December 26, 2011

First Time On Frozen Strawberry

So I finally made it to Strawberry this year! We had a group of five venture out in the wee hours of the morning to see how the bite was through the ice. There's a good 8 inches of ice but when it's see through like it was today, it always gets me to walk differently. You could see through the ice about 10 feet which made for a good show as you reeled up fish. The ice was really making noise today and it shifted and expanded. One such time started with a loud boom and all of us moving about 5 inches to the right which almost made me have to change my shorts! While it about scared the you know what out of me, all the noise and expansion is a good thing as it is a sign of a healthy ice sheet.
The fishing was fast at times and non existent at others. One thing about ice fishing Strawberry that makes it so enjoyable is the constant big cutthroat trout that you get to fight. There is a slot limit in place on the lake were you can't keep any cutts between 15-22". The average catch on this trip was 18-20 inches with 2 going over the 22 inch mark. We fished all morning and into the afternoon before we called it quits. Between the 5 of us we ended up landing 70 fish with Jim at the top with 20 and I brought up the rear with 11. It was a fantastic day to get out and wet a line!

Average catch on this trip.
Nathan with his first catch of the day.
Rob with his double. The only one of the day.
There was quite a crowd in the morning.
Something has to give...

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Ricks Reel Adventures! Guess what santa does after his long night....

December 23, 2011

Schooled By An 8 Year Old

I met back up with rob to see if we could replicate the fast fishing of a week ago. This trip Rob brought his son Matt and I brought a friend that had never been ice fishing before. We arrived at the lake at dark o'clock got set up and as always, Matt had fish on the ice before I could even sit down in my chair! We got a quick picture and then he had a rainbow on the ice before I had my camera put away. Not to long after that my friend Ryan landed his first rainbow through the ice and I later found out that was also his first catch ever which was fun to see. The fishing slowed to a creep after that with fish here and there. It was nothing like the fast action we had last week.
A high note for me on the trip was catching a new personal best for green sunfish that went 8". As I was feeling good about my sunfish, Matt walks over to me with a 15" rainbow he had just landed and says "8 inches huh?" as he looks down at his fish with a smirk. He then walks away with me realizing I just got put in my place by a trash talking 8 year old! I laughed because there wasn't much I could say. He caught more fish than any of us! We also caught some bluegill and a few small perch for a 4 species day on the ice. Although the fishing wasn't as fast as we had hoped, it was a fun getting out on the ice again.
Matt's first fish of many.
Ryan's first ever catch.
Matt and Rob with some keeper bows.
Ryan's first bluegill.
Great shot Ryan took.
My new personal best; 8 inch sunfish
Decent sized bluegill going 9 inches.

December 17, 2011

Who Says Hard Water Is Bad?

I got up bright and early this morning to meet up with my friend Rob to hit the hard water for the first time this season! we made it to the lake and we out fishing at around 7 am. I always forget how much I like to ice fish until that first fish hits my bait and the fight is on. We both slayed them today! the first hour and a half I we couldn't get our second poles going because the fish wouldn't stay off long enough to get them set up. We caught lots of rainbow trout and blue gill with a few yellow perch mixed in. The trout went 14-16", Bluegills were 6-8" and the perch we kept went 9". We were using Jammin Jigs tipped with maggots. Pink and white jigs were the ticket. I couldn't think of a better way to start off the ice season. We kept a few to eat but released the majority of them. Guess what I'll be doing next week? until then...
Rob getting set up

We were not alone on this cold but beautiful day.

A few for the frying pan.

November 11, 2011

A Blast & Cast Day On 11/11/11

So on to the second day of the Weber. Today I went to a different stretch from the previous post but had the same luck. You know it's going to be a great day when you catch fish on your first two casts and it didn't slow down much the whole time I was there. Today I used the same swim bait the entire day! I didn't see as many beds through this stretch but the few I saw all had fish. Again, I could sit and watch those beds for hours! I again focused on the deeper holes leaving the spawning browns for another day. The biggest brown went 22 inches and thick enough I couldn't get my hand around it. 20 inches was a common theme for the browns and I picked up several cutts and a rainbow to finish out the day. For the fly fisherman, Today would have been dynamite for drys. I don't think I've ever seen as many rises on this river as I did today. Makes me want to change up rods for my next trip.
I ended my trip around 1 pm and headed down to my brothers for some hunting. He and my nephew had drawn out for the swan hunt and I tagged along to pick off any ducks that came around. We headed to our spot at the Bear River Bird Refuge and waited...and waited. Wildlife officials estimate that around 45,000 Swans are the the refuge right now. At the end of this month there should be around 165,000. We had a few groups fly close enough to get us excited but just out or range to shoot. I missed the few ducks that came in. I'm going to blame it on thinking about the great day of fishing I had earlier. We walked back to the truck empty handed other than a few pictures and a good time on the dyke.

