Archive for January, 2012

Winter Fishing 2012

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

January 2nd-
I met up with Joe at 10 am. Another calm, clear day awaited. Water temps were 36-40 and air temps were 45-50 degrees. Fishing was slow for hours until Joe got hammered and snagged into the bottom after a short battle with a big fish.  I got the skunk of with a Bow and and then a small Brown. The fish wouldn’t bite again till 4:30 pm . I got another 20 inch Brown, Joe also caught a small brown and lost another right next to the boat.

Jan 7th
Hit it with Brandon and joe.. Fishing was slow water temps are cold 36-37 degrees. Weather is still too nice, even thought it was kind of stormy in the morning a wind whipped up and blew out the clouds. We caught 4 Browns and  bow between 3 of us from 10am t0 6pm -biggest fish was joe’s 22 incher

Jan 14th
Blues skies but the fishing turned out being pretty good. Brandon and I caught 8 browns and a lil bowski. Fish were a little deeper and wanted shinny looking silver bellies. The  biggest fish was  4-5 lbs and fooled me into thinking he was much, much bigger. Its always funny and exciting to get you heart pumping and imagining all different type of scenarios that could play out.

Jan 15th
A storm had blown in dumped a little snow and was still BLOWING I fished solo for 3.5 hr for 1 lil Brown.

Jan 20th
I got a call from a guy I met on  the lake, who has been fishing my lake a bunch. So I figured we better meet and go trolling . Its always nice to show up and hop right in a boat  without dealing with hauling it and launching. Chris aka “ Fishnut” and I have a lot in common, plus he has a sweet boat and  a good attitude. The conditions were good but it was almost too calm.  I caught a nice 25.5 inch hookjaw with a blue cheek .

The next fish hit hard and was acting a lot more powerful than the 25.5 inch. After a short battle and some dancing around the bow of the boat, the Brown came up from the depths. Straight up and as chris and I looked down we both got exited at the sight of a trophy fish . Every foot it got closer, it lost a pound in weight. It went from 10 pounds to 5 pounds fast!! .It was a nice chunky hen that fooled me into thinking she was twice her size. It was a fun adrenaline rush as Chris and I practiced our moves for the next big one. We trolled till dark but got no more bites.

Jan 21st
There was a storm blowing in . There was no snow but lots of wind and clouds when we launched at 9am. By 9:05 it was snowing hard and the wind was ripping  15 mph. We fished a few calmer coves and each caught a little 17 inch browns. I caught a 20 inch Cutthroat  and then we started to head back because the snow was really accumulating. On the way back I hooked into  a nice 23 inch Brown to wrap up the day.

Brandon and I were covered in snow. It snowed 6 inches in 4 hours.

Jan 22nd
The storm was gone and blue skies were back. I tried a different lake hopping for a big hookjaw. I had to break a little ice from the ramp before launching. From 9-10 am I caught 4 browns. The biggest was a chunky 21 incher.  I also shook off 4 lil Bows. I marked some fish deeper but nothing wanted to eat. I left at 1pm.

Jan 27th
I fished real quick with Nielsen from 12-3 pm. I caught a 23 inch brown and we caught a few Bows, Skies were blue water temp is 33- 35 degrees.

Jan 28th
Launched my boat in the dark alone and started to motor out on the lake. There was some thin ice I broke at the boat ramp but as I headed out on the lake the ice was getting  thicker and thicker. Once there was some light I could see I was breaking ice on a lake that was 100 percent iced over.

No much room to troll so I turned around and left for my other lake.
At 8 am I launched alone and trolled my way thru the skim ice. Half of this lake was freshly frozen too and my trolling spots were limited. I caught one small Bow before calling it at noon.

Advertisements

Fall fishing Part 3

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

December 17th
A few of our lakes froze up on Tuesday and we were planning to hit them one last time,  so we changed plans and went for plan D.
A lake we know has had huge Browns in the past..but the problem is is every time we try there its slow.. or we catch lots of small fish.!! We gave it another shot mainly cause the weather was crap. High Pressure blue skies no wind. I know the fishing on my home lake would be tough so why not switch it up?/ eeehh same old same old.. One small Brown and one Bow is all Brandon and I caught in 6 hours.


