Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ice Fishing with Chance

What an awesome way to start out the year! Chance and I went fishing on January 2nd with his uncles Tyson and Bo. We went to East Canyon to try our luck on some trout. This was Chances first time ice fishing, and kind of his first time being able to do the reeling. Luckily, we were able to let him try landing some fish! 
The weather was pretty warm, which was nice and bad at the same time. Nice because it was comfortable, but bad because there was standing water on the ice. It made it really slippery, and Chance was always getting his hands wet. 
I haven't been ice fishing for a while, and had never really had much success the times i have been. This time was great though! Chance and I landed about 7 fish, and Tyson and Bo each had the same or more! We weren't there real long, so I thought those were good numbers!
It was a blast to get out fishing with my son. I've always dreamed of having a son to take fishing, and now that I can, well, it's just the coolest thing ever... I'm so excited for many more years of fishing trips and telling fishing stories!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ogden Browns...

What a busy life we live in.. I didn't get to do much river fishing this year, but that's ok. Having a family as awesome as mine outweighs the tugs of the river. Even though I love them dearly, it is still nice to get in the stream once in a while! 
I snuck off to the Ogden river yesterday with Matt Barney. With our work schedules we were only able to fish the last couple hours of light. Of course I forgot my camera, so this is a picture of a Brown we caught out of there last year. We started off throwing nymphs, but not much was happening with that. We switched to dries and did okay. I landed 2, and I think Matt pulled in 5 or so. 
I needed this trip. It just seems like life is okay when you are in a river. I didn't worry about the stock market or my insurance premiums. Car problems and homework were the last thing on my mind. Even though fishing may seem simple, and it can be, it can teach you many lessons if you are willing to listen and ponder. I'll give you a couple of examples of what the river taught me just yesterday.
Keep focused, but keep your eyes open to other things! 
I was downstream trying to cast up under an overhanging tree. There was a nice pocket right next to the bank that I thought would for sure hold something. I was using a small parachute adams and it was getting dark. Talk about a bugger to see! I thought I made a good cast and was watching my fly drift down stream. Suddenly in the 'not so obvious' hole next to the one I was fishing, I saw a fish rise. Instinctively, I set the hook. Fish on. Sometimes in life we get so focused on our goals that we miss the truly important things, or even the thing that we are striving for. For example, sometimes we are so obsessed with school so that we can get a career that we miss the opportunity of a lifetime for a career! We need to stay focused on important things, but we need to remember what is important, and set the hook when that opportunity arises!
You can't always do it alone....
The glare on the left side of the river made it impossible to see my fly. I knew it was a decent hole, but I couldn't see my fly. Matt said that he could, so I cast there anyways. All I could see was glare and all of a sudden I hear "OOOHH" which is Barney language for "You got a bite!" I set the hook, and fish on! I never would have caught that fish if I was fishing alone. I later returned the favor as I helped Matt hook a fish the same way. This is another life lesson... We cannot always do things better by ourselves. That is why God said that it is not good for man to be alone! My sweet wife is my eyes when life has a glare on it. She is the one who tells me when there is something important when I simply cannot see it. Would I have been ok without catching that fish? Sure. But why fish if you are not going to try to catch fish. Could I make it through life alone? Maybe. But how grateful I am that I have someone to help me create memories and enrich my life in ways that I could not do alone.
Hey river... Thanks for the lessons.

Duck Hunt Opener 2008

You know how you always hear the story about the girl who dreams all her life of her perfect wedding date? The perfect weather, the flowers everything just how they dreamed? Well, big boys are no different. When thinking about the first weekend in October, I dream of cloudy skies, cold weather, rain and wind... And just like the movies, my dream came true! 
The opening day weather this year was perfect!!! Cloudy skies and rain!!

I went out this year with my nephew Skyler and my brother Dennis. I haven't made it out to chase ducks for the last few years because of school, so I was really excited! I used to think I was a pretty hardcore duck hunter, but I am nothing compared to Skyler!! That maniac spent the night out in the marsh to hold our spot! I helped him and his buddies little brother, Clain, carry out some of the dekes the night before, and Sky and Clain stayed the night. Crazy buggers, but I'm glad they held our spots! There were a lot of guys there early, but so were the ducks!!
I wish I could have gotten a better picture of the sky.. Dennis and I got out to the swamp about 5:30 and were anxious for first light. When it started getting light, the excitement began! We had hundreds of ducks flying all around us and skimming our setup. It was awesome! On opening day shooting starts at 8:00... As always, someone who thinks they are better than the rest took a shot at 7:40.. That is when the sky changed color. From the south, a black cloud of quacking wings rose up and came our way. I have never seen so many birds. There were THOUSANDS of them!! I loaded my gun and got reminded by sky that it was way too early. As the cloud approached, the lightning came with it. The swamp was filled with the booms of shotguns. We were the idiots who did the right thing and waited till 8:00. The big clouds of ducks had left, but we still had plenty of shooting.
The birds were flying into us, but most of them flew out just fine! I could have limited out, but those buggers are fast!! I ended up only getting a teal and a gadwal. It was so fun to be out there though!!
Skyler is an old pro and ended up getting 6 birds. This was Dennis's first real day duck hunting. He went with me for an hour a few years ago, but that doesn't really count. Even though he hasn't had much marsh time, it didn't take him long to catch on to things! He grabbed a couple guns and John Wayne'd the buggers!!
This is Dennis' first duck. What a monster!! It was actually an awesome shot! Those teal are the hardest ones to hit and he ended up bagging two of them. Good job Big D!! It was a blast to be out there with Sky and Dennis. Thanks for going with me guys! And thanks for all the work that you put into it Sky! You will be one heck of a guide some day!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bow Hunt 2008

