hours ago this fire had consumed over 500,000 acres of the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine forest making it the largest fire in Arizona history.
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2262/
I’ve heard numbers like close to 80% of the Apache Trout restoration literally went up in flames with this fire.  :(

Hurricane Lake was directly effected and the forest service has closed it for at least the next 90 days.  The trip was called off… then rescheduled for Hawley Lake.  I almost canceled, knowing that Hawley is mostly a put and take with a slim chance of a big Brown.  I did some research and found Earl Park was close by, and that it held nice Apaches on occasion.  Game on!

I left work at 3:00 on Friday.  The temperature in my car read 111* as I drove to meet Jason Jones.  The mountains were calling in a big way.  After a three hour drive we arrived to beautiful Hawley Lake.  We found a good spot for the tents, set up camp and got out the camp chairs.  I was short on a few flies so broke out the vise and tied half a dozen midges for the next morning.
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My bench for the evening.
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At 4:15 we arose and made the short, 1/2 mile drive to Earl Park.  In the early light we could see several fish rising. We set up the toons and I snapped a quick pic of the pretty little lake.
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Neither of us had fished it so I spent most of the early morning paddling around its 47 acres.
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It seemed most of the fish were concentrated near the ramp.  I fished hard on the far side hoping to find some hungry fish but didnt even get a tap.  ”Never leave fish to find fish”, I kept saying to myself as I paddled back to Jason.  I was almost into position when a big yellow fish slammed my bright orange indicator. haha

I set out of surprise then cast back to the same spot hoping the fish would hit on the fall.  Nothing… I worked the area some more and five casts later my indicator tanked and I was fast to a fish.  The fish went nuts, the 3wt VXP bent deeply and the click pawl reel sang as line flew off of it.  As I got the fish closer I realized it wasn’t a Brown but a HUGE Apache Trout.  I netted the fish a minute later then lifted 20″ of Apache from the water!
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Talk about being spoiled!  The world record is 24″.  Pics were hard by myself but I got a few.
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This was my only fish of the morning.  We called it and headed in after that.  As we were pulling the boats out we notice a few nice fish cruising near shore.  Jason made a good cast and the fish took!  He fought it to the net which measured the fish at 18″ but when he took it out of the net it squirmed free and swam off.  I was next and put a blood worm in front of one of the cruisers.  The fish tipped up and sucked the fly in not 10 feet from me.  Oh yeah!!
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It was a clone of Jasons and much more colored up than my first.
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I was in heaven and more than satisfied with the trip already.  We headed back to camp to eat and get ready for the afternoon.  Our afternoon target was a nearby stream with more Apache’s.  The stream did not disappoint. Perfect pocket water everywhere.
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On the first drift an Apache came up and hit the size 10 Stimulator!  I missed the take but put it right back where I had cast.  The fish came back from under the rock and hit it again.  I missed again, threw it back and it came back again! haha  I finally connected and brought the little gem to hand.
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The next two hours were fish after fish.  Most of the fish came on the SOS nymph but several smashed the dry as well.
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Jason scored the best looking fish of the day.  I was floored by the color.  I’ll be back to this stream.
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We ran back to the Earl hoping the night bite was on.  I broke off another big Apache on a sulfur dunn then caught
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I actually yelled, “they do exist!”.  Meaning Brookies in AZ.  There are not too many Brookies South of where I was until WAY past the equator.

Dinner last night was a pot luck.  I ate entirely too much of all of this and lots more I didnt take pics of.
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After all that food I two Aleve and crashed after one incredible day.  I never imagined i’d have a day like that my first time in the White Mountains.  I’m so glad I didnt bail out and look forward to many more adventures in Arizonas high country.

Quest for a King

Posted in Alaska on June 5th, 2011 by kyle

Alaska’s costal waters play host to millions of Pacific Salmon every year. Over the years i’ve been very fortunate, taking several trips to Southeast Alaska and landing four of the five species. Silver, Pink, Chum, and Sockeye are all great and special. The Kings are the largest and have avoided my lines on all previous trips.

