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.

Happiness is a Bent Rod!

Posted in Idaho on October 19th, 2010 by kyle

Haha Truer words were never spoken. Let me preface this by saying that Family, the Gospel, and important life decisions bring true happines but this is my fishing blog! Fishing is a great stress release, a way to recharge batteries. But fishers are a rare breed of humans. People ask me about it all the time saying things like, “Why do you get up so early to catch a slimy fish”, or “How much money do you have tied up in fishing rods”, or “Why would you drive so far to do a hobby”.

Yesterday answered all these questions in one 12 hour day of fishing with a close friend. Idahos Henrys Lake is a phenominal fishery, probablly top five in the Country. So full of life and so beautiful. I was lucky enough to have the best “guide” in Idaho to help out with my less-than-stellar rookie casting, fly choice, and sometimes poor attitude. I’m learning though and have great friends to teach me.

We fished one of the little bays early and caught a few fish. Everets casting is incredible and he was launching leeches like 70 feet with ease.
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The morning bite was a little slow but we managed about 15 in the first few hours. Everet tagged a good one. The Yellowstones in Henrys have the best dark color with rosey cheeks and dark slashes.
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I love the West, I have been able to watch countless sunrises over my young lifetime. Yesterday I had to sit for a minute and take it all in. The five weight got a break in the warm morning light. As many of you know, I am moving to Arizona in a few months so I am enjoying the fishing up here while I can.
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We spent early afternoon, until about 2:30 pm, hitting other spots around the lake. My car got lots of funny looks with two pontoons strapped to the top. We caught a few around the lake.
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Then the wind came up which we were hoping for all day. The perfect chironomid chop!
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The fish thought so too!
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Though fishing is hard to explain to those that dont fish, its truly something special. Fresh air, beautiful surrounding, making good friendships, oh yeah and the fish are nice too. ;D The truth is that its about the whole experience and when one experiences that, its not just the fish that get hooked. It makes 10 hours of driving, 12 non stop hours of fishing, $1,500 of equipment and no sleep all so worth it.

Strawberry Oktoberfest

Posted in Strawberry on October 17th, 2010 by kyle

Strawberry is an interesting fishery. Its pretty easy to nail down in a few years though you seem to find surprises from year to year. The ice comes off the first of May and fishing can be good then but October is when the best fishing happens.

Last year I took my whole family out. We had Uncles, Cousins, Grandpa, Dad, and Brother.
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We had such a good time they wanted to make it a yearly event. This year we planned the trip for October 9th. I had almost no time to scout as I was hunting deer with a friend from Arizona.
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It was a great time in the Mountains but I was a little worried about not being able to pre fish for the fam, turned out I didnt need to be!

We rented a pontoon from the marina and anchored in a likely spot.
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We luckily caught two big chubs right off. There is nothing better for big trout that a minnow or piece of cutt-bait from the body of water you are fishing. We filleted the chub and cut strips to tip the two inch sand colored tubes.

My uncle Jay has always talked about fishing with his Grandpa at Joes Valley and Moon Lake. I could tell they were fond memories for him and he hadnt caught many fish since that time. He was first to catch one in the early morning light. It turned out to be a 24″ Cutt. When we netted the fish he turned to me and goes, “thats the biggest fish I’ve ever caught!” Made the whole trip for me!
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The rest of the day we all caught lots of nice fish and everyone had a good time! We ended up with six fish over the slot.
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Knowing the window is pretty small for catching fish like this we planned another trip for Monday (Columbus day) Keoni, his Brother, his Son, Scott, and I met up early. We got there and had fish splashing all over. The boys were pounding them with lipless cranks and pointers.
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Then the jig bite turned on and we lost track but caught a bunch. Among them were another six over the slot including the above fish that was right at 25″. It was a fun morning with perfect weather.
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We generally release all fish at the Berry but we kept four over for the table. The fillets on these fish are awesome and taste amazing.
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My Dad and I ran back up on Thursday and things had really slowed down. We caught two over making it 14 for this October. Strawberry is in great shape right now. I feel like it will continue to stay good for years as there is a great balance of predator, prey, and fish numbers. There was a 34 incher caught this past weekend, its the biggest since they poisoned the reservoir in 1997. Fishing is good and October truly is PRIME time at the Berry. We’ll get back up to troll huge swimbaits again before ice up but until then its time for Spawning Browns and the last Brookies of the year!