Ah, the great outdoors! This years bow hunt was an absolute blast! I was so excited to go because we had a whole week off to go! We weren't too sure how the kids would do, so we were prepared to cut the trip short. The kids were great! Kami was an absolute angel the whole time. Chance did great too! The only problem was that he loved it too much sometimes! He would wake me up in the middle of the night and say "Daddy. Outside. ride four wheeler." And I would say "It's dark outside buddy. We have to wait till it's light enough to see." I opened the curtains to show him that it was dark, but the full moon light up that 2 am sky like it was mid-day! He said "Trees. Trailer. Daddy, outside!" He was ready to go! Other than him being a full-of-it toddler, he was great! It is such a neat experience to see the ones you love enjoying something that you love so much.

I was really impressed with Kami. She did so good! I think she actually did better up there than she did at home! I'm so grateful for Nat doing so much to take care of them while I went out looking for deer. Thank you honey!! My favorite times were when Nat and Chance were able to come with me! That was a lot of fun!!

I even found a new partner for playing pinochle! We had a lot of fun playing games with everybody. Mom and dad went down, and so did Dennis and his whole family. Sky and Brett came down for most of the week too. It was a great camping trip!
Chance had a blast in the dirt! He even found this little stick to play with! No matter how many baths this kid had, he still looked like an orphan! He made his daddy proud! Way to play in the dirt little buddy!!

Chance even learned how to drive the car. It made it a lot easier to look for deer if I had him drive. Thanks buddy!
We had a great time riding the four wheelers. Chance would follow everybody around and see who he could get to take him on a ride. He usually found somebody to take him! We all had fun going on rides.
Chance Loves his cousins Hunter and Hailey! I think he spent more time with their family than with us! Probably because Dennis, who Chance refers to as 'Dense', would give him an endless supply of otter pops!
Chance also had fun with his cousin Skyler. Talk about a guy that has grown up! He used to be the little kid that tagged along, now he's the guy that I look to for advice while hunting! Thanks for being such a part of our family buddy!
The hunt ended in smiles for everybody! Even the deer! You can probably tell that I didn't get one since I haven' mentioned it or put a picture up. I did have some opportunities though! No one to blame but me! I missed a couple of smaller bucks, but I missed a beauty! He was 60 yards broadside through some quakies. I had a good shot and let my arrow fly.. It was slow motion. I saw my arrow flying right for it's target and I knew I had my buck of a life time. He was probably 24 inches wide or more, and just as high. As the arrow got close, it skimmed the side of a tree and it flipped the arrow sideways. It flew at the deer with the broadhead up, and the fletchings down. It gave the deer a little slap on the butt, and he ran off into the trees. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions... I was SO angry when it happened! Then about a half hour later the fact that I had missed out on such a rare opportunity hit me. I seriously got nauseous. I thought I was going to throw up. Then that passed and a while later I felt like I could cry. I still see that buck when I close my eyes and live with all of the "what if's". Hopefully someday all the pieces will come together and I will have an opportunity like that again.
    Even though I didn't connect with a deer, I still had a blast! I love my family and to be with them in such a beautiful place is just icing on the cake.. Here's looking to next year!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wind RIvers!!!