Last year my dad called and invited me to join him on a trip in late May.  I jumped at the chance to head back up to Alaska, even more excited knowing that this time of the year means lots of kings out on the coast. Last Saturday I left the valley of the sun and headed to the last frontier. All of this fit in a medium checked bag and a carry on.
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We always spend a day in Juneau and check out the local attractions. Juneau is the only capital city in the US with a glacier in the city.
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Icebergs from the glacier slowly melt in Mendenhall Lake.
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Local wildlife.
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And good food at “The Hanger” bar and grill.
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After a day of sight seeing we took a ’64 Cesna from Juneau to Gustavus. Its a short 20 minute ride over snow capped coastal mountains.
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We arose early on the first day, dressed quickly and drove the short distance to the dock. Our guide/captain was Greg Taylor. He is originally from Orem and has been up in Gustavus for the summers for the last 10 years. Greg has become a close friend over the years and we spent a good amount of time this trip talking about fishing in Utah and Idaho.
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We ran out to the open ocean, about 30 miles from the inside passage that shelters the glacier bay area. We put the riggers down to 109 feet. Right off the bat my dad hit a nice King. Then my uncle Jay got one. Then my little Brother. Then my uncle Ryan.
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Finally the line popped off the rigger I was watching and the fight was on! My first King salmon was fighting well, I got him close to the surface and then this happened.
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What I got back…
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Pretty disappointing but it happens. We ended up loosing two halibut later in the trip to the buzzards of the sea. Shortly after the Sea Lion encounter the wind came up and  the Gulf of Alaska went from lumpy to down right dangerous. We battled waves for a half hour and got back a little ways inside to more calm water.

Fishing for rock fish off of the humps that come up out in the open ocean is pretty exciting. We jig for them with 16 ounce jig heads and 14 inch plasic skirts.
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The catch varies from Chinese Rockfish,
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to Sea Trout,
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to Yellow Eyed Rockfish,
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to my favorite, the Ling Cod.
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It was a great first day. We were tired and my Bro was pretty sea sick so we ran back in to the dock.

Day two called for a pretty big tide with some wind. We decided not to risk the ocean and stayed in the protected water of the inside passage. More rock fishing was in order to fill our limits.
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Quite a workout for the Loomis rods.
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On the way back we stopped at the sleepy harbor called Elfin Cove.
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Its a quirky place and the people there think they are pretty funny… haha I laughed.
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Day three we went after some halibut. We picked up a few but the bite was really slow.
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It was too nice of a day for the fish to bite well so we went around to see wildlife.
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As we passed a shoreline Greg noticed a pair of Bald Eagles and we stopped to have some fun with them. We tossed some bait in the water we had for the Halibut and watched the show. I’m sure glad Ben Franklin didnt get his way with our national bird.
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Day 4 we fished the beautiful Bartlett River. The eight mile hike wasnt too bad. It was however a barren waste-land compared to what it looks like in early August when thousands of salmon fill the river and Dolly Varden follow close behind. We still managed some pretty little Coastal Cutthroat and I dutifully snapped the tip off my Winston.
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Some bear sign.. we were carrying spray.
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The last day the weather was right and the tide was perfect. We cruised at full speed out to the Salmon grounds. I was ready to get that Kind and complete the slam! The water and conditions were perfect and as soon as we were down the line popped off the rigger. I was fast on the rod and caught up to the piggy Salmon. After a few runs I got it to the net and was pleased beyond words with the fat King.
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Then later an even longer fish came to the boat at the hands of my Dad.
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We finished the morning with five Kings for the five anglers and rushed back to make our flight. After some quick packing we were off. A little heavier than on the way in.
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The week flew by way too fast but all good trips do. My quest for a King was fulfilled. A huge thanks to my Dad for making the trip happen. It was so great to spend time with family again. Now its time for an Apache Trout.

Adventures North

Posted in Idaho on May 17th, 2011 by kyle

I’m sitting here on my friends computer on a total fishing high. If you have never experience one, it feels like a sun/wind burned face, sore legs from wading rivers and kicking against wind on a stillwater, burning eyes from lack of sleep, and a permanent smile with memories that have just been made replaying in your head. The last three days have been incredible. I flew up from Gilbert on Friday morning. When I landed in Idaho Falls my friend Everet and other friend Brandon were waiting with the car loaded. We were ready to fish.