December  18th
back to our lake but it was slow.. we only got 2 bites. One each-a 4.5 pound Brown and a nice 20 inch Cut.

December 21st
A storm was in the forecast so I made sure to be out on the lake at 9 am. It has been more than a week since we has a cloudy day. The Browns usually love to eat on cloudy days .  Well it was cloudy and windy. cold as hell..but then it would get sunny then cloudy.. damn they weren’t biting…until 10:45 when I got slammed and broke off by a good feeling fish- right after that I got 2 nice 20-21 inch Browns. Brandon joined me at 12:45 but at 5 pm we were done and nothing else happened. I think the unstable/ inconsistent weather was a factor.

December 23rd.
I saw the lake begin to Ice up so .. I went out for a few hours after work. By the time I got back with my boat the ice had melted off because the weather was sunny and clear.  Eventually a wind came out of the north and the fishing was slow till the late afternoon I caught a 20 inch Brown and lost 2 others. I was getting small bumps now and then.

December 24th-
It was a New Moon Brandon and I trolled the lake from 9-3. It was blues skies high pressure hardly and wind . Brandon caught 3 Browns and a Cutty. I managed 2 Browns- One of them was really colorful and orange. Plus all the Browns we caught today were skinny. Perhaps the New Moon signals the end to their Spawn and the start of eating again before winter really sets in.

December 29th-
With a lame storm finally hitting us, I thought Thursday would be good to fish in the afternoon. I met Brandon at the ramp at 12:45 and we trolled till 6. That storm blew out as soon as we launched and for the rest of the day we had mostly blue skies- I missed 3 hits and we each landed a Brown 20 and 22 inches.

December 31st-
I was the first boat on and off the Lake in 2011- That’s 5 years now I have been able to accomplish that. It pays off too.  Water temps are 37-40 degrees, it was another beautiful” Fall October day”. uugghh no snow or clouds anywhere in the forecast..it was now officially the driest December on record . Brandon and Nielsen were fishing while I drove them around the lake  After slow success we switched things up and Brandon hooked a good fish- it was a good fight that stayed deep – @ 27 inches 6 pounds it was his longest  Brown Trout out my lake! and  his biggest of 2011. Nielsen was up next and hooked another quality Brown 24 inches and thick. The Afternoon slowed down as any clouds we had blew out, after 2 more small Browns we headed home to Celebrate the New Year!

Fall Fishing 2011 part 2

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

November 25th-

The plan was to start fishing at 8am with my fishing partner, Brandon, but after tossing and turning, I got up and fished solo a few hours earlier.  I launched the boat and made a few unsuccessful passes while remembering the words of legendary angler Ray Johnson, author of Big Trout, one of my favorite books. “The first important thing to know before trying to catch trophy-sized brown trout is that THEY ARE NOCTURNAL; and if you want to catch very many of them, you will HAVE TO IN THE DARK”.  After years of experience, I know brown trout don’t always bite early at this particular lake but I began to doubt myself and wished at this point I had been out a few hours before sunrise.

8:05 am and as Brandon walked down the boat ramp, he called his shot like Babe Ruth. “One of us is catching a 12 pound brown today”, he chuckled as he threw his fishing gear in my boat. “12 pounds?” I replied. “No, I want one 13 pounds ha-ha”.  Actually, I was just hoping to get a few browns to bite. It had been almost a week since the last good bite and I was starting to worry why the best month of the year was so slow? We started off trolling the lake and catching a few smaller rainbows, cutthroats and browns. At 11am our friend Joe joined us. It was slightly overcast with dead calm winds. Joe caught two quick rainbows and then the bite shut off completely. At noon the wind slowly started to blow from the North, by 2 o’clock it was now officially windy.

