Crittenden Reservoir Fishout— April 5-6, 2014

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.

wylieWe 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 rob(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 Tjat 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 caughttom 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.

mikeOnce 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 rich_tjmanaged 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.

Pyramid Lake Fishout: March 8-15, 2014

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.

Pyramid Lake Camp

Pyramid Lake Camp

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.

 

Ross with a nice fish

Ross with a nice fish

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.

Rich with a beautiful Lahontan cutthroat.

Rich with a beautiful Lahontan cutthroat.

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).

Hummer in a bit of trouble

Hummer in a bit of trouble

 

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.

Jim fighting a fish from his platform.

Jim fighting a fish from his platform.

 

Tom fighting a nice fish

Tom fighting a nice fish

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. pl_jim_B2The 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. pl_ribsA 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.

pl_jim_B

Jim cutting up the ribs.

Jim cutting up the ribs.

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

2014 Wasatch Fly Tying and Fly Fishing Expo

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!

BFF Muskies

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.

Jerry was the first to land one of these beast. Jim and Jerry promptly made a gloat call to me to inform me that the muskies were on the bite. Great job Jerry!

On Saturday, before the rest of us drove up from Salt Lake. Jim had already boated 2 beast and on Sunday he got one more. Congrats Jim. You get the title of muskie slayer this year!

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.

Fall Club Fishout

This year our Fall fishout took us to the Island Park area for four and a half days.

Day one: Arrived at the cabin in Island Park around 2pm. Unpacked the cars, got the waders on and headed to the Firehole in Yellowstone Park. We fished it for a couple of hours, until it was almost dark. We caught several small browns, just enough to get us warmed up. Time to go back to the cabin for some dinner and to tie some flies.

Day two: Henrys Lake. We put in the lake around 11:00 am (took some time to get our licenses) and fished just right around the boat launch at the state park. Before the rest of us could even lace our boots, Jeff had his first Yellowstone Cutthroat on the line. A few of us brought pontoon boats and fished around the inlet, the rest fished it from shore. The fish had just moved in the shallows the day or two before we got there and the fishing was dynamite. After fishing out in the boats all day, we moved in and finished the day out fishing from shore. We chased 20 inch Cuts around the shallows. It felt a little like bone fishing except colder. Right as we were about to call it a day all of us except Jeff were standing on the bank talking about heading back to the cabin when a huge bull moose walked by us and headed towards Jeff. Jeff was busy reeling in a fish and didn’t notice the moose walk behind him. Jeff looks up at the bank and notices all of us watching him and gives us a thumbs up. Then Troy yells out “There is a moose right behind you”. Jeff laughs “Yeah right”. We all yell back “Look behind you”. Jeff turns and sees the beast about 80 feet behind him and jumps. The moose trots off into the marsh and we all had a good laugh.

Day three: Madison River. It was supposed to be rough weather today but it looks like we need some sunscreen. The only report we got for the Madison was that the lake run fish should be starting any time but havent really come in yet. We decided to start at Barnes Pools. We got some white fish and a few small resident fish right off the bat. But only one lake run fish. So we moved further downstream and there we hooked several lake run trout and landed a few. It wasn’t the usual distinct waves of fish yet. Seemed like just some early birds one or two at a time coming through the runs.

Day four: Henrys Lake. Our last day to use our 3-day licenses so after a hearty breakfast, we decided to hit the lake again. It was another beautiful day for weather again, plus it was a Saturday so the place was packed. We probably could have planed that a little better. There were anglers standing all around the boat ramp shoulder to shoulder. And there were float tubes and pontoon boats dotted all around the area. We all sort of migrated to the same spots that we were at last time and we all started hooking fish. The fishing wasn’t as fast as the last time, but there was enough action to keep it fun. Jeff kept the one of his fish for dinner that night. And for the first time ever (hopefully the last) I saw someone eat trout roe. We decided over dinner that night (a delicious cutthroat) that we would try the Madison again the next day. We tied flies and watched a football game.

Day five: Madison/Gallatin Rivers. The storm that was promised finally started to move in. We hiked back down to the same hole in the Barnes pools area and fished through the rain. Whitefish and resident trout were keeping the action going, but no one was hooking any lake run trout. After 3 or 4 hours a couple of us were talking about moving on right when Mike hooks up a fish. Wylie says “If its a lake run we’re staying.” Sure enough, it was a beautiful brown. We all checked our gear and hopped back in the river but, that was going to be the only lake run of the day. We decided to rest the Madison and try something else. None of us has fished the Gallatin, and it was close by so what the heck. Mike pulled a few whities out it, the rest of us blanked, and Jeff got harassed by the fish and game for a minute. But what a beautiful river. We found out later that we didn’t drive far enough and the fishing was another 20 minutes or so from where we were. Now we know.

