Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,000 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted another stab at a big cutthroat from the berry before it gets really cold up there, so I packed up the tube, waders, cooler, blah, blah, blah into the car last night to make sure I could leave early this morning.

The alarm went off at 4:30am and I got some food and coffee in my system for a full day of solo fishing (Ahhh, just me and the water). Someone hit my lag button and I ended up hanging around the house until 6:20. :shock:

I pulled up to the dam at around 7:30 and was confronted by the same tough decision I always end up facing on these solo trips of mine: Pump up the tube now or go down to check the shoreline first?

I've always wanted to float there, but that shoreline looked so inviting and if I pumped up the tube, someone might have pulled up and I would've missed my chance to be first to the water. I like to be first because I can get a minnow on my rod and I can look for those big guys. If I let someone else down there before me, they might see the big one first and scare it off by throwing powerbait at it or something. :lol:

What a predicament. Crazy human. :|

So I left the tube in the car (again) and ran to the shoreline with my minnow. The other rod had a fly/bubble set up with a Parachute Adams (it worked so well at Scofield, I had to test my luck here).

Once I got down to the water, I couldn't see any fish so I took a stroll along the Eastern shore in hopes of finding that cruiser. I came upon the spot where I missed a good one last time and decided to toss out for posterity.

First cast and within a few seconds, there was a slight ripple on the surface and my line was pulling out. I got a video of the whole process, but upon review, I opted not to post it. It would've been a great video if it weren't for the excessive plumber's crack staring right at the camera while I handled the fish. :oops: Strange, I didn't even notice a draft. :lol:

So it's a good thing I took a regular "norge-free" pic of the catch:



Unfortunately, it taped out at a mere 21". :cry: Back into the water it went and my quest would continue.

I decided to hike the shoreline as far back as I could without rock climbing. The water is still pretty high this year, so I ended up getting the feet wet to get to the spot I used to hit with an old buddy. Many good fish came from that spot...Even during a full moon all nighter.

I got there and didn't see anything so I started throwing out the fly. Nothing. Some time passed and I finally saw a really big rainbow swimming around in the depths. It was an easy 22 or more inches (even though there's no slot on bows...still nice) and my minnow dropped into the middle of the cove. A couple jerks of the line sent some flash from the shiner and the big bow took notice. It swam up and circled a couple of times as my knees started to tremble. And then it gave my minnow the shrug and swam off. :evil: Even though it wasn't a cutt, it would've made my day, but my quest was perpetuated further.

My minnow got all roughed up on the jagged rocks, so I needed to go and get a replacement from the tackle box about 20 yards away. About 5 feet away from it, I stopped in my tracks. Just off the shore was a massive cutt cruising slowly. It was definitely out of the slot and here I was without my rig ready. :x I couldn't move, either. I didn't want to spook it. As soon as it passed by, I grabbed a minnow and put it on the hook as fast as possible. By the time I turned around, the giant cutt had vanished. O|* I even ran the shoreline in the direction it was traveling, but it must have made a detour. Finally, I just threw out to where I thought (hoped) it might be. Nothing.

So in a 10 minute span, I had 2 golden opportunities and was squashed by both. Grrrr.

I decided not to be negative though. At least I had all day to fish and whatever happened next would be welcomed with a good attitude. (Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.)

A little while later, I scored a 17" cutt and released it.



Then I had another dry spell of about an hour and a half until I caught a 17.5" cutt that was a bit heftier than the previous:



When I was reeling it in, I thought I was seeing double. There was another fish of about the same size swimming next to it and mimicking its every move. It stayed right by its side until I got it within reach. Crazy. I've never seen anything like that.

As soon as I released that one, I had one on my other rod.



19" and sturdy. Back to the water.

So I caught 4 nice fish at Strawberry and I felt good about that, but I didn't have any fish to bring home for dinner. It was 3:00 in the afternoon and I kissed Strawberry Reservoir goodbye.

Now I was off to the spill bowl below the dam with my Blue Fox! :twisted: I was excited to catch some brookies and browns and take a couple home. At least there was no slot here.

I brought 2 rods down so I wouldn't have to switch gear. I figured that my Blue Fox on one rod and a Rapala on the other would be all I needed.

I tossed away, switched rods and tossed some more, but couldn't get anything to grab on. I was used to slamming the brookies that hang out there, but I couldn't provoke a strike.

Finally, I crossed to the other side and tried my luck there. That basin is so deep and the current is very strange. I decided to flip the spinner directly into the wash and let it sink/tumble for a few seconds before retrieving. As soon as I felt the current hit my lure, I got a solid hit and pulled in this acrobatic brown:



It wasn't huge, but perfect for a frying pan. It was fun to watch it get a couple of feet off the surface and flip while fighting me. It didn't have a lot of force, but like I said...acrobatic. Very cool.

A really thick hatch of tiny gnats turned on and it almost seemed like it was snowing with all the action in the air. I was surprised that I didn't see more fish rising, but there were a few ripples here and there. One was especially noteworthy. We'll call him "Chief". I saw him rise and his ripple was immense. I decided to stalk him. I got down really low in the weeds and snuck up to the area he was in. I cast out and placed the spinner perfectly.

"C'mon Chief. Bite it. Bite it."

Then I felt the bump and saw the ripple in the water and he swam away. I swear he just swat it with his tail to mess with me. I guess they don't always get that big by just being hungry. Chief was wise to spinners, apparently. Next time, Chief. _O\

Can y'all tell I haven't had much sleep? *\-\*

Anyhow, after my episode with Chief, I went back and picked up another feisty brown just a tad smaller than the other:



Once again, the Blue Fox feeds me. 8)

It was getting dark (it does this so early now!) and I figured the long walk back to the car would be best before too long, so I head back and drove home.

I guess I still have unfinished business at the berry and now the river. :lol: Maybe I can still make it back before it ices up. Until then, there are other places available.

Happy Fishing, Humans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Sounds like a great day. 8)

Bring on the ICE. :twisted:

I probably won't make it up there again until then. If you don't mind using a minnow threw the ice we should plan a trip. I have snowmobiles and a hut so we won't have to walk and we will be warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,000 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sure thing. Maybe your "huge fish karma" will rub off on me. :p Although the thought of riding a snowmobile on top of deep water kind of freaks me out. -)O(-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Looks like a decent day at the berry LOAH good job. Those are some nice cuttys, too bad you didnt get any outta the slot. The browns look good, I have never fished the river coming out, but I have heard good things. Try a minnow through the ice, you wont be disappointed 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
I was up there too....We got on the water about 7:45 from Renegade....caught 3 right off the bat...ended up with 18 fish between 19" and 20"...DANG...caught 2 that were right over 21" but none over 22"...all in all, we caught 24...was a great day at the Berry..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
I just bought a boat...so, your welcome to come along anytime I can get away...I always need someone else to help pay for gas and spell me on driving the boat.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top