No bites for several hours. Brandon and Joe were switching up their lures while I kept on my same hand-painted lure. I had a gut feeling it would attract the big brown I was hoping for. Just before we called it quits I relocated the boat and trolled down the windiest side of the lake. Then as my lure crossed the 1st point it stopped hard and ripped a few times powerfully back towards the bank. I leaned away from the fish and grunted at its power. The wind was blowing us back towards a snag-littered shoreline.  My heart sank when I looked back and saw my line heading straight between two partially submerged trees. The boat needed to be turned out into deeper water fast. Brandon frantically cleared his line and steered us away from the shore.  The feeling of this powerful surging fish got me thinking back on the last 6 years I have spent persistently fishing for trophy brown trout.

A wise old fisherman once told me, “To catch big brown trout, persistence is key.” He also said, “If you catch one DON’T TELL ANYBODY.” Actually that wise old man was my Dad and several Brown Bagger members. The Brown Baggers is a fishing club founded in 1974 by legendary angler, lure designer, and record holder, Allan Cole. Members are dedicated to catching trophy browns.

Salmo Trutta, also known as brown trout are known to be the smartest and weariest of the trout species, especially when they inhabit big deep bodies of water such as lakes and reservoirs.  Catching a double-digit fish is either a great accomplishment or just dumb luck. But through the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s Allan Cole along with other club members Richard Reinwald, Jim Bringhurst, John Hofferd and Ron Carey reeled in some of the biggest brown trout ever caught in the Western United States. Since 1974 The Brown Baggers have caught over 485 browns over 10 pounds, including numerous State and World Records.

I joined the Club in 2009 by catching my two browns both over 10 pounds and each from the west coast. It was a goal I set for myself back in 2006. The goal was to get into the Club before I turned 30 in 2011 and it was not an easy task. I fished my butt off to accomplish it.  But it was after catching those two fish, that I really started learning a lot. I was now officially “in the club” and connected to some of the best brown trout fisherman from the past four decades. A wealth of information and locations were thrown in my lap and I was like a sponge soaking up every detail.

One of the things I learned is gearing up with the right equipment is vital. A reliable engine that starts and continues to run in the coldest temperatures and a solid boat that allows me to fish in wind-chopped waters is crucial because that’s when the big fish bite. In addition, I use a stiff, sensitive, 7-foot rod. With this, I can feel how well my lure is running and the smallest taps or bites. Also, my reel is a fast 6:3:1 gear ratio that holds a significant amount of line. I fish a lot in freezing temperatures so if my reel seizes up from the cold my day is ruined.  Most importantly, I enjoy having a good fishing partner slash “Net Man” out on the lake with me. Spending time on the water with good company makes those long, slow days of fishing possible.

In addition to having the proper gear, I also learned to keep a very close watch on weather, air temps, water temps, cloud accumulation, other anglers’ techniques, seasonal bites and ice conditions. Once all these conditions are perfect I’m on the lake, fishing smart and fishing hard. Knowing the right locations and right times of year to fish is another advantage. Here’s some advice that I now live by.  Find a lake with BIG browns CLOSE to your home because you will be spending many days, weeks and sometimes years chasing a trophy. The closer you are equals more time on the water.

Local knowledge is also very important. I regularly talk with my local biologist, fish hatcheries and Game wardens and check for updates on fishing reports through state websites and various fishing forums. I also exchange phone number with guys I see out on the lake targeting browns and call them on days I can’t fish so they can be my eyes and ears on the water. I feel gathering as much info as possible about a lake is crucial. For starters, since my target is trophy browns I don’t fish lakes that don’t have the potential for big browns. Also, water temperatures, weather patterns, lure size, lure colors, water depths are all variables I constantly evaluate in my head year after year. I’ve asked questions about these variables to experienced brown trout fisherman like: Mike Nielsen, Allan Cole and Brad Stout and after great advice, suggestions and motivation, I gained confidence in a few specific trolling techniques, lures and lakes.