Day six: Cleaned the cabin, packed all of our gear, hooked up the trailers again and decided to just roll home rather than haul trailers in the park, unpack and repack our gear to fish a couple more hours.

All of us had a lot of fun and got to know each other a little better and I think all of us left better anglers.

Hope to see more of you on our next fishout.

Be sure to checkout our fishout calendar and come to the meetings to get the details.

 

 

Mike giving some pointers to Jeff on the MadisonJeff cleaning his fishTroy checking if the fish is doneA little head, some tail, and all bone.

TU Single Fly Event – 2011

Two members of the Bonneville Fly Fishers (Bobby Lang and Wylie Thomas) were volunteer guides for the TU event. The event is to raise funds and awareness for the battle against Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and other threats to the Green River such as the Million Pipeline.

This year there were 14 4-man teams. Each team was assigned 2 guides by a random drawing. It just so happened that Team Hyde drew both Bobby Lang and Wylie Thomas as their guides. Each team has 2 anglers on the A section and 2 anglers on the B section. Team Hyde made it a great father and sons outing by having Bobby take LaMoyne (founder of Hyde) and Matt Hyde down the A section and Wylie take Jim (CEO of Hyde) and Josh Kunz down the B section.

For all of the teams except one, the B section was a tough day and hard to get numbers going, while the A section brought in the bulk of the points for most of the teams. Team Hyde finished in the middle with 117 points. The winning team was the Stonefly Society with a whopping 201 points. And Lance Egan won the most fish award with 43 fish landed.

After the event Bobby and Wylie deservedly, took some time to do some fishing of their own. Bobby landed a 21-22 inch slab.

Can anyone guess where this is at?

Summer Club Fishout on the Green

We left early friday morning eastbound on I-80. A short stop in Summit to pick up Rob, then a short stop in Evanston for breakfast. Mike and I listened to Jim Gaffigan talk about bacon and how a lot of Kevin Bacons success is directly tied to his name. Then he talks about how his family never took him camping because they loved him. He is what he calls “indoorsy”. If you havent heard it you need to look him up on the YouTube or the iTunes.

We made one last short stop in Mountain View WY. for the traditional stop at Rob’s Chicken Shack. Or most people know it as the local grocery store. But we always stop there for a bag of fried chicken to keep us alive for 2 or 3 days on the river.

We got to the Firefighters Memorial campground around noon and set up camp. Then we finally got to Little Hole by 1… Time to fish.

I have never seen the river at 4500 cfs before. And apparently the day before we got there it was at 8500 cfs. It was the first day in months that the path hasnt been in chest deep water. My first thought was “We’re the first wadders in months… this is awesome!”

First we headed down stream. Fishing what pockets were available. Yellow Sallies were everywhere! Up my nose, down my shirt, in my ear… everywhere. The fish that were feed were easy to spot but not as easy to catch. We got several on that lower stretch. Some on Sallies, But the Goldilox Bugger (my go to green fly) was doing well.

We made our way upstream to Coney Island and set up there. Jim got into a nice seam on the river that was packed with fish. The rest of that area upstream was moving just a little to fast to fish effectively.

On the way back to the trucks we met up with Rich and Mary. Then we headed to the lodge for some world famous Gorge Burgers.

That night Mary poped popcorn on the fire and we made plans for the next day.

After a hearty breakfast at the lodge we made it back to Little Hole. Jim and Rich headed up stream. Mike, Rob and I headed across the 4500 cfs river… in his pontoon boat. We took it in turns shuttling back and forth. It was well worth the effort. We had the whole river to ourselves and the fishing was good. A nice surprise was that there was a new channel or braid of the river that I have never seen before. And yes, it fished! It was alot of fun to fish a part of the Green I have never fished… and may never fish again.

Just after lunch our day almost took an interesting turn. Alot of the rafters started coming into Little Hole. One raft with a Mom and 2 small girls in it missed the first ramp and the mom fell out on the way around the jetty to the second ramp, leaving the 2 little girls in the raft alone. It seemed the entire area mobilized to catch that raft. Luckily a guide in a drift boat was able to catch up to the raft and nudge it to shore just above the 3rd ramp.

The rest of the day fished well. Off and on. Some on dries and some deep.

It was a great trip. Out best club fishout so far. Can’t wait to see what we do next!