Tom Vincent, Best in Show!

Tom clutching Best in Show award 

My son, Tom Vincent, wins yet another art award!

Pardon my pride, but Tom was awarded “Best in Show” for his oil-on-wood-panel work titled “Ashton Taylor”. This was a juried art show for students of the College of Southern Nevada (CSN), and it included a $250 prize… wow!

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Cold Springs & Haymeadow Reservoirs – Wayne Kirch WMA

Haymeadow boat launch area

I so enjoy the fall weather. It may be the anticipation of getting past the dreadfully hot Las Vegas summers. It may be the colorful reds, yellows, and oranges that decorate the deciduous trees that typically line bodies of water. Or, it could be the urgent activity that the birds and wildlife seem to exhibit as they prepare for winter. Maybe that’s it. Perhaps it is the renewed energy the trout display as they press through fall obsessively feeding to prepare for winter. Whatever it is, it also compels me to fish one last time before the freeze sets in. October 27 seemed like a good day to take one last sip from the 2008 fishing chalice.

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Smith Creek Ranch – Lander County, Nevada

Entering Smith Creek Ranch with the Desatoya Mountains as a backdrop.

After my 2003 visit to Henderson Springs, I gained an appreciation for the fruits of fishing private water (see Henderson Springs blog). Curiosity spurred me to search the Internet for other private fishing water in Nevada and southern Utah, and that’s how I discovered Smith Creek Ranch.

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Hermosa Beach & Anaheim, California

Ashton, Tom, Evan, Brian, Denise, me, and foster children awaiting table at Blue Bayou

Those of you who know Denise and me also know that we were fostering two small children. For the sake of anonymity I will refrain from using names, but our friends and relatives know of whom I speak.

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Kolob Reservoir – Southwestern Utah

Kolob Terrace red rocks, with white cliffs of Zion in background

My first trip to Kolob was a getaway with my sons Doug, Tom, and Brian. Although that outing was intended to spend time away from home with the boys more than it was a serious fishing trip, I was awed by the geography and saw first hand the size of the trout in the reservoir. We didn’t catch anything other than one little stocked rainbow, but when we moved to the northwestern shoreline at twilight we saw the action up close and personal. For three years I’ve wanted to get back to Kolob for a more intensive assault on those big trout. The foster kids were away at respite, and the Council Meeting day looked like the best opportunity to escape (I didn’t have anything of importance on the agenda, besides Jim and Candy could handle whatever came up). Furthermore, fishing Kolob mid-week on a Wednesday assured small crowds, if any crowds at all.

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Cold Springs Reservoir – Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area

Heavy Cold Spring rainbow – eighteen inches!!

Watching the fishing and weather reports told me that early May was a good time to fish the lower elevation trout reservoirs. The lowest elevation at which lakes can hold trout year-round is about 5,000 feet. For example, Baker Reservoir (Washington County, Utah) is about 4,900 feet, Wayne Kirch (Nye County, Nevada) is about 5,100 feet, and Cold Creek (Clark County, NV) is about 5,800 feet. Trout become pretty lethargic when the water temperature in these lower reservoirs reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so spring and fall are the best times to fish them. Summer is too hot, and the reservoirs are high enough to freeze over in the winter.

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Cold Creek Pond, Clark County, NV

Spring Mountain reflection on Cold Creek pond

Cold Creek remains one of my fondest places in spite of it becoming overrun with private development and RV campers. Maybe it’s the memory of the delight when I first discovered the place back in the late 1970s. There were no cabins then as the land was owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The creek gushed mysteriously from the cave at the end of the arroyo, and the little jeweled trout seemed to thrive in the creek despite its diminutive stature. I became so enthralled with the area that my college grade point average dropped a whole tenth of a point during my final semester because I frequently ditched the early evening classes so I could explore around Cold Creek in the early springtime. As I mentioned in previous writings, I caught my first trout on a fly in Cold Creek when I was attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, forever capturing my sensibilities and birthing the fly fishing passion that still haunts me today (see November Cold Creek 2006 blog).

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Mount Potosi Reconnaissance

Foothills of Mount Potosi

My son Brian has a youthful fascination with the military. When I was young I, too, thought I could survive anything while conquering the evil forces in our world. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, and it is good to know that there are young men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to make the USA safe. But, it is only natural to hope someone else’s child would go in the place of yours.

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Brian’s ’07/’08 Wrestling Season

Palo Verde Dual Champs (Brian wearing the white shirt in the middle)

Brian’s ’07/’08 wrestling season for Cimarron-Memorial High School is over. He can now eat when and what he wants. No more early Saturday morning tournaments that run into early evenings. No more rolling in after practice at 4:30 pm every school day. No more starvation or stationary bike riding to cut weight.

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