May 20th at Habits Dinner Nightclub, 832 East 3900 South. Socializing starts at 6:30pm and the meeting will start at 7:00pm sharp! Jason Zicha from Fall River Flyrods will be our special guest speaker. Jason has been building custom graphite and bamboo rods since 1998 and will host a presentation on How Graphite Rods Are Made.
Time: Wednesday, March 18th. 6:30 – 7:00pm Social Gathering. Appetizers and Drinks available for purchase, Dinner menu available. Meeting proper starts at 7:00pm.
Special Guest Speaker, Travis Ruiz. Travis began fly fishing with a strong passion for fly casting. As his passion grew, he became an experienced fly fishing instructor and over the past 10 years, he has enjoyed mentoring and teaching others to advance their fly casting and fishing knowledge. Travis has also become a skilled technical dry fly fisherman and enjoys chasing picky fish on a river he loves, The Henry’s Fork of the Snake. He is the Best of the West 2011 Champion and enjoys competition events throughout the western United States. Recent events include hosting casting competitions and Fly Rod reviews for Fly Fusion magazine.
Location: Habits Dinner Night Club, 832 East 3900 South, Salt Lake City.
Just a note to all: The April Fishout dates to Crittenden Reservoir in Nevada have been changed from April 4th & 5th to April 17th through April 19th so as not to interfere with Easter weekend.
Rich, TJ and Mike left Salt Lake City at 5pm Friday night and headed west on I-80 to Montello Nevada. After an 1 ½ hour drive we stopped at the Salt Flats Café on the outskirts of Wendover to have some dinner. It’s an interesting little restaurant that serves Mexican food and breakfast. I’ll have to say it wasn’t half bad. After dinner we gassed up (no pun intended) and headed to Montello. We arrived at the Pilot motel in Montello—Allen likes to call it the Montello Hilton—and checked into our rooms. It is $40/night for single and $50 for a double. The rooms are decked out in a rustic wood décor fit for us rednecks. The rooms are clean and cozy, but nothing special. They sport an avocado green tub that clashes beautifully with white fixtures and wood finishes. The towels are postage stamp size, but luckily I had 6 or 8 of them. The rooms also has a microwave, mini-fridge and a small desk for tying flies. The heater eventually warmed the room to a pleasant temperature.
We woke the next morning at 6:30 am Utah time —which is 5:30 am Nevada time— to get ready and head out to the lake. I gave Rob a call to see when he and Wiley would arrive and he said to expect them around 9:30 am. The Cowboy Bar doesn’t open until 7am so we skipped breakfast and headed up to the lake. It’s a short 18 mile gravel road trip to the lake from Montello.
It was overcast and a bit windy and about 31 degrees. We parked up on the dam, had our usual conversation with Allen —discussing how many trout he planted yesterday and how big of fish Herb caught last week— rigged our rods and headed off with eager anticipation and dreams of giant trout in our nets. As we walked along the dam we could see a few large fish cruising along the edges. It’s really hard not to stop and cast to every fish you see, but we can always come back to these fish later. There were a few people on the lake already, but we could still find plenty of spots to fish. We spread out along the east side and tried our luck. I always like to start with a streamer and black seems to be the successful color lately. I netted one on a black bugger and 3 others on glo-bugs (chartreuse was the best color) and an ice cream cone. Tom, Rob and Wylie arrived around 9:30 am and joined us on the east side. By then the wind had picked up and the bank we were fishing was getting a bit murky from the waves pounding the shore. No one else had had any success yet so we made sure everyone was rigged up right and gave a few pointers on technique. Soon everyone was into some fish and having a great time. TJ and Tom caught their first Crittenden fish and were all smiles. Once they got the first one out of the way they were off and running. These fish are not easy to hook and land especially in the conditions we had. Plan on losing a few fish to break offs, straightened hooks and just plain bad luck. We fished 6-9 weight rods with streamers, globugs, pheasant tails, Chironomid patterns, san juan worms, scuds and other various nymphs. You need to fish at least 3x tippet to minimize the break offs and check your line for abrasions and bad knots frequently. Most of the fish we were catching were in the 21-23 in. range and extremely obese. These fish are footballs and they fight hard. We landed a few in the 24-25 in. class, but not any of the really big ones this trip.
Later in the day we went back to the southwest corner and dinged a few more and then called it a day. Everyone caught fish and had a great time. Rob and Wylie headed home and the rest of us hit the Cowboy Bar in Montello for dinner. They were having a Tastefully Simple tasting party so the kitchen was down for a bit. They said they could do pizza, but the grill wasn’t running yet. Tom and I ordered pizza and Rich and TJ waited for the grill to open. Word of caution, next time wait for the grill to open, the pizza sucked.
Tom took off for home and the rest of us stayed another night. The weather was supposed to improve for Sunday so we were hoping for an even better day. I was able to watch the second half of the Kentucky vs. Wisconsin NCAA final four game. What a game. A spectacular ending, setting up an improbable final match-up between Kentucky and Connecticut.
