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."

Autumn Gold

Posted in Utah on November 13th, 2010 by kyle

Fall continues to be incredible. Last week I was discussing the Brown Trout spawn with Jack from Arizona. He mentioned a spot to me I hadn’t been to in a while.

Josh wanted to fish today and I don’t know anyone with more experience with Browns during the spawn. We ran up to check it out and OH MY GOSH!! Havent ever had a day like today on a river. Browns were willing and big. Most of them stretched 20 inches with a few going 21, 22, and a little bigger. I was way under gunned with the 5wt, should have taken the 6 but the reel’s still on the way. All fish fought like crazy and one took me to my backing. Not much else to say…. here are some pictures.
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Josh tied some awesome flies for the trip and was great company. Today was one for the books. I’M NOT READY FOR ICE!!

Henry’s, why you go

Posted in Idaho on November 7th, 2010 by kyle

Every now and then a day of fishing comes along that is so incredible you have to pinch yourself to make sure you are really there. Friday November 5th was one of those days. Last week I got a call from Dan Kennedy, he wanted me to come take a look at the deer he killed this year. The antlers were more than impressive on this monster Mule deer.
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After chatting for a bit we talked about how we should get together and fish soon. We tentatively planned a trip to Henrys pending whether or not Everet could attend. After a few phone calls we got things nailed down for the trip. An extreme high pressure, covering the entire Western United States, almost canceled the trip. We decided to risk maybe having a dead calm day where the trout just lay on the bottom and watch the flies go by. Sure glad we did.

We arrived at Henry’s before the first hints of light were even showing over the mountains to the East. We inflated the boats and kicked out into the cold misty lake. Everyone caught at least one fish with a few standouts coming to net including an 18 inch Brook Trout caught by Dan.
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We decided to move and loaded up the car with the boats to move to a new area. I think I need a truck??
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For the newt few hours we sight fished some small bays. Everet made a great cast and put a scud right in front of this 20 inch Brook Trout.
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I caught a few on a flashy golden damsel pattern.
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And Dan got a few nice ones i’ll post more pics when he gets them to me.

Things slowed down and we feared it would be a slow afternoon. We drove to a local gas station, fueled up, and looked at some pics of some really big fish in the mini fly shop they had there. We decided to try the state boat ramp but changed our minds when we got there and there were 5000 people in drift boats and on the bank. The day was starting to drag so we decided to head back to the small bays from the morning to see if we could finish the day with some fish. The wind had started to blow a bit but we thought it wouldnt be enough to make any big difference.

On the way back to the bays we were passing some wooded shoreline and Everet said, “Stop right here, I think it may be perfect!”. We pulled off and walked down to the water, Everets eyes lit up and he goes, “This is what we have been waiting for!” The next few hours were spent wading and throwing streamers at the bank. Many larger than average Cutthroats came to hand.
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Then it happened. Everet started yelling from about 100 yards away. We hurried over to find him mid battle with a fish he said had smoked him on the first run!
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He was excited but calm as he stood there in a draw with what he called a “good fish”. Another five minutes passed that felt like hours. The fish was close but none of us had seen it in the murky water. One last pull and the head came up, I quickly scooped up what is the biggest trout I have ever seen. This Cutthroat/Rainbow Trout Hybrid was massive, about half of its body fit in the small net we had with us. I bear hugged the net and the fish and got to shallow water. We were all freaking out as I handed the net to Everet. What a fish!
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Everet decided to let this trophy go, surely a hard choice but I’m proud of him for doing it. The fish swam off strongly, hopefully to be caught again.
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Henry’s Lake is amazing. What a privilege to be able to share such a special day with good friends. The big fish are there, when conditions are right there is a good chance of catching one of these incredible fish. Ive said it before but this is one of the top five stillwater fisheries in the United States. Days like Friday are the reason you go.

