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Berry crappy day...but good story!

1042 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  blackdog
Well, this report is a little late, as it happened Thursday, but hey better late then never right?
Alrighty, here goes it. So I have never been to Strawberry before (yea I know) because I have only lived here about 2 years and I live in Ogden (still no excuse). I had big plans, and set my alarm to go off at 5 am so I could be out the door by 5:20 and hit the water right at sun-up. So I get to bed around 10:30 with visions of big cutts dancing in my head as I feel asleep...

Fast forward...I wake up and look at my alarm clock and it's 7:15 :shock: What the hell happened!? So i sit on the edge of the bed and debate if it's even worth it to still make the 100 mile drive. The mental debate lasted about 10 seconds as I had been waiting for this trip all week. So, at 7:30, im at the McDonalds window and on the road. I hop on I-84 and debate whether or not I should just fly fish the Weber river instead, because the flows look perfect and it was calling to me as I drove past. Determined not to give into the temptation and press on on my mission, I drive past the Cement factory/Lost Canyon exit on I-84 and am absolutely horrified. The post I had read earlier in the week about the tap being completely shut off from below Echo was absolutely true! There were stretches of the river reduced to puddles. Here are a couple of pictures I snapped of the devastation...

Somehow I don't think this is what they had in mind when it comes to habitat restoration...

So after I get over being angry about zero flow from echo right as the browns are about to spawn, I actually reach the reservoir and see why it's shut off...its probably only 30-40% full.

to the right of the picture is normally all water

After blowing out the flows all summer at 500 cfs, there is little water left. But hey, I'm no water manager, I'm a fisherman and it doesn't make much sense to me.

So i finally reach the Hwy 40 exit, 40 more miles...ahhhh...always a beautiful site...

The sun is up and what a beautiful day. Like I said, this is my first trip to the berry, so I had no way of knowing where to fish. I had posted a help post a day prior and decided to take LOAH's advice and fish the ladders area. The night before I looked at a berry map and so when I reached the lake, of course I took the wrong turn at the visitor center and ended up at Mud Creek. So i figured Id just cast here:

After about 3 casts, i realized why it was called mud creek. Nothing but weeds and mud. I wanted no of this so I set off to find the ladders area. Finally, success. I haul all my gear to the waters edge and marvel in the fact that i'm the only one there.

I decide to rig up with a worm so I make my first cast into a clear, weed free area of the lake. I wasn't happy with the cast, so I start to reel in and recast and with my polarized glasses I spot the biggest cutt I have personaly every seen following the worm. My heart skips I beat as I pause my retrieve and watch the big trout suck the worm into its mouth. I set the hook like Bill Dance on crack but immediately had a huge problem. The rod that I had casted was my ultra-light reel, 4 lb test and someone forgot to set the drag...So, after a big 5-6 second fight, he was gone... :( Easily the biggest fish of the year for me was swimming away with a small hook in it's mouth, so if ya catch him, give him a kiss for me! Oh well, that was my first cast and I figured there had to be more where he came from so I re-rigged and threw out again. The pole started dancing as I was rigging my other rod with a tube bait. After the toughest fight of my life, I landed this lil beauty. :D

Ok, So it really wasn't a fight at all, but hey, I had my first fish. After 3 hours of throwing everything in my box, I had managed to land 14 fish, that all looked exactly like the above picture. Healthy 10-12" planter rainbows. :evil: Now i didn't drive 100 miles to pull out fish that I can catch at the local community pond. So, I did what any defeated fisherman who was after huge cutts would do... give up and go fish the Provo with the fly-rod!

So, I hop in the truck and backtrack 30 miles and reach the middle provo. it's a little windy, but the temp in my truck showed a nice 69 degrees. Perfect! I hop out and put my waders on and begin to rig my fly rod. I start stringing the line through the eyelets and get all the way to the top and realize I have a big problem. The very top piece of my fly rod is broken off! :evil: I shake my fly rod holder and sure enough, theres the broken piece! So, once again I do what any man would do in this situation...I start cussing and proceed to break the remaining sections of my $250 fly rod over my knee! Then, I remember the salesman saying, if your rod ever breaks, bring it back and we will repair or replace it for free. A little late now, as I would probably have a hard time explaining why my 4 piece rod is now a 32 piece. But it did pack away nicely in my empty McDonalds breakfast bag!

Good thing I keep a back-up rod in my truck toolbox. My first ever, $60 Scientific Atlantic 9' green machine fly-rod! Installing the reel on that beauty brought a tear to my eye, literally...
But hey, I was here and wasn't going to let inferior equipment stop me on my quest to catch some fish. So i hiked a good ways, and along the path I swear I could here other fisherman snickering at my choice of rod, but I ignored it and pressed on until I found my hole. I tossed my flash back pheasant tail into the water and watched my indicator go under and a few minutes later had this guy on...

and then this one...

and these...

I went on the catch quite a few and was very pleased by the way the provo was fishing. I did have a good 16-18 incher break me off when he took me into an undercut bank and found some sticks to wrap my line around. All in all, the fishing on the Provo made the end of the day much better. I caught a bunch of fish and realized, it's not the price of the fly rod that catches fish, it's how you use it it. I hope you guys enjoyed the story, cant wait till the next trip!
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Heck of a day. I feel your pain when it comes to alarm clock problems. They can take the best fishing of the day away from you. :x

I bet that big cutt from Strawberry left a nasty taste in your mouth. That sucks, man. At least you know he's in there, for now.

Glad you got to redeem yourself on the MP.

Good report!

Very nice report! Sounds like my Saturday had to toss the bugs on moving water, although that turned out better for you than my green river detour. Keep the posts comming!
Nice lookin report Cane, and good to hear you got into the fish! Sorry Mud Creek didnt treat you right, I really like it there, but then again I have never shore fished it. Condolences on the fly rod too, that sucks. But glad you redeemed yourself!
Great report. I cant believe what is happening with the Weber river watershed, and the sad thing is its not the only one that will suffer from apparent mismagment. Those MP browns should have made up for the drive and heartbreak at the berry.
Remember that view of Echo this winter as you watch the weather report on the nightly news and the stupid weather person is all giddy and happy because they're reporting the forecast of no snow in the next two weeks and it hasn't snowed in a month.

Mismanagement? Maybe, but I doubt it. Remember last winter and all that snow we got? I don't.

Saddly those resivors were built for irrigation and drinking water, not for our fishing pleasure.

PRAY FOR SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next time you go to Strawberry, try the Renagade area. I've always caught fish from shore during the fall over there.
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