We headed to a backwater of the Snake River in search of 20-30lb Carp that would be willing to take streamers put right in front of their giant heads. When we got there the carp were in the shallow water and looked like slow cruising tanks over the light colored sandy bottom. With some practice, Brandon and I got proficient casting the seven weight rods and large streamers into the never ending wind of the area. Everet guided us to some brutes, Brandon struck first with a 20lb freight train that went deep into his backing as the drag sang.

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The fish swam off strongly and we were back at it for more.

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From there it was fish after fish for the next two hours… our arms were burning but there were more fish to catch.

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Day two found us 150 miles to the North at Clark Canyon. It was the first trip for any of us to this stillwater but with some help from friends before the trip we found a good area. Its a beautiful lake and the fish cooperated. Loaded for battle.

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By noon the wind was too much at Clark so we got a wild idea and drove 60+ miles on dirt roads over the mountains to Island Park. From there we went North, passing Henry’s and ended up on the Madison. Lots of snow and ice still at Henry’s

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The Madison between the lakes is one of the most scenic rivers i’ve ever fished. It was also loaded with guys when we arrived so the three of us made the treacherous wade across the high river to the far bank away from the crowds. This proved to be worth it as we landed lots of Bows in front of skunked and not so happy anglers on the other side of the river. Hot flies where big rubberlegs and Higas SOS.

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What an amazing tailwater. Bows were all strong and had beautiful colors.

Day three we headed the opposite direction and fished Chesterfield in the morning. Wind was our nemesis this trip. It blew about 50 mph all day at Chesterfield. We lasted about three hours and managed a few fish. Flies being moved by some surface chop is usually a good think while indicator fishing, however when there are three foot rollers it has the opposite effect. Not fun but the fish we did catch were healthy and seem to have wintered very well.

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That capped off a great few days of fishing with some of my best friends. A huge thanks to Everet who drove us around and guided us while sacrificing his own fishing most of the trip. I’m sure he would have put us to shame if we would have been throwing rods more instead of helping us out. Cant wait for the next adventure.

Sedona

Posted in Arizona on May 8th, 2011 by kyle

Caught my first AZ trout today. Felt good to catch a slimer again. :p

My family and I spent the weekend in beautiful Sedona.
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Woke up at 445 and cruised up the canyon to one of the many campgrounds. It was 45* and felt cold after being in 90-100* for weeks.
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Too cold and early for hatches, I chose to nymph with a small PT and a Higas SOS. The SOS did it, bringing 4 small Bows to hand and a Brown.
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Finished up before the sun hit the water and was back for blueberry pancakes with the fam.
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I should be fishing a bunch this month. Stay tuned for more reports.

Saguaro Lake

Posted in Arizona on April 23rd, 2011 by kyle

I’ll try to make this as interesting as possible. Be warned, this post will not contain pics of twenty something inch trout and all photos are from a phone. I know, i’ve been slacking on reports.

In January I moved my family down to GIlbert AZ. Its definetly different from Utah but we like it. I actually like everything about it besides missing my family and the fishing. Having been suffering from trout withdrawals, I was trying to get up to Becker Reservoir today but waited too long to plan it. I couldnt find anyone to go with and with gas at $3.75 I couldnt justify the cost to go by myself.

I bought a Sage 3200 reel and had to try it out so I loaded up the family and we headed to nearby Saguaro Lake. The drive up along the Salt River is really pretty.
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Its wasn’t too hot today, mid 80s, so we packed a BBQ. When we got there we unloaded the car then headed down to the lake. With my wife and baby on the shore I couldnt fish long. Our daughter watched with great anticipation.
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The wind was blowing and the Sage I was tossing is just a 4wt. I made about 20 casts, caught 3 Bluegills, wet waded in the warm water, and broke in a new reel. Felt good to be casting again.
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We made our way back to the shade and ate grilled honey cajun chicken, chips and pink lemonade.
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All in all a good day. I really like the 3200. Its really light, pretty, and I dont miss the drag at all. I’ll try to get out after some trout in the next two weeks. Apache Trout pics to come!