From Lake Powell to Boulder Mountain

Posted in High Country on September 27th, 2010 by kyle

I’ll try to make this short and sweet and let the pics do the talking! Be warned, LOTs of Pics. My family has a two week timeshare on a house boat out of Antelope Point Marina. Its always been a great vacation and something we all look forward to. This year was a little different. Our baby is two months old and kept our closest attention the majority of the trip. That was fun because I havent been able to spend too much time with here due to work and school. So the fishing was less than stellar but the family time was good. I think I ended up catching 42 during the week? That included one crappie. 14 inches long!
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Lots of carp and cats.
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Many smallish Smallmouth.
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And a few Strippers and Bluegill.
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As well as lots of family time.
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Lake Powell is a stunningly beautiful place, I look forward to returning soon!
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One day after returning from Powell I met up with Keoni, his Son, and Bill and we headed South to the Mountain! Going from 95 degree temps to below freezing was quite the change but the mountain is beautiful this time of year and so are the fish!
Our first target required a hike. When we got to the trailhead we were met with this.
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We met up with Patrick and Brandon there and then hiked up to the lake and launched into the glassy water in search of Tigers.
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Before long we had all caught powerful big Tiger Trout and the grins were had by all.
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A couple of smaller cutts kept things interesting. Feisty little dudes biting our big tiger lures.
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But it was Patrick with big fish honors! He landed this 24 inch estimated 6 pound Tiger with style! It was unreal when he netted it. Looked like a big carp in the net!
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Man, hard to top that. We headed down the Mountain and fished a lake a few miles lower. It was really pretty but super weedy and Brandon was the only one to catch a fish there. A small Brookie.
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After that the two Southern Utah guys headed for another part of the Mountain and we went in search of Grayling. After several fly changes I was able to get three on a funky looking tinsel wrapped stimulator. Grayling are so colorful in the water and fight way bigger than they are. I really like fishing for them.
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It was the end of an amazing day on the Mountain. We headed for the group camp after this. It was about 15 minutes to dark and Orvis and his gang were there. We compared notes from the day and then took off. We were going to spend the night in Fremont and fish on Fish Lake Mountain the next day and wanted to cut about 40 mins off the drive. We stayed with Bill’s fam there and arose early the next morning.
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We fished the creek and got lost looking for a pond. When we got home we found out we were less than 150 yards from the pond but in trees over 100 feet tall it was impossible to find. Next trip I know right where to go. We managed to find a few Brookies though. Can you see this one??
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Heres what he looked like out of the water.
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It was a very memorable trip. Some of the best company in the world in one of the prettiest places in my opinion. Wish we could have hooked up with everybody but we kind of played it by ear. I hope you guys all had an awesome trip also! We’ll get a few more in before it freezes up.

Fall Comes Early

Posted in High Country on September 6th, 2010 by kyle

Its been an amazing summer. Michelle and I have been so lucky to bring our little Kaylie into the world. Fishing has been awesome and I have gone head first into the fly fishing game. Time is flying by, July and August were like a flash.

Its September now. I love the Fall, crisp air fills your lungs and the fish change colors with the leaves. Saturday I spent the day with good friend Dave and we did a marathon day trip. He picked me up at 3:00 am and we were off.

