Saturday, December 31, 2011

This Kid Rules

One of the first lessons we have to learn on our pathway to good fisherdom is the almighty "hook set."  I was so proud to see my son consistently setting the hook on fish.  We made the trip to Mackay Reservoir to chase some kokanee, and maybe even some trout, through the ice.  The kokes came out to play, but there was no love from the trout.  Will was an animal.  He was jigging his own pole, setting the hook on, and landing his own fish!  There were a few times when I would turn around and be surprised to see him reeling in a fish.  This kid is 4 YEARS OLD, and he has already started to develop some fishsense.

Here is a glimpse of Will's awesomeness...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Henry's Before Closing

I was up by 5am and on the road around 5:30.  There is something magical about witnessing a sunrise, whether you are driving or fishing.  So many people go through life without enjoying this beautiful, shifting, myriad of colors.  Both the sunrise AND the sunset were amazing that day. 

Henry's lake definitely slows down toward the end of December, but the fishing was still good.  We managed a bunch of smaller brookies, a few decent cuts and a few awesome brookies.  It was nice to meet up with Jared and his brother.  I only hope we did not keep him away from the family too long!

When I was cleaning the brookies I took home, I was surprised to see how many minnows they had been eating! NOM NOM NOM!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2 Fish Caught Twice

Hit the Teton for a bit today.  Could not buy a bite for the first while.  Eventually midges started popping off.  Though, I had to do some searching before I could find any active fish.  When I did find them it was a productive hole.  I enjoyed just sitting and watching the fish rise, and rise again.  I sat there trying to guess their size and whether they were a cut, a bow, or a whitefish.

Here's a brief clip where one cut came right up to the bank where I was sitting.  I must have been there long enough for it to think I was part of the landscape.

I'm pretty sure that I caught the following bows both twice.  I cannot say that I have ever had that happen before.  I do not think my camera worked right the first time I was trying to photograph the bow without front fins.  I thought I was going to be skunked today, until I found this spot.

This bow had a wacky mouth, and I wish I'd gotten a better shot of it, but the fins made it easy to recognize the second time it was caught.

This cut shows the infamous parasite that plagues the Teton River.  It sure uglies up a beautiful fish.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hardcore At 4

After some persuasive discussions, Bita said I could take William to Henry's while she did a bit of black friday shopping.  So, after going to bed far too late, or should I say early, I got up to my 4:45am alarm and pulled myself together.  I had gone upstairs to make sure our food was good to go and then came back downstairs to see Will standing right outside his door.  He said, "Dad, I'm not sleepy anymore."  Think he was excited to go?  Jared came by and we were on the road by 5:30.

Will was a trooper the whole day, even when he was clearly cold or tired.  He was on the verge of devastation when we moved from our first location on the lake to find one with a bit more solitude.  Fortunately he was comforted when we assured him it was not time to head home yet.  I was so glad to get Will out and after some big fish.  It definitely wasn't a numbers day, but I was trying to catch something so much better, my sons happiness. 

Will was practicing his catch and release skills.

Jared with one of the pretty cuts he nabbed.

I could not ask for a better fishing buddy.  He is a hardcore fisherman in the making.  I look forward to many fishing trips with him in the future.  Some of the happiest memories I have from my childhood were fishing trips with my father. 

And a special thanks to Jared for his patience and company.  We were lucky to have him along, especially since he is normally in California.  We'll get that huge brookie that got away another day.  No, really, I fought him up to the hole and then he managed to spit the hook.  True story. (As if we ice fishermen never say that.) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A New Season Begins

It's here, early ice on Henry's Lake.  Fishing is always stellar just after the lake first caps, but it can be a bit sketchy with newly formed ice.  Today we trekked a fair distance to a secluded section of the lake, using a pick axe along the way to check the thickness.  The area we traversed and fished, as far as we could tell, was a uniform 3 to 4 inches thick.  However, there was an annoying 2 inches of slush/water on the ice where the fishing was good.  We ended the day with plenty fish brought to hand, and our boots full of water.  Didn't see that coming, fortunately it was a remarkably warm day.  We didn't even set up the Quickfish 6 until the afternoon, which we only did for a place to bask in extra comfort. 

All in all it was an awesome kick off to the ice fishing season.  The only bad part is that I have so little time to get away to fish it when it's hot.  I have a 7:45am chemistry class to thank for that. 

Cutties, hybrids, and brookies... oh my!

There is something about watching the fish and seeing the take that gets your adrenaline going.  I wish I had gotten it on video but I was a bit preoccupied.  We are pretty spoiled to have ice fishing shelters that are so easy to set up and portable.

 Nothing beats the pattern of a brookies back.  It's almost primal.