Star Valley

Posted in Wyoming on November 1st, 2010 by kyle

Ten years ago, before I owned a fly rod and when I was much thinner ;D, I went on a deer hunt with my dad. We hunted on unit G of the Wyoming Range. It was quite a hunt and too much happened to tell it all here. One thing that happened was that we fished the Little Greys River and I caught my first ever Fine Spotted Snake River Cutthroats. I didnt take pictures of fish back then and the memories of those fish have started to leave me. I knew i wanted to get back.

After the hunt we went and had a steak in Afton. I was impressed by Star Valley, the Salt River Drainage and the worlds largest elk horn arch.
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It was a place I enjoyed and wanted to return to. So when Brad Carter invited me on a trip to fish some private spring creeks and then a float of the Salt River, I jumped on it! Cole Robinson picked me up early Friday morning and we picked up Brad at his home in Logan. Two hours after that we pulled up to Brad’s house of his childhood. When we pulled up to the ranch house in Grover Wyoming I said, “this would have been a cool place to grow up!” He agreed that indeed it was. Their back yard is a mountain and their front yard looks like this.
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His dad, Allen, was the most accommodating host ever, and the ranch house proved to be a great base camp for our two day Wyoming adventure.

The trip for me could be summed up in one word; Humbling. I just cant sugar coat this report. It was tough tough fishing! Spring Creeks are very technical, the gin clear water makes fish very wary of their surroundings. We arrived at the first property to an amazing midge hatch. There were fish all over the surface and I was excited. As we approached the creek, Cole went into stealth mode.
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As he false casted over the creek everything just stopped. He then explained to me that one fish must have seen him or the line and that he had blown the first pool. What a crazy thing. I am used to aggressive fish and big dries or streamers. I have been spoiled I guess. The next three hours were spent trying to sneak up on pools, false cast over land, lay the 10 foot flouro leaders down like a feather, and loosing way too many flies in the willows. Arghhh… frustrating for sure, no fish, no takes, nothing. The creek was beautiful but it was kicking my tail.
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I got some good advise from Brad and Allen who had caught a few on streamers. I followed them and Cole around for a while and watched them catch a couple. It was slow for everyone. Cole picked up a Cutt on a streamer and it gave me some hope.
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I finally caught two of the pretty little gems and was happy to wash off the skunk.
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I wonder why they call them Fine Spots???
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We were hoping to fish for Browns in these creeks that come up out of the Salt River and Palisades reservoir to spawn but we were either too early or too late. I only saw one redd with Browns on it. Two big ones and even with careful casting, as soon as the fly hit water they were gone in a cloud of dust. Heres where they were laying.
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We made the three minute drive back to the house and enjoyed a GREAT dinner of Elk Roast with taters and carrots and root beer floats for desert. We watched amazing home videos of hunts Brad and his dad have done all over North America and then retired to bed.

Day two found us on a new property. This one didnt hold as many fish as the first and was smaller. Allen graciously tied up some deer hair streamers that he had been catching them on the day before. We nick named them the “Star Valley Secrets”. On the second pool I tossed it down stream, let it swing and was stripping it back slowly. It was just under the surface and I was thinking that I would need to get it down further if I was to catch anything when a HUGE Brookie came up and slammed it!! I was so surprised I about missed him but got my nerves about me and played him to the net. I yelled for the boys to come look and then snapped some pics. What a trophy!
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The rest of the morning was a little slow but Cole caught another Brookie I got a pic of.
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We went back to the house, this time a two minute drive, and had lunch. The afternoon was spent floating the Salt River. I’ve never done a float trip and never had my pontoon on any moving water. There were a few hairy spots but the majority was really mellow and fun.
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We did ok on the Salt, not big numbers but quality fish. We floated about five miles and stopped at a few places to fish some of the better runs.
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We finished the float cold, tired, wet, and hungry but also happy having spend two days in an amazing place. A huge thanks to the guys for the invite! Good friendships were made and a few fish were caught. I hope this isnt my last trip to Star Valley Wyoming.