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Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015

Best Fishing Day Ever by J.F. Jones I spent all morning looking at the beautiful scenery all around me. I was in the top most part of the Uinta Mountains. The sun was bright and the lakes were crystalclear – I was looking for a certain place a friend had told me about. He told me he had found an area that had not been fished in a long time. He told me it was in a canyon with a dry stream bed. To get to this place you had to hike another 5 miles before you found any water at all. At the end of the trail or the end of the dry stream bed it would open up into a beautiful valley filled with beaver dams. He said he had found this place by accident and that the fish in the beaver dams were the largest trout you had ever seen. He told was not able to catch any of them because they were eating fine and were not really hungry as a result so no matter what you tried – they would not bite. 102 BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q2 • 2015 Now – I considered myself one of the best trout fishermen there was. I knew that I could catch them because I was that good! So off I trekked into the woods looking for this canyon and enjoying the beauty of it all. All of a sudden I was at the mouth of the canyon and it had a dry creek bed coming out of it, so off I went another 5 miles of hiking before I could get to the beaver dams. I was going to bring my fly rod but I knew that the underbrush was so thick I didn’t think I could get through it, but finally my perseverance paid off and I looked out at one of the most beautiful valleys I have ever seen. The beaver dams were bigger than any I had ever encountered before, and I caught a glimpse of one trout that looked to be about 23 inches long. These were native trout, they were German Browns and beautiful. I snuck up on one beaver dam and looked down and saw a group of trout all more than 30 inches long, and some of the fattest I’ve ever seen. I decided I would try flies first using a clear plastic bubble for weight in order to get the flies to the fish since I was using a short spinning rod due to the heavy cover. My friend was right and the trout would not even look at the flies I sent their way. Next I tried some lures and small plastics and got the same thing – not even a looksey? I then went and found a stick and dug up some angle worms – tried them and got the same thing. I figured there is no way they can resist grasshoppers because they work even in the most finicky of fish and again the same thing – they just turned up their nose and would not even touch the hoppers. Now I was about 26 years old at the time and I always like to carry a little nip with me when going on such outings. I was so disgusted I was ready to leave when all of the sudden I saw a garter snake and it had a small mouse in its mouth. I thought why not, so I grabbed the snake and took the mouse out of its mouth. I was getting ready to throw the snake in the grass when I thought to myself I just took his food from him and so I must make this right – so I took out my flask and gave him a little shot of whiskey and put him gently back in the grass. I took the mouse and put it on the hook and dropped it in the dam. The mouse had only swum a few inches when one of the trout grabbed it and I had probably the biggest trout fight ever lasting about 20 minutes. To my amazement the fish measured well over 35 inches and weighed in at a hefty 13.5 pounds. There was nothing left of the mouse but to my amazement the snake was back with another mouse in its mouth. Rather dismayed I took the mouse from his mouth, hooked it up and tossed it in the same spot and caught another trout about a foot bigger than the last and probably another 4-5 pounds heavier. I could have stayed there the whole day and caught more trout but I was running out of whiskey and I did not want the snake to have a dependency problem – so I kept those first two big trout and released the next few even larger ones. I went home and fried those two trout, refilled my flask for my next trip and that was about the best fishing day of my life. By J.F. Jones


Bisbees Conservation Journal Q2 2015
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