Our first target looked awesome in the morning light.
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We quickly pumped up the tubes and launched in the glassy water.
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At 10,800 feet, this lake can experience winterkill. The ice gets too thick in the six months of winter and the oxygen levels drop suffocating the fish. We were hopeful that the mild winter would give us some hope for some holdover fish. We fished for a half hour with a few takes but no fish to hand. I worked in closer to shore and slowed the approach down. I went tight to a fish that had some shoulders. He darted side to side and took some line before coming to the boat.
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Brook trout are not native to Utah but they do well in our waters. This one was 17 inches long and healthy. Fall is when they spawn and he was getting ready with the dark back and bright red belly.
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Dave hooked up with two fish just after that. We knew we had lots more fishing to do so we left and hiked a half mile to another lake. It had succumbed to major winterkill and we didnt waste too much time there.
On to the third lake in this series. At 27 feet deep and with rising fish we were hopeful. Right away we were into fish. There was some remnant of spawning colors on these Colorado Cutthroats.
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Not the biggest Cutts on the mountain but feisty and hungry.
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After about 30 of these we headed back to the vehicle. Our final destination was a lake with Grayling in it. At 11,200 feet, and shallow, it would seem nothing could over winter there. But Grayling are survivors, able to take extremely low oxygen levels and make up for long winters by feeding voraciously for a few months each year. When we got there it didnt seem like the kind of place that would hold nice fish. We rigged the fly rods and headed to the lake. After just a few minutes there I saw a fish top. I was ready, rigged with a large Elk Hair Caddis as an attractor fly and a small mosquito trailing, I made the cast. I watched and waited as the two flies bounced on the waters surface. I expected to see a small mouth delicately sip the small trailing dry fly but to my surprise a nice sized Grayling came out of the water and crushed the big Caddis!! I dutifully missed the strike yelling out in excitement. About five minutes later I spotted another riser and this one didnt get away.
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These fish seem plain but the unique sail on their backs is full of iridescent colors.
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I caught a few more before I was too cold to keep fishing.
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These bigger than average Grayling made for a great cap on the day. Fall is getting closer, I will miss summer but look forward to Fall colors both on the leaves and on the fish. Until next time…
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YELLOWSTONE

Posted in Yellowstone on August 12th, 2010 by kyle

Americas First National Park is an amazing place. This past weekend I had the great opportunity to visit it and fish for two and half days. I went with some dear friends and the fishing did not dissapoint.

The first day we hiked back to second meadow on Slough Creek. There were signs everywhere about Bear danger but we were well equiped with spray and a hand gun. Although the hike was long, 15.2 miles according to the GPS, the fishing was fabulous for 15-18″ Yellowstone Cutthroat.
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My eleven oclock the fish started to feed on top and we caught them until we left on an X Caddis and Pale Morning Dunn imitations.
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After a Dinner of Ribeyes
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some TLC for the feet, and a good nights rest we were at it again.

Day two was a still water day. Our goal was Lewis Lake in the morning and Trout Lake in the afternoon. We saw lots of animals on the long drive to the South part of the park in the morning.
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Lewis Lake turned out to be somewhat uneventful but it was beautiful none the less.
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I got poured on for a bit.
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And did manage one Brookie.
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On the way back to Trout Lake we stoped at Yellowstone Falls for a few pics then got caught in a “Bear Jam” a few miles further. The sow grizzly and two cubs were down about 250 yards from the road but that didnt stop the hoards from stopping to look. The Bear is the Brown spot on the top of the grassy hill in the bottom of the pic.
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We hiked the 1/2 mile into Trout lake with the tubes on our backs and were rewarded for our efforts with this.
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It rained again but when it cleared a big double rainbow was the end to a gret day in the Park.
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Day three was a short fishing day with lots of driving. We woke up, packed, and headed for Soda Butte.
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After matching the hatch we were into fish again.
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My biggest fish of the trip came in the last 10 minutes of fishing. This 19 inch healthy Cutthroat is, to me, one of the symbols of Yellowstone.
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These fish are survivors. The park has not been stoked with trout since the mid ’50s so this fish, his father, his fathers father, and so on are and were 100% wild. Yellowstone is truly one of the last wild places in the lower 48. It was a privelage to be a part of for a couple of days. Hopefully i’ll return back soon.

Welcome to FTR

Posted in Yellowstone on August 1st, 2010 by kyle

Hey all!!! Its about time we get something like this going! The store and forum will be steller in a few weeks. Looking forward to sharing reports here also. Fishing has been awesome on the rivers lately. Get out there and get after them!

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Watch for a Yellowstone report in the coming week!!