On July 16th I went with Matt Barney and his scout group to the Wind Rivers in Wyoming. We went with Mark and his brother-in-law Chris. The boys that went were Andrew, and the brothers, Josh and Jared. We packed in about 8 miles to one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever seen. I was excited to go backpacking finally! I had used our anniversary, christmas, and my birthday gifts to get set up. I'm glad I liked it! I thought I was going to die going in! Being out of shape sure didn't help anything, but I found out the next day that I hadn't adjusted my straps correctly. I had straps tightened that were actually pulling the pack away from my hips. Talk about a killer! The pack out was much more enjoyable!
This is the stream that we camped by the last night. It was about as perfect as you could imagine! It was decent sized and clear as can be. And chuck full of brookies! None of them had much size to them, but they were hungry buggers! We were even catching them on big 'ol cherynobl ants!
It really was an amazing place to fish. The kind of stream that you dream about...
It's a little blurry, but check out the colors! These things were so bright! We only fished that night for about 2 hours, and we caught over 100 fish each easily...
This is a picture during the pack out. Mark is on the left, Matt in the middle, and yours truly on the right. This was just after making the climb up the switchbacks. We only had a little bit more to go, and it felt great. It was kind of cool when we got to where we could see the trucks. It was such a feeling of accomplishment. It was something that I had been wanting to do, but had never given it the effort required. It was an amazing feeling to know that you had accomplished somthing so rewarding. It's something that only you can do for yourself. Pretty amazing trip!
This is where we set up camp the first couple of nights. Talk about a kitchen with a view! 
This is a picture of Josh. I think that this was his first fish! He didn't even take his pole because he said that fishing was boring. It was cool to see how excited he got after he actually caught something! I think he used my pole as much as I did, but it was awesome to see someone new to the sport loving it!
This is Jared... What a fun guy! I think that this is his first fish too. Not 100% sure on that one though. I do have a good picture of him, but that's not as fun as this one! Andrew caught some fish too, but I don't have any pictures of him. Pretty good group of fisherman! Glad I could go and share that experience with them!
If you look just to the right of the dead tree, in the middle of the photo, you can kind of see a face with ears sticking up. Matt and I got seperated from the group, and to our suprise, we snuck up on a bear! This guy was getting a drink and we got about 30 yards away before we saw each other. He ran off into the trees and I took this photo. It was AWESOME! I thought I would be a lot more scared, but it made me realize that it's just another critter in the mountains that is scared of me.. Plus having bear spray probably helped me feel more comfortable!

This is Matt fishing on one of the lakes.. We didn't catch anything big, but lots of pretty brooks. Plus the scenery was amazing! God is quite the artist! He didn't just make this earth to live on, He made it to live IN and enjoy! It is such a testimony builder to me to just be in the outdoors.

This is a view from the lake by our camp. The sheer granite cliffs were unlike anything I have ever seen. They just erupted from the ground so steep and towering. Awe taking to look at. It was a great trip with great guys. I have never seen a group of scouts get along so well. Never a fight or a harsh word spoken. And the leaders were great! Matt is a great friend and I had a blast with him. Mark is one of those leaders every boy wants. That guy is super man when it comes to hiking! I'm grateful that I was invited to go on this trip and be a part of it!

I'm a slacker....

I obviously haven't been fishing enough in the last 2 months!!! I finally got a new computer (Thanks for talking me into the Mac Jake!) so I have all my pictures on here and am ready to share! I guess I'll start from the top and go from there!
   This spring, Matt Barney, my Dad, my nephew Skyler and I went fishing for a few days. We were originally heading for Calder reservoir, but 
there was still a huge snow drift blocking the road. We 
flipped around and headed down the mountain in a snow storm. We decided to try sheep creek bay at Flaming Gorge. 
The weather was pretty crappy the whole time. The wind never stopped and we even woke up to a few inches of snow one morning! The fishing was slow, but man, it was worth it! 
I started off catching a 13 and 14 incher, but then never caught anything smaller than 18 inches. I think I only bagged 11 total that trip, but one was a 22 inch male. 

(Do you have a professional Photographer following you 
Matt? That is an amazing photo!!)
Talk about some bright colors!!
 We all caught quite a few big fish and it 
ended up being a great trip. We even saw a partially white moose! I'll have to put a pic of it on here. Not the greatest picture, but you'll get the idea..

Saturday, July 5, 2008

South Fork Bust...

So I went up and hit the river for a few hours. Caught as many fish as I would have if I stayed home! I was pretty suprised actually! My first cast I had one following my fly, but that was it! Not a single bite the rest of the night! I went with a couple guys from work. Dan Hilton is a Tech Aid with me in CT and he had never fly fished so he wanted to go with Matt and me. He took his spin rod and didn't get a bite with spinners, rapalas, worm or power bait! He tried the fly rod for a while, but didn't have any success their either.. Matt had to show me up again! He caught 3 fish out of one hole, all of them smaller, but bigger than mine! Then when we had a crowd, he hooked into a nice one and landed it! He also caught one when it was almost dark, so he ended up with 5. All of them hit on hares ears I think. Even though I didn't get into them, it was still a blast! I love it when it's warm enough to fish without waders! No other fishing trips planned for this next week, but on the 16th I'm going to the wind rivers for a few days. I better have some pics to show from that!!