22" hog.

Long and skinny.

First rainbow on the river in a long time.

Same deep whole as the rainbow on the very next cast.

Biggest cutt of the day.

Final fish of the day.

We had a great view of some swans but they were in the restricted area.

Where's Waldo?

Until next time.

November 10, 2011

The Weeb...Oh How I've Missed You.

Wow, I'm actually writing a post! It seems like forever since I've wet a line. Let me clear off the cob webs and dust and see if I remember how to do this blog thing. The water level is finally where it should be on the Weber and the brown trout spawn is hot and heavy right now. I made it to river early and the temps were in the low teens for the first hour or so which meant I had the joy of breaking ice out of the eyelets every other cast. The fishing (or should I say catching) was fast and furious. Lots of browns came to play with a lone cutthroat.
There are beds everywhere with several browns at each spot trying to stake their claim to a portion. It was so neat to see these fish moving gravel and moving out other fish. Often times there were fish moving around with there backs out of the water at times. I left those on the beds alone and targeted the deeper holes. I used a few different swim baits that always seem to work. I'm going to hit a different stretch tomorrow so until then, enjoy the fish pics...

First fish of the day.

The lone cutt.

21 inch beauty.

September 5, 2011

Henry's Lake And Henry's Fork

We made the annual trip up to island park this past Labor Day weekend. I always look forward to this trip not only for the fishing but also the chance to unwind for a few days. My Father-in-law and I headed out early on Friday morning with our float tubes to try out Henry's lake in the hopes of hooking into one of the trophy trout this lake is know for. We had a window of a few hours where there was no wind which made perfect tube conditions. We paddled out a ways and started casting and it wasn't long before I had my first fish on. I could tell by the fight that I had a good one on. After a few minutes I got him to the net and it was a nice male Yellowstone cutt. I put him in my make shift live-well and went back to work. I used a gold Jake's spinner the entire time I fished and had several fish participate in the fun. I caught another nice cutthroat right as the wind started up so I made my way back to shore with my limit. It's nice when 2 trout can feed nine people.
The next day the family went on a float trip down the Henry's fork of the Snake River. The water was ice cold but we had a blast. the trip is very scenic and well worth doing if you are ever in the area. There were so many fish in the river and a lot of them were Kokanee Salmon starting to spawn. It was awesome seeing so many fish darting every direction from the boat. We also saw some really nice Rainbows as well. I absolutely love this part of the country and always have to leave wanting to stay a few more days.

One of the several cutthroat trout that we caught.

My Henry's Lake limit.

Kokanee Salmon from Henry's Fork.

Big Springs; the headwaters of Henry's Fork.

August 7, 2011

Amethyst Basin In The High Uintas

It's time for the annual week long summer scout camp! This is my first with this group of boys and we were looking forward to a fun adventure. We hiked into Amethyst basin in the uintas and I think the kids had a good time. It was a 7 mile hike into where we camped and the boys did surpisingly well. We fished Amethyst lake where all the scouts caught small brookies, many of which was there first ever fish. We had success using caddis behind a bubble and several different spinners. We also hit Ostler lake which was my favorote. There are some toads in that lake. We caught mostly cutts with a few brook trout and even a tiger trout that went 18" that was caught by a person outside of our group. Most the fish ranged 14-15 inches and were thick! again, fly and bubble when the wind wasn't blowing and gold jakes after that. Ostler should be on your list of lakes to hit in the Uintas if it isn't already. The mosquito's are really thick and a net is manditory unless you want to end up like most of the boys with over 50 bites each. All-in-all, it was a great trip and a fun memory.

Moose on the side of the road.

A few miles in

Now here is a sight you don't see every day!

Indian paint brush.

One of the many beautiful meadows on the hike.

Make shift raft anyone?

Now that's a mesquito!

On the way to fish Amethist lake.

Amethist Lake

My first fish of the trip.

First ever catch! Great job!

Another first!

Mountain goats walking above camp.

15" Ostler lake tiger trout.

Cutthroat trout

Ostler provided lunch for us.

Oslter lake.

Fishing some of the streems. They are surprisingly deep in places.

Just like a mirror.

We all made it back in one piece.