With this knowledge, I decided to target a lake within ten miles of my house in Utah. It was known for its trophy brown trout, some weighing over 20 pounds. After fishing that body of water for 6 years plus, I started noticing: patterns, trends and seasons that were by far better than others.  So now when I fish there I fish smart and I fish at the right times, but I always remember that old voice in my head saying,  “Persistence is key”, so I fish A LOT. Some days I will be driving in one direction doing something completely different then after noticing the conditions are perfect, I change plans, grab the boat and go. Other days I go stir crazy, sitting at work checking fishing reports and web cameras, over and over 5 to 6 times a day. Knowing that the big browns are biting and I am missing it is PAINFUL. I spend so much time focused on brown fishing that my wife, family and co-workers think it’s an obsession. When the conditions feel right or when I am fishing a new lake that I know holds monsters it makes me physically sick. I’ll get so nervous and anxious, my bowels start churning uncontrollably. So, maybe it is an obsession? It’s definitely more than a hobby but honestly, it feels like I hardly get to fish enough.

For more than a half-century, since Browns were transplanted into America from European waters, they have stirred up and created more drama than any other freshwater species. On the west coast each year boat ramps and Internet fishing forums turn into Soap Operas. People will lie, cheat and fight for a chance at a trophy brown and I’ll admit it, I am a true brown trout junkie. Nothing gets me more anxious, excited and nervous then browns do. So that day on the lake with my fishing buddy, Brandon and friend Joe with a potential big brown on my line, my heart pumped faster than ever as I battled the heavy mystery fish.

As Brandon steered the boat trying to avoid the snag-covered bank, suddenly, my line got heavy and the fish stopped fighting. Despite Brandon’s efforts, I was snagged between the two submerged trees. I’ve been in this situation before and I’ve always lost or broke the fish off but I wasn’t going to let that happen this time. We switched angles and drove back towards the bank. As the boat came around I felt something popped. I thought my 10# test line had snapped but as I reeled fast to get the slack out, I felt the awesome power of the fish again.  It was making a big run into deeper water and I could feel the force of a few big head shakes. With my line darting hard left then right it was now apparent I was hooked into a big fish. It gave me some slack and as I reeled it towards the boat I could feel that it was very heavy.  At that point, I thought I was in the homestretch but then I saw the fish aggressively change directions. It was charging back towards the submerged trees again. I hollered at Brandon to gun it out into even deeper water. As I held my breath, I daringly placed my thumb on the reel to pull the fish away from the shoreline. If it stuck me in those trees again it would likely break my line.  I had already gotten lucky once and knew I wasn’t going to have a second chance at it.  Our daring maneuver got us into the clear and I was able to settle into the fight.

Three minutes into the fight, layers of clothing I had on to keep me warm in freezing temps are now smothering me as my body is dripping with sweat. My heart is beating so hard that Brandon says he can see it about to explode out of my chest. After another minute of fighting this mystery fish, we all got quiet, hearing only the sounds of the engine chugging and the water lapping up against the boat.  We waited for the color spot to appear out of the dark green water and then as I reeled, inch-by-inch I got the first glimpse of a golden circle. “That thing is 15 pounds”, I thought to myself as I gasped and gulped for another breath of air.  I went from 3 to a 9.99 on the nervous meter. It was looking like Brandon’s prediction of a 12-pound brown today was about to come true.

 

I nervously looked over at my long-time fishing partner Brandon and he looked back at me as he calmly waited with the net in hand. I reeled in the last 20 feet of my leader. Then the fish circled around the boat and then suddenly floated to the surface off the bow. Joe was filming from the bow with his phone and asked, “You want to give me that net?” Just then, the female brown exposed her massive belly for us all to see.  I shouted out “Give him the net, give him the net, give him the net”, so Brandon reluctantly gave up the net. Joe slowly scooped up the fish and we finally saw how big it really was. Screams of joy, fear, disbelief, and utter exhaustion exploded from the boat and I’m pretty sure I did some sort of touchdown dance. Joe laid it in the boat and the first thing I noticed was that it was just as big as the 6-gallon bucket it was lying next to. It was well over 12 pounds. At 32.5 inches long and maxing out my 20 lbs scale, I knew it was a true FISH of a LIFETIME!

