"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." John Buchan

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May16th Jordan River Trip with Max

Jason, Guy and I had tried to plan a float tube trip today to go to Utah Lake, Willard, Deer Creek or Rockport...  Well due to the weather, specifically the winds, we bailed on that plan.  Seems things were just not meant to be as Jason got a late call that he could not be out of work today anyway and Guy and I ended up having some level of disruption today due to a power outage on campus affecting one of our data centers.

Well not letting a good day off go to waste, my impact from the power outage didn't come until late in the afternoon, I took Max, my youngest, fishing down to the Jordan River today.

We headed down to a spot near 106th south that we have fished before and setup on a nice spot with the water levels where they are.  We were able to get into the inside of a bend that let us have a few places to cast to without worry/issue of line tangles.

It only took a few minutes before Max's line started dancing.  I had intended to head over to help him watch the line and wait for a pull to set the hook.  Well I was busy tying on my line when the good pulls came so I told him to pick it up, set the hook and reel it in.  He did it all himself and did very well with it as you can see.

His first question after we put it on the chain was if he could eat this one for dinner tonight.  So as I'm typing this up I'm also grilling the catfish for his dinner.

We didn't get much else at this spot so we moved down the walkway along the river a 1/2 mile or so and setup there for a bit.  After nothing there we heading to the jeep to head down to a spot I've fished before at 126th south.  We ended up fishing a few spots there and found a spot I had not fished before that again put us on the inside elbow of a bend where we had a lot of spots to cast to.  Again only after a few minutes Max's line went dancing and he again brought another channel catfish in but the fish let go of the line right as we were trying to bring it up on the shore.

We stayed there until about 4pm and then called it good.  This was about the time work was starting to call on me to help out with the days power drama so it was a clean break time to head home.  Max is pretty proud of out fishing dad and that put a big smile on my face. :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

First float tube trip of 2013 (4/26 Provo Harbor, Utah Lake)

So aside from the ice fishing trip in January I've not been out fishing for way to long...  Jason felt much the same way, enough that we went fishing on the day he was supposed to attend his graduation commencement  and "walk".  Glad he had his priorities straight ;)...  Anyway he is now graduated and now much more "free" to pursue better things, though he (and I) ended up with the taint of the skunk smell for the days efforts...

We didn't really know much about the conditions to expect at Utah Lake this spring as the few reports that we had seen talked about lower water levels and with the weather the temps were cooler and varied a fair bit.  So I think we both just fell back to where we feel a level of comfort and that is Provo Harbor (poor choice that a few other reports that came from others on BFT as far as catching went) off the south side.

We didn't try to beat the sun to the water but we were not far behind.  We got setup and launched pretty fast and we both started the day throwing plastics and or spinners seeing what might be in the river channel as we crossed over to work the weed lines south.

It did not take long to find the first thing we underestimated... The effect of both a lower water level and what the ice sheets do to the weeds during ice off.  Specifically how the idea either folds over, breaks, or tears off the tops of the weeds so that when you think your casting into open water you end up catching WAY more then your limit of salad, snags and other forms of vegetation....

So after my fill of this I turned my craft west and headed out more to try my luck out at the area near the SW point of the outer harbor.  I setup one pole to drag some carp meat to try for some cats and kept the other pole running through various of my new spinner creations from this past winters lure craft efforts.  We kept in touch over the radios but aside from a few missed bites and or pop'n'drops neither of us managed to produce anything.  Well I did manage to pull in a 5' - 6' branch of some unfortunate tree, sure put a bend on my rod...  Funny how at times like that you take what joy you can and find a certain thrill from a stick... ;)  Well I think Jason had more fun laughing at me, but still...

Wind and weather worked out really well for us and regardless of the catching, or lack there of, it was a fun and very relaxing day to be out on the water.  A few more pics (from the new camera) and that's about it for this report...

Ice fishing Rockport Jan 25th 2013

So for a long time I've thought about Ice Fishing as a possibility but usual turn off my interest due to perceived costs of gearing up properly to be able to go.  Mostly I could look at the costs of augers, poles, sleds, and all of the other accessories that one might use and see it quickly add up for something that I might not find all that much fun....  Well I guess I had shared my thoughts a few times with my boss at work to the point that he one day said something along the lines of, "you know it doesn't take much more then an auger to go and those are not that much if you don't focus on the top brands"...  Well a few weeks later that turned into a comment from my boss along the lines of, "I'd be happy to share the cost of an auger with you"...  Then later to, "Hey I bought an auger over the weekend and no you have no more excuses"...  Well I guess I didn't.  So we made plans to hit up Rockport and give things a try.

I made a couple strike indicator tips to use on our 5'-6' long ultra light poles that were the best options we both had.  I simple took my wire I use to make spinners and made a loop about the size of the eye at the end of my poles.  Bent it at 90 degrees to act as an eye and then powder painted the eye and the last 2" of the indicator blaze orange.  I then used a stick of hot melt glue to make a "clamp" to attach the indicator to the pole.  Simply I cut a 3/4" piece and drilled a hole down lengthwise.  Then I cut through to this hold down one side again lengthwise so that it could open up like a "C" down the whole length.  I then took the end of the wire and pressed it into this modified piece of hot melt glue stick so that it went down the length at the back of the "C".  Now I just had to open up the "C" channel in the stick and let it grab and hold around the end of my pole.  This was really just a poor mans mockup of a product you can find in the stores...  But I made it and it worked well enough for us.

We both found a snow sled we had for our kids to use as our gears transportation.  They clearly were not the dream option but they worked well enough for our trial run at ice fishing.  I also modified up my fish finder so that I could use it from a small cooler I have that I also use from my small aluminum boat.  The big change was how the transducer clamped on so that I could clamp it to the cooler and then let the cooler sit next to an ice hole with the transducer down in the water.  This also worked pretty well.

So the way things worked out we didn't try to be there too early so that we would not have to deal with things being overly cool as well as we had seen reports that the morning bite might be later in the morning.  I think we got to the lake just before 11am and had picked and made our way down to the water by about 11:30am.  Reports had said that fish were in about 20' of water and we questioned if that meant the water was only 20' deep or if regardless of depth of the water the fish were only 20' down...  So we simply took inventory of the existing holes in the ice where other anglers had been in the days before.  We picked on far enough from a few other anglers on the ice but close enough that we could watch what others were doing and see if we could not learn a bit.

The fish finder marked fish every so often as they moved through under us and we started to have a few light hits.  The home made indicators proved very useful for seeing those light bites.  However we were both newbs when it came to being prepared to be on the mark to set the hook and we missed a good number of opportunities.  We ended up moving around a few more times getting closer to the shore and continued to see fish move through and a few light strikes here and there.  I managed one fair rainbow onto the hard deck to take home cleaning the smell of skunk from at least myself... ;)

I think we headed off the water sometime before 3pm.  The edges where clearly softer then when we had come out in the morning and the value of waterproof boots and a bit of a jump helped get out without too much trouble.  The sleds proved to be less optimal for the trip back up the hill to the vehicle as we both had a spill or two on the way up but we made it regardless.  Either better sleds or a better tie down setup is needed to keep things on the sled.  Here are a few pics of the trip:

In the end I'm very interested in doing this again and owe that to Guy for being bold enough to just buy the auger and leave me with little/no reason not to give it a try.  I've already picked up some closeout poles from Cabela's to use next year.  That was mostly because in the end the most annoying thing was using to long of a pole over the ice holes.  Well second to that would be needing better pole holders then just trying to prop your poles over your  sled and above the ice hole.  So I figure I'm ready to see how this might pan out over time.