Can't Win 'Em All

Pretty place to playSo great to get out this weekend with my brother-in-law Courtney from Zip Dog Fishing (check out his blog) to hit some rivers in his neck of the woods.  Up and out the door at 6:30 we found the Logan still in the clutches …

Pretty place to play
So great to get out this weekend with my brother-in-law Courtney from Zip Dog Fishing (check out his blog) to hit some rivers in his neck of the woods.  Up and out the door at 6:30 we found the Logan still in the clutches of winter. I started out throwing a bugger while Court was trying his luck with a nymph, and I changed over to try my luck with one after finding the trout mostly unresponsive. We came up on a moose and the remains of a small avalanche, but not many fish. Anyone who has been out with me in the winter knows that I usually don't let cold get in my way, but this was ridiculous. I couldn't feel whether I was touching my tippet or not, and once the shivering set in I knew it was time to get out of the shade. While we both managed fish on this first stretch, the cold and lack of consistent action sent us looking for greener pastures. 

Maybe not the best place to fish....
But all's well that ends well

This guy looks like he's been caught before. Quite the mug shot.

The second stretch let us fish in the sun and we found more willing fish here, but it still wasn't quite what we were hoping for. I did shoot a little video (the wife says it's the most boring video, ever) of Court hooking and playing a nice white fish. 


I like white fish. They tend to be heavy, they fight pretty good, and they release the same as trout (or, according to some, they taste really good if you smoke 'em. I haven't tried it, just passing on rumors). I know a lot of fishermen look down on them, but I don't really get it. They look kinda like grayling without the big fin. They can be pretty in a non-showy, meant for business sort of way and they can literally save you from getting a skunking in the winter. 

The sun sure felt good
Anyway, about mid-day we decided to head on over and try our luck on the Blacksmith Fork. The first stretch started out great with me hooking into a couple browns and missing another. Then it just shut off. We tried everything we could, but just couldn't get anything consistent going until I started seeing a couple rising fish. A quick setup change and I was into a nice cutt that evaded the net. Court got a brown to hand and things were looking up.

Mid afternoon temps were up into comfortable range and the fish kept feeding on (and near) the top. First hole on a new section saw several missed hook-sets, which is hilarious to watch and frustrating to experience. The second hole provided us with more dry fly action and the beginning of getting back into the groove of setting the hook. Most fish took confidently and I simply had to remember to just tighten the line. Quickly...not hard...but still firm....unless he takes it differently.....not too tough right? Anyway, one fish (out of many in the area) decides that he doesn't like my Parachute B.W.O, or the Emerger, or the floating nymph, or seemingly anything else. I even gave him these options in different sizes. All the other fish liked them just fine, but this guy would come up within a 1/2 inch to look at the fly before slowly turning away. I had to fool hi m. So, I throw on a B.W.O. Dun with an upright feather wing. First cast he takes it hard and fast, and I miss him like an idiot. Oh well, "You can't win 'em all".

These cutts have the craziest eyes!
Just as quickly as the dry fly action began, it ended and I finished the day dredging up a couple more fish with a stonefly nymph. Great start to my spring break and hopefully the first of many days with some dry fly action. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder




Warm Ice

We were up at 6 and out the door 11 minutes later, so yeah, we might’ve been excited. It’s always great when you can get out fishing, but it’s even better when you can get out with someone you enjoy fishing with. My Bro-In-Law Courtney from Zip Dog Fis…



We were up at 6 and out the door 11 minutes later, so yeah, we might've been excited. It's always great when you can get out fishing, but it's even better when you can get out with someone you enjoy fishing with. My Bro-In-Law Courtney from Zip Dog Fishing is definitely a fisherman. Meaning he's someone that will go no matter what, in pursuit of whatever, and understands why we call it 'fishing' and not 'catching'. This makes him an enjoyable person to fish with, and the fact that he's family doesn't hurt either. 


We arrived on the ice at Fish Lake in Southern Utah at about 8:00 in the morning, and after wondering about the sketchy looking ice, we were quickly set up. The first hole drilled showed about 10 feet of water to the top of the weed bed, and Court started trying his luck there. I drilled mine about 6 feet away, but a more towards the middle of the lake, and found about 15 feet of water. Quickly I was into fish while Court was struggling to buy strikes. Instead of changing rigs/bait/presentation he changed location to a similar depth and quickly started hammering the Bows. It was near constant action for a mixed bag of Perch, Bows and I even hooked into a couple of Splake.

Court with one of many of his Bows

Good to see some Splake

With the good fishing I felt confident that I would find some success with my newly acquired tip-up but I've definitely got some learning to do before this thing really starts paying off for me. I tried drilled a couple of different holes, and tried a couple of different rigs, but no fish wanted to play. Oh well, you can't have everything (though this trip we came pretty dang close).


Look at that ice!
I don't consider myself a wussy on the ice. In fact, there's been many times when I've wanted to stay even if others are spooked out there. But when the sun was up and temps were rising the sketchy ice was looking scary. Even so, we were sticking it out till a huge pop, crack, and shift in the ice had us packing in about 2 seconds. There was no discussion, no possibility of staying, we were gone. 

Once back at the truck we weighed our options. We thought about hitting the reportedly safer ice on the south end of the lake, but the crowds were really starting to look thick. So instead we decided to hit another lake not too far away in hopes of hooking into some nicer fish. Both of us understood that fishing probably wouldn't be as fast at the new lake, but we'd already caught enough fish to declare the trip a success anyway.

Now you've got to understand, I'm a fish nerd. When I'm not getting out I'm tying flies, building rods, and reading blogs/reports. So heading to this next lake wasn't a complete shot in the dark seeing as how I'd been reading how others were finding success here. When our first holes didn't produce in about 27 feet of water we knew that finding the right depth was more important than finding a magic jig or bait. A couple of holes later we found the 12-13 foot depth and the catching was on. Not fast fishing by any stretch of the imagination, but the size of trout definitely made it worth the wait.








After a couple of hours we each had caught some nice fish and it was time to make our way back home. Can't help but wonder how good the fishing would have been if we'd have started at the second lake, but we'll never really know. All we can do is make more plans to take advantage of the ice while it's here, and pull out the kick boats once it's gone. Hope you can get out and enjoy the water.

- Kidder