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BilletHead

Another Adventure by the BilletHead's UTAH!

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       I will start by saying if you don't like the mountains and streams of the west or fly fishing for trout this isn't for you. Just back out of this page and do not come back to this thread and post. There will be no bait casting or spinning reels. No bait, just fly's with feathers, synthetics  and maybe some rubber legs and a little foam where needed. Some places there will be hiking involved. Our interest started in this trip wanting to catch the Utah cutt slam. We have done this in Wyoming a couple of times. The four species we will be going for here in Utah are the Colorado, Bear River, Bonneville and the Yellowstone varieties.  Here is a link for those who may be inquisitive, http://www.utahcutthroatslam.org/#program-info     We had two weeks to mess around the state. After trying for the slam everything else was exploring and more fishing. We left BilletHeadVille on Friday the 28th of July at 2PM. Headed West through Kansas and Colorado. Stopped on Berthoud Pass North West of Denver for a while after midnight for a three hour power nap. Let me tell you the older we get the tougher it is to do this. I crawled into the back of the non raised camper and the Mrs. did the front seat of the truck. A cold rain fell and we left stiff and sore hardly sleeping. Drove to our Utah starting point Vernal. We have fished a couple of places around Vernal but not for the cutthroat. According to the Cutt slam information and a tip from a friend we could catch the Colorado cutt in Sheep creek lake. After getting our license's and maps of the area we headed up that way. Set up the camper, we were beat but really wanted to fish right away. 

   Part 1 the Colorado cut,

          Fly fishing from the lake shore. Don't really care for it. Do it where we need to but prefer flowing water picking out where the fish are lying or pocket water. So we did what we had to do here. Strung up the rods. I used sink tip line and the Mrs. Put on a loop to loop sink tip section. Both of us put on leech imitations. We did see a few rings way out in the middle of the lake where fish were taking what looked like some midges on top, well beyond our shore reach. Walked around to the dam and tried to cast into the deeper water. Pretty strong wind in our faces it quickly became apparent this was not going to work with our casts falling dead before turning over properly. We than walked around to a steep bank with the wind more to our side than our face. We both began to work the water best we could. No real back cast available the casts were short and roll casts actually did a bit better. Water was deep and clear. Could not see fish but it felt fishy :)

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   Finally the BilletHead hit pay dirt and it was fish on! A pretty respectable Colorado Cutt,

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   We thought this maybe pretty easy, not so I missed one more hit and the Mrs. not a bite. We drug our tired rears again towards the dam for another go there. Fought the wind more and then headed to the camper for food and bed time. First real meal of the trip was a good old BLT with home grown Missouri tomatoes. A local brew with it,

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       A sort of nights sleep. Even as tired as we were the first couple of nights are not like your own home bed. Up we were the next morning to a bowl of cereal and coffee. Then off for another try. Wind already blowing we trekked again to the steep bank to see if the Mrs. could get her Colorado. Try she did,

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   Finally a hit, fish landed,

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    We fished a bit more with only a couple more strikes. Decided to head back. We had noticed a few mushrooms so we did some hunting on the way back to the truck. Boletes everywhere. Nice damp ground great for growing conditions.

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  We broke camp for more exploring. Found another place, barely a trickle of a creek,

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   Fished awhile here, never seen a fish or have a take. Bummer city !  Went looking for Sheep Creek proper. Well found a fork of it but again really small. Drove more to Sheep Creek canal. Answer found, canal pulling off water. So we fished the canal. Brookies were caught here,

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   No more Colorado cuts here but we will revisit them in another place. Much prettier fish, actually unbelievable pretty fish but you will have to wait a few posts later for that :) . Then it was more shrooming with some picking too,

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     Lots more coming. Going after the Bear river next. Got to rest my typing fingers badly,

BilletHead

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        Been there done that Quill in the past ! Actually also on this trip we fished on Dinosaur National Monument on our last day before heading home but you all will have to wait for that installment of the trip. There are many miles, many waters and many fish to share before we get to that post,

  BilletHead

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Congrats on the first Colorado cutthroats:)! Sounds like you overcame difficult conditions but both of you scored. Great job! Can't wait for further installments.