After a few quick calls, we loaded up my boat and drove to the supermarket to get the official weight, 21.5 pounds. This big brown was definitely going on my wall. I am a firm believer in catch and release and this is the first fish I’ve kept in the last 6 years. This trophy brown is something I have heard stories about and seen pictures of but never did I think that would catch one. I knew there were 20-pound browns in that lake but I had only dreamed that one-day a 21.5-pound would eat my lure I hand-painted myself.

Believe me, I would love to give more details on exactly how and where I caught it, but I was sworn to secrecy on a few details. One friend told me not to mention the lake, another said to keep the lure and color quite, and another said not to tell how fast I was trolling or how deep of water I was in. It is funny how secretive brown trout fishermen are and quite frankly I’ve already said too much.

Equipment used:

~ Hand Painted Rapala

~ Abu Garcia Reel- C4 6601

~ G-Loomis Rod- IMX 7 ‘ Med-Heavy Fast Action

– Sufix 832 Braided Line in Lo-Vis Green- 20#

~ P-Line Floroclear- 10# leader

~ Pro-Cure Scent- Rainbow Trophy Trout Super Gel

~ Mercury Engine – 40 hp

 

November 26th-
We are addicted to this Brown Trout thing.. after catching the fish of a lifetime we are right back on the lake trying to get another.. All the clouds had blown out and High pressure and blue skies set in. The bite was slow . A few Bows and a 21 inch Brown were all we could troll up. But we had fun thinking back on that absolute Monster I caught the day before.. Man O man .. I still can’t believe it.

November 27th-
Its Brandon’s turn now. I asked and he said he was feeling his luck was going strike at HIS favorite lake, so we switched things up and left my lake behind. As we were getting our lines out I got a good bite in the rod holder that didn’t stick. I lost another fish real quick and Brandon got slammed and lost it.. 3 for 0 and the bite turned off.. We worked the lake over a few times and after a quick call from Nielsen who said we were crazy to not be out on my lake wrangling  trophy sized Trout again.! So at 2:30 we switched lakes.. I hope Brandon’s luck will soon reward him no matter which lake we decide to fish.
Trolling by 3:15 we ran straight to my point, but for the first passes our slow bite continued. We stayed persistent and trolled what we know will work for a big one and now our tactics are proven. After years or research and fishing the actual lake, I’ve learned, what I fell is, the best way to troll for these Trophy Trout — Thanks to guys like: My Dad, Mike Nielsen, Allan Cole, Jim Bringhurst, Brad Stout, Brandon Eyre, Mark Knoch and Ryan Stott- I’ve been able to learned how to effectively fish for big Brown Trout.
At 4:21 I got bit and got the skunk off the boat!! A thick, chubby, 21 inch Brown trout never looked so small..as I thanked him and released it to gain 20 pounds in the next 6 year, so I can catch him again. We each caught a few bows before dark and on our last pass I got broke off by a fish that splashed but we never saw it. Maybe it was something big… or… small… or…. the same size as most fish we usually catch…and that’s what I love !!!  You just never know!!  …….uhhhgg.. I bet it was big… yep, son of a……

November 28th
Headed back up to Tigervlle to try to get my 10 pound Tiger Trout. I know may luck was hot so I figured I better try one last time before it freezes. Jimbo came along and did some serious damage with his fly rod. Fishing was slow at first but then we both figured out what the wanted- Jimbo put on  a clinic once he found the secrete bug. I was scrambling to tie one on- but he got 4 more Tigers before I could finish tying.  I never saw the big one today but we each caught several chunky, colorful Tigers. My last Tiger was all lit up with a red belly!!  I will be trying to get on this lake when the ice melts-  That it the best time for a Giant.

December 3rd
It was supposed to be a cloudy, snowy day but the weather man was wrong once AGAIN. ! Brandon and I trolled all day for 3 Browns and 3 Bows, biggest was 21 inches- Wish the low pressure would have stayed around. It sure makes fishing tuff when there is blue skies and a north wind.