Once again we woke up around 6:30 am Utah time, well everyone but Rich. I think he was stalling because he wanted breakfast this time. We got all wadered up and packed the car and headed over to the Cowboy Bar for breakfast. We ran into Allen there and got to hear all his amazing stories, again, while we had a good hearty breakfast. We headed up to the lake and everything seemed like it was going to be a perfect day and five minutes later the wind started howling and the rain started falling. Rich staked his spot out in the southwest corner and started catching fish. I think this was going to be Rich’s day. TJ and I started making our way around the lake and it was pretty tough going for both of us. I managed a few including a 25” beauty. TJ finally found some success too. Later in the afternoon we headed back to join Rich. We all got a few more and called it a trip. We had a great time and it was fun to have our newest member TJ join in the festivities. See you next month for the Jones Hole trip.
Rich, Ross, Jim B. and Jim H. made the long drive across Utah and Nevada arriving at Pyramid Lake in the afternoon on Saturday, March 8.
After setting up camp on the beach there was very little daylight left for fishing, so plans were made to awake early Sunday and hit the water to fish for the Lahontan Cutthroats the lake is famous for. Sunday morning began overcast and breezy with a storm forecast to arrive later in the night. The wind steadily picked up throughout the day, creating a chop on the water that stirred up the lake and drove the fish close to shore, making the fishing decent. Around five o’clock in the evening the storm made its presence felt with a steady wind that whipped the beach sand through camp so hard it drove the BFF campers into their trailers fairly early as the fine sand found its way into every mouth and every eye. At2:00 am the wind really started blowing hard with gusts estimated up to 70 mph, blowing one of the trailers off the blocks it was parked on. With the wind howling so loud it was impossible to sleep the remainder of the night, so everyone tried their best to hunker down and wait out the night and hope daylight would bring some relief.
Monday morning dawned overcast and brought more wind, creating waves on the lake three to four feet high. Not ideal weather for camping, but the wave action made the fishing great. Average cutthroats caught were in the 22” to 26” range.
Not the 18 to 20 pounders that have been recently been featured in photos making their way around the internet, but big enough and often enough to make the BFF anglers happy to be there. Various colors of buggers and popcorn beetles were the flies that worked the best. Monday morning also featured a couple of locals who thought it was a good idea to launch a small Tracker boat into the lake from the beach. An H2 Hummer pushed their trailer and boat into the surf and they headed off down the lake to troll with downrigger setups. A few hours later they were spotted coming back up the lake against the wind and the waves which had had not abated at all during the day but had instead intensified in speed and duration. The Hummer driver reluctantly pushed the boat trailer out into the waves to collect the Tracker and occupants, not knowing that the boat had shipped enough water to make it almost un-navigable and heavy enough to make it impossible to maneuver the boat onto the trailer. The Hummer got stuck in the sand about 20 yards out before the water killed it. The boat swamped. You just can’t make this stuff up (see photos).
Wednesday broke clear and much more calm than the previous two days, so Rich, Jim B. and Jim H. decided to drive into Reno (about forty miles south of Pyramid Lake) and fish the Truckee River. While a beautiful day, not a fish was seen much less found at the end of a line. So much for the Truckee. Back to the lake.
Tom arrived at camp around 2:00 am Thursday morning. By now the weather had settled and the lake had calmed to a glassy state, making the fishing slow and the day long. Still, some managed to hook cutthroats throughout the day and into the evening.
Friday was much like the previous day, sunny and calm with very little chop on the water. The fishing slowed even more with few hits and even fewer hookups. Jim H. had hauled his barrel smoker out to Nevada and spent the day smoking six racks of baby back ribs for dinner that night. A couple of intrepid BFFers fished for an hour after sunset to little result. By now most of us had been at the lake for almost a week and were ready to wind down, pack up and head back home. Ross and Rich left early Saturday morning to make the long slog back to Utah. Jim B. and Jim H. decided to spend one extra day to unwind and relax before hitting I-80 East on Sunday morning.
Was it worth the long drives, hurricane force winds and sand covering every inch of everything? Hell yes. If you go you will need: 7 to 9 weights rods. Fast sinking line. Woolly buggers. Popcorn beetles. Sand-proof goggles. Visine. Good beer. Good friends
March 28-29, 2014.
South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, UT.
Friday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Adults: $5.00 entrance (Good for BOTH days)
Children 15 & under: FREE
Meet the West’s premier fly tyers and watch them create their art.
Compete in the 4th Annual Fly Casting Competition for great prizes from Hardy and Cortland. Bamboo Fly Rod Challenge entrants can win a $1,300 bamboo rod by R.A. Smith Custom Rods!
The Stonefly Society (TU Chapter 048) is inviting us to meet at the Hub Cafe in Heber City for breakfast – 8:00 a.m. This Saturday, January 11!!
After breakfast we’ll head out for random spots along the Middle Provo.
In the afternoon we’ll head over to Four Seasons Fly Fishers (44 West 100 South, Heber City) for a potluck lunch.
Most of us in the club are new Muskie fishing on the fly so we are really proud that a couple of us got into some on our first outing. And those of us that are more experienced in Muskies on the fly got shut out. I guess thats Muskie fishing.
We fished Newton Reservoir in Northern Utah. Some of the group camped over on Friday and Saturday. Other made a day of it.
The moral of the story is. Camp over, fish early, fish late and fish in between. Our anglers that did that had success. The others failed.
But as always we had a great time. Getting a follow from one of these guys gets your heart rate going.