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    After the bookie catching on the Sheep Creek we headed out of the Ashley National Forest North into Wyoming, across I-80 West and back into Utah. Quickest and easiest route. We worked our way up 89 highway along the Logan river. Soon the Logan left the highway and we followed that road in the Cache National Forest way up the upper Logan within several miles of the Idaho state line. We found a pull out and set up camp once again,

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     Again pretty antsy to fish we decided to eat first.   Dinner was bolete mushrooms, deer breakfast sausage, smoked cheddar in scrambled eggs with a couple hot tortillas on the side. We call that a mess here in BilletHeadVille and it worked in the high country too :) ,

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      With much needed nourishment out of the way it was time for a river walk.  After looking at the river I decided to tie on a trude and Mrs. BilletHead of course something pink :) . We wet waded across the river which here is more a stream,

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   We found a trail of sorts and began to pick the water apart. Mostly riffles with boulders providing pocket water. Slim pickings at the start. Close to the road I figured that would be par for the course. Finally we found a larger pool with wood backing up the stream providing deeper water. After finding this it was on. There are places in the state where the Bear River and Bonneville are mixed. We picked this place because these are the pure Bear River strain. We caught several then lost count,

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    Two down, two to go. Nights rest getting better sleep. Oh yes it was forty degrees at daylight when we got up the next morning.  Got to love it. So after breaking camp we headed back down the river again along 89. We had seen signs coming up there was to be a bike race the next day. Well this was the next day and all the way down the mountain we started seeing officials, support vehicles carrying spare bikes and empty bike racks. Now we have never seen a bike race and did not know what to really expect. Then a highway patrol car flashing lights, loud speaker and signaling traffic to pull over. We did and then patrolmen on motorcycles. One stopped and told us what to expect. They would be coming soon, real soon. I got the phone camera ready and before we knew it they were upon us in one big mass going up hill ninety to nothing. Before I could snap a shot some had went by but I got a shot. So the Mrs. and I know two bike riders on OAF. We looked hard and both think we seen Curtisce and FishingWrench in the riders screaming by. Seeing this race was pretty neat. As fast as it had started it was over and then the patrolman and the string of ambulances went by and gave us the all clear to proceed on our way,

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       We then worked our way to the far North West part of the state to the Sawtooth National Forest looking to get the Yellowstone Cutt. A very small area to try for them and what I figures would be the hardest. Did we do it? You will find out later :rolleyes:,

  BilletHead

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Again - Very nice cutthroats! Great job on finding the best place to fish for these guys. Seemed pretty cool to see the bike race. When we lived in PA the Tour de Trump (later changed to Tour de DuPont) bike race would go right past our apartment. With all of the motorcycles and support vehicles, it's amazing that the riders could get any fresh air. The last summer that we lived in Ireland we where driving on some out of the way highways and realized that we were in the middle of a road rally race! That was exciting.

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  Part Three the Yellowstone Cutt.

         A jaunt across the top of the state towards the Sawtooth National Forest. Most of it went pretty quick going the posted speed limit of eighty MPH. Got right down to hot sage flats. Then a secondary paved road leading to gravel. For awhile we were in Idaho and then driving right down the Idaho/Utah state line. In the distance we could see the Sawtooth's rising above the valley floor. Maybe twenty miles to the West was the state of Nevada. Off on another road to the beginning of the public forest we see a bridge, stop there and see a trickle of water flowing. Yep this is the stream we are looking for :) . I am not kidding a trickle ! Around another bend we find a parking area with this sign,

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      So we park and out come the rods to be strung up. Same flies we caught the Bear River fish on. It was hot and no wind. In the eighties. Sage flats all around the creek. Thick brush creating a canopy over the creek. I thought this is going to be interesting getting a fly into the water and how can there be fish in this trickle? We walked, peeked into the mess and gave each other a funny look. There really was no casting here. A drop here and a drop there hoping for a fish. Anytime we got close enough to see in the water we spooked fish. I can understand why thinking these fish are food for any critter looking for a meal and they have no where to go in places.  We took turns trying and I was the first to hook up,

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    Yes that is blood on my fingers. We lost two fish on this trip. This one and the next pictured. in the heat and non existent humidity these two fish never had a chance. After getting pictures we did things to help insure it did not happen again. We felt bad about it. Then the Mrs. got hers,

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    We now left our fish in the water and if they got off fine. The one taking the photo got ready and fish out photographed and right back in very quickly. There were many little pockets of water impossible to get a fly into,

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    Fish began to get better even in thin water,

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 Came from here,

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     I would stand way back watching the Mrs. fly being dropped looking for a hit and telling her to set the strike. ,

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   Her reward,

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   We actually caught several, missed a bunch. Very strange fishing to us but we succeeded. In the open places I could see tenkara used but in the brush a long rod would be a hindrance. 

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   Back at the truck we were pretty toasty. Rehydrated then got a photo of the catchers,

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       Dropped out of the Sawtooth's headed back East doing eighty. Looking for a place to rest, get a much needed shower and regroup. We ended up at a County campground in the middle of Ogden. Not a bad place to rest, some shady looking people milling about but I bet they were thinking the same about us. Sustenance this evening consisted of wild turkey carnitas ,

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     We are getting to the point nothing is keeping us from instantly passing out when our heads hit the pillows. Sleeping hard. So where and what is next? Bonneville cut maybe?

  BilletHead

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Ok, that little stream stealthy stuff sounds like a ton of fun to me. Those last couple look to be monsters in water that size. 

Loving the reports and anxious for more (even though I got a little preview) 😄

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