My friend Dan calls me and says he want to go fishing. I am always game for a quick trip. We start discussing the logistics of where to go and when, and he says that he really wants to hit up Pyramid Lake. Well, that is great for me as Pyramid is basically in my backyard (about a 40 minute drive) but Dan has to bang out about 4 hours of driving each way. So plans are confirmed and we both go into full prep mode. Dan’s job is to pack his stuff, put together a basic cooler of goodies and get over here the night before. My job is to hit the vice and fill some fly boxes.
After contacting a few fly shops and verifying which pattens are working at Pyramid, I get to work. I figure that I need to oversupply us by at least a dozen flies, if not more. My goal is to bang out 3 dozen flies just for this trip. This is of course on top of the 6 or 7 full fly boxes that I already have packed in my to-go bag for trips of all manners.
First order of business is to replenish the bugger barn. It has gotten a bit thin in the last few season and truth be told, buggers are something that I find difficult to tie. I would rather tie up 5 dozen Trudes in #12, #14 and #16 or 5 dozen Copper John’s in various sizes and colors than a few dozen buggers in #8 and #10. Go figure.
The first bugger is going to be a modified version of one of my favorite still water buggers, the Rickert’s Seal Bugger. After looking at the commercial flies for Pyramid, I figure that I need to shorten the tail and make the hackle quite a bit longer than normal. Most of the Pyramid buggers are well dressed. So I set to work and find that I have almost a dozen tied up pretty quick.
Next is to hit up the midges. Intel from the fly shop indicates that red and black (both basic midge colors) are the de facto standards, just in sizes #12 and #14 versus a more normal #16 or #18. The guy at the shop mentioned that the snow cone version has been pretty hot, but lacking any white beads and not wanting to make a trip to the fly shop for $2 in beads, I use white UV dubbing instead. a dozen red and a dozen black later I call that part of the project done.
Last is to tie up a dozen black buggers. As I rifle through the feather bins it becomes apparent that I am short on quality black feathers. I tied up one black bugger and took some pictures which I will show in another post. It was painfully obvious that the quality of the feathers are no where near as nice as what I used for the green buggers. Maybe I will get some white beads after all. Since I have to hit up the shop to replenish my tungsten coneheads and black bugger feathers I now have an excuse to make a single trip and restock in bulk. Hope that the fly shop has the good stuff!
4 days, and a big circuitous loop of North Eastern Utah, I find myself back in Salt Lake City. There is a big trade show to unpack and prepare for, but there are still three days to go before opening bell and one more fishing outing in the Utah Safari left to talk about.
After spending a few hours finalizing my booth setup on the second morning, I decide to head out fishing for the rest of the afternoon. I have to be at the airport later that evening to pickup the boss, but I have around 8 hours to fish. I wanted to try something new, but close. I stopped in at the Western Rivers FlyFisher and got the scoop on what was close and fishing well. The recommendation was to hit up the Big Cottonwood Creek just up the road. Good thing I did as the best tip I took out of that shop was that waders were mandatory on that watershed. On the drive up the canyon, I did not see the sign, but at the parking area on my way out, I witnessed a warden giving a fisherman a stiff warning for not heeding the rules. I hunted for the sign on the way down and sure enough, it was posted. I bet it was in the proclamation as well, but who reads all the fine print.
After a full day of hiking and fishing on Nameless Spring Creek, we drove back into Vernal, and ate a quick meal in a restaurant. yeah…we wimped out on the camp dinner, but we knew that we still had about 2.5 hours to drive to our next camping spot and our excuse was that we did not want to be prepping and eating dinner at 10PM.
We figured that it would be difficult to find a free and available camping spot where we were heading. We got lucky in that as we drove up the dirt road, we found one spot in an area all alone from the crowds, above a section of river that we were going to fish the next morning…perfect! it did rain a bit that night, but nothing that was going to cloud up the water. All was good.
At this point we were back in known territory for me. I have had the pleasure of fishing Current Creek the previous year and I really liked this little creek. Technically, the Current is a tail-water, but it fishes more like a meadow stream with all the beaver dams. The fish are very pretty and range from small to beastly. Your average size fish is about 12″, but you have the potential to catch “a ton” of fish in the course of the days fishing.
After a great day on the Green, we camped one more night in the killer spot we found below Dutch John and departed the next morning for [nameless] spring creek outside of Vernal Utah. It was a short 2.5 hour drive from our camping spot.
I promised not to divulge the name of this spring creek, and I plan to keep that promise (unless you happen to be one of my closest fishing buddies). This place reminded me of Hot Creek. It burbles out of the ground, flows for about 5 miles and confluences with the Green. It was small creek overgrown with brush and tons of that horrible plant, stinging nettle.
We arrived at the parking area, and were elated to find that there was only one other vehicle. We prepped for the day and started the hike. I knew that we were going to hike most of the way down to the Green and then fish our way back upstream. I was anticipating an 8 mile day of hiking and at the end of the day, that is exactly how I felt. On the hike downstream, we passed several really cool petroglyph sites, so of course we had to stop and check them out. About half-way down, we ran into the other carload of folks and they were HIKERS. That meant that we were the only fishermen on the river (so far).