The sun setting to an excellent day.  I can't wait to get my 4yr old on the ice and hooked into some Henry's goodness.  It will be soon, I will MAKE time for it to happen, even if chemistry has to take the backseat for the day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Good Ugly

On my way home from school today I thought I would say hello to a couple friends.  I thought I would drop them a line.  Quite literally.  This time of year when I think of targeting angry spawning brown trout, words like "big" "nasty" and even sometimes "ugly" come to mind.  I'm not sure why, because I find these trout beautiful in their honey tones and proud black and red spots.  I suppose it has something to do with how aggressive they can be, or maybe its something I associate with those unfortunate fish that get sick because their immune systems are down.  Josh and I saw a few fuzzy fungified fish the other day on the South Fork, all of which would have aggressively bent a rod in their prime.

Ugly they may be in attitude, but for the healthy ones its a good ugly.  It's one to start up a symphony only I can hear in my mind, when they grab my fly and the fight begins.

There's something gratifying about setting into a beastly brown with your 3wt and feeling powerless.  It's one of those situations where you set the hook and the thought comes, "what now?"  Then you get to enjoy the ride.

Got a spunky bow in the mix.

I know God must be a fisherman, because fish seem to be one of those living canvases that he chose to spend a bit more time on.

This whitefish gets honorable mention, mostly because of how FAT he was.  I have caught some decent sized white fish, but the girth on this guy has to be a personal topper.

Monday, November 21, 2011

South Fork and some more Between Class

Josh and I decided to take a crack at the South Fork over by Heise for a bit today.  The river in that stretch has changed considerably!  Certain areas of the river that used to be good feeding and holding lies are now part of the main channel.  We fishermen need to be like the rivers we fish, adaptable and willing to follow the flow.  I'm still no streamer fisherman.  I simply lack the "feel" for it, but I'm trying to "be the river."  After spending the better of the time unsuccessfully lobbing a beastly black streamer with my sinking line, I decided to switch to a nymph rig with my floating line.  Using a brown rubber legs with a black midge dropper I was able to coax a couple little cuts onto the line.

We worked our way back down river for a bit fishing our nymphs.  No love with those setups.  Fortunately we happened onto a school of fish heavily feeding on midges, just on a riffle drop off.  It was pretty awesome watching them come up and smash unseen midges on the surface.  We tied on a couple small midge patterns and missed a load of fish before any were hooked.  I managed to hook a few, but before Josh could hook up they stopped feeding.  The wind had picked up a bit, which seems the most likely reason.  Here is a couple shots of a hybrid I was fortunate enough to hook on that tiny hook.

I recently had a bit of time between my classes and decided to scratch the itch at a little spot over by St. Anthony.  Managed a few little picture worthy browns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun Farm

Fished the fun farm area just above St. Anthony today for a couple hours.  Nothing special, but thought I'd throw up the few pictures we took.

Josh stuck this healthy bow.  It clobbered his clouser.

Josh was also pretty excited about breaking in his new fishing net. 

On a hotwire nymph.

Not the behemoth we were seeking, but still fun to catch.  I've been experimenting with a fast sinking line.  It's a bit tricky to get the feel for it, and I'm still undecided on whether or not I feel it improves my streamer fishing.  I guess I'll just have to test it out more, which means more fishing, DARN.

A Coveted Monster Brown

My favorite part is his netting technique!

Matt Heron Reels in a Gigantic Brown Trout from Filmed In Tahoe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3WT Neglect

I had a couple hours between my classes yesterday.  As I sat there in my car having an internal conversation with myself about whether I should utilize it for study, I noticed my 3wt rod staring at me with a forlorn look.  So off I headed to a couple close by places to see if I could help that little 3wt rod feel a bit less neglected.  I took along the kodak playsport to see if I could film some takes.  Nothing special, by my 3wt no longer feels useless.  I would only watch the first one if you are REALLY bored.  And you might want to turn the background music down on part 1, it got mixed up a bit on the last third of the video.  Skip to the second video if you want to skip to the good stuff.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Last Soft Water Henrys Lake Trip

I played hookie.  I admit it, to the chagrin of my wife.  She is always kind enough to give me "the look" when I consider skipping out on my classes.  All I can say is, I'm so glad I did!  I only wish I could make it out one more time, but unfortunately midterms have me tied down.  Blah.  Well here are the goods from what appears to be my last trip to Henry's lake in its liquid form this year.

The lunge netting technique
Josh's beautiful cut
Looking at this pic just reminded me... when we first arrived at this spot we had a crusty old codger try and convince us that the fishing that day was an "exercise in futility."  Those were his exact words.  He was clearly trying to discourage us from fishing this area, and at this particular time.  When I tried to be kind and chat a bit about the change in water temperature, he talked in a condescending way and acted as if I had no idea.  He took off just before the show started though.  I sure would have loved to have seen his face when we started sticking fish after fish.

Josh's net was just a bit too small for Henrys.  Those fish didn't like staying in it too much.
My wife is so good to me, despite her "look" she is always supportive of my love for fishing, and I can tell that she is glad that I enjoy it so much, even when she doesn't think it's the best idea to skip a class.  Love you honey!