December 4th
The weather looked perfect and after a nice relaxing morning with Nicole- she let me rally my stuff and try to salvage the weekends fishing. I met Brandon at noon and in the first 2 hours we did well with 4 Browns and a few Bows. Biggest was 22 in- but it felt really good for a Big Brown to bite. Conditions were ideal, low clouds, slight wind, and gray lighting. when all the sudden the clouds lifted and the wind kicked out of the north blowing the storm away and all our bites too- it was dead slow the rest of the day- I just hope we get some more good fishing days on the weekends so I can get Brandon his Big Brown.

December 10
I only fished 3 hours during the middle of the day  and didn’t catch anything- it was clear skies high pressure and a full moon. a friend, Fishnut stayed ALL day for 3 small browns and a few Bows.

December 11th.
I met Nielsen at 11 am and we fished till 5 . He schooled me 12 Browns to 1. When he jumped in the boat he painted his lure really quick..a secret B.T. special !!! it worked great he caught a few nice one up to 5 lbs. One of em spit out a 5 inch rainbow in the net!! and when we looked closer we saw a 7 inch Bow inside it’s throat . We saw 2 other Brown Baggers on the lake . Allan Cole came back into town and Mike Arhets,  were both out looking for their next big bite! . Each of em caught a nice brown at 6-7 lbs. there was 4 Brown Baggers on the lake at the same time!! and nobody else !! Perfect.

Fall Fishing 2011

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

November 19th
Met Brandon at 8am there was 2 inches of fresh snow to launch the boat in. Allan Cole was there all day too . It started off slow but my second fish of the day was a nice 25 inch hookjaw.

I got 2 fat 4 pound 21 inch cuttys – they fight much better in this lake than the Strawberry Cutts do..

Brandon caught a hair-lipped brownie. ewww. poor guy.

AT 1 pm Mike Neilsen jumped in the boat and we continued to pick off small Browns and Bows till about 4 when the bite shut off.

November 20th-
Fished all morning solo and missed 4 quick bites that never stuck. weather was slightly snowing and calm. I left after 4 hours and met Brandon at another lake to see if they were biting there.. we trolled 4 more hours for 9 Rainbows but no
Browns were biting today. I saw a guy at the gas station who said his friend had caught a 11 pound Brown on  a Jig out of a tiny tributary.. I may have to go look into that just to see for myself  if it’s true!

November 21st-
went solo all day.. it was 7:45 at launch and 4 o clock when I left the lake . it snowed for a few hours in the morning and the became cloudy with hardly any wind. I caught 3 Bows A 4 pound Cutty that gave me a good fight! and then at 3 I finally caught a brown- 24 inch chuncker!

November 22nd
Went to my other smaller lake and Caught 2, 19 and 20 inch browns. I missed a bite on the extra rod in the holder. oh well- left cause the fished looked skinny and spawned out – One Brown still had dirt on it side, stuck in it’s slime coat. Plus I was getting grass on several passes making trolling difficult- I made my way back home and stopped off at my lake for 2 more 18-20 inch browns and a Bow. These Brown were much fatter!

November 23rd-
We went all the way to Tigerville to chase some Fall colored Tiger Trout. It was a day of fishing, catching, observing and learning new things on how I am gonna get my 10 pound tiger out of there!! I saw it .. it came outa nowhere at the last  second and swiped twice at my offering ….both times I saw the fish from  different angles and could tell it was a BIG one. I finally caught a beauty, not nearly as big but..all colored up in her fall dressings.

After a fat Cut and some slow action Dejohn and I started to catch  a few more Tigers each… and then we watched some locals drive up and tear it up fast.. we took notes on their style and will be back soon to get ours!

November 24th-
Had a Great  Thanksgiving with my Wife Nicole and her parents, Gary and Claire . We took the dogs down by the river and fished our favorite little section  while the dogs got their sniffers out ..We had a delicious Feast and a little R&R.