Mammoth Creek, Garfield Co., Utah

What to photograph when you haven’t caught a thing?

I’m not sure, but I think it has been about twenty years since I last fished Mammoth Creek. I got to know Mammoth when Jim Jones, my former boss and friend, introduced me to the area. The first fifteen years of my fishing pursuits were spent on Beaver Dam Creek, but Mammoth presented an entirely different experience. Beaver, a thin creek with lots of bushy vegetation along its banks, had plentiful numbers of small rainbow trout. Mammoth is a larger stream, perhaps two or three times the flow of Beaver, and it is known for its brown trout. Mammoth has several sections, but the one I fished most often was the meandering meadow section known as the Hatch Ranch Meadow. It was never as bountiful as Beaver, but it had the mystique of holding brown trout of worthy proportions.

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Beginners Gear-Guide to Fly Fishing

21 inch rainbow caught on 8-foot, 5-weight fly rod I built in 1981

“John in LV” recently posted a comment regarding fly fishing gear for someone who wants to get started, or even get back into, fly fishing for trout (bass, too, readily take flies as I previously wrote about on Haymeadow and Cold Springs reservoirs). Other readers appear to have posted comments on other blogs that seemed to skirt around their interest in learning to fly fish. So I decided that I would give it a try. Although I have my specific preferences and prejudices, I’ve done my best to describe what I think would be a good outfit for a beginning fly fisherman.

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Cold Creek Pond, Clark County, Nevada

One of the prettiest and plumpest stocked rainbow trout I have ever caught at Cold Creek.

Being a local government employee, I benefit from the Nevada statehood holiday. Strangely, or not, it coincides with Halloween. Some, mostly those who mispronounce its name, probably think that makes Nevada a scary state. Regardless, I took advantage of the holiday to run up to Cold Creek for ninety minutes of fishing.

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Haymeadow Reservoir, Wayne Kirch WMA

Haymeadow benches and sign in memory of J. R. Hanson

I stole another “sanity” day from work to fish Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area (KWMA) on Thursday. My boss told me to take time off now since the next six months will be too busy to allow it. I didn’t say it at the time but I thought, “Heck, it’s always that way around here… it never lets up.” Nonetheless, with her permission I took advantage of the hole in my schedule to sample the fall weather at the KWMA.

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Illipah Reservoir & Cave Lake, White Pine County

Clouds over the Moorman Ridge to the east of Illipah Reservoir.

The summer heat was starting to wane and I was yearning to return to Cave Lake to work on the brown trout that inhabit the inlet waters of the lake. I enjoy a challenge, and when Brian and I visited Cave Lake four weeks ago I wasn’t able to give the task my full attention. I was coaching Brian through his first fly fishing trip but found the slurping brown trout inhabiting the shallows to be a nagging distraction. I caught a few browns that day, one reaching about thirteen inches. I saw larger trout, but I either put them down with sloppy casting or didn’t offer a fly they wanted. Even though it wasn’t quite fall weather yet, I wanted to return and try for a few of the larger brown trout.

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Cave Lake, White Pine Co., Nevada

Fishing Cave Lake inlet with 10,000 foot Schell Creek range in background

The dog days of August foretell not only the approaching school year but the end of the sweltering Las Vegas heat. Although I must say, from my perspective, this has not been a typically hot summer (maybe I just tolerate it better as I age). Still, getting away for a little fishing in northeastern Nevada surely bolsters my sufferance for 110 degree temperatures.

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Anderson Reservoir – Fish Lake National Forest

Father-son fishing duo

My sons, Evan and Brian, were lined up for an over-night fishing trip to Utah. We had not decided where in Utah, but the Red Creek trip on July 7th was not what I hoped it would be. And although Panguitch was great, it was too technical for a teaching trip for Evan. After giving it some thought I opted to take the boys, Brian and Evan, to Fish Lake National Forest just east of Beaver, Utah. There are numerous lakes such that if one was slow there was another just up the road. And, being a farther drive from Las Vegas there should be less people.

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Red Creek and Panguitch Reservoirs – Southern Utah

Red Creek (Paragonah) Reservoir

My son, Brian, and I had been discussing a short weekend fishing trip. The Vegas heat had arrived and I thought it was time to retreat into Utah’s high mountain country and escape the sweltering temperatures for a day or two. Besides, we had solicited my youngest son, Evan, to come with us. Since Evan had never fished before I had planned to spend the trip teaching him.

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Haymeadow Reservoir, Wayne Kirch WMA

A placid Haymeadow Reservoir; a rare windless day on Wayne Kirch.

Last week’s fishing report from the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) said that trout fishing at the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area had slowed; PowerBait was the bait of choice as flies and lures were having minimal success. I don’t always believe fishing reports because so many variables enter into them. Some of these sites have drop boxes for anglers to leave their personal results (I have filled out a card or two, but usually don’t). Game wardens in the area can interview anglers and inspect catches, but that depends on the timing of their visits. Generally, the fishing reports are good indicators, but they are not absolute.

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A New Fly Rod on Cold Creek

The Cold Creek Pond, March 28, 2009.

This past January, in protest of the winter and my new interim job, I built a new six foot fly rod. It was my first rod building project in about twenty-five years. I so enjoy fishing my old six-footer that I built in the early 1980s, but it is a slow action fiberglass blank and I wanted to replace it with a new, faster action graphite rod. I was hoping I could extend my casting range another five or ten feet with a graphite rod blank.

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