Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Time

This summer so far has been filled with so much chaos and activity that I have not been very good at posting, but I think that is not necessarily bad, because we have been somewhat busy with all the cool stuff we have been doing.

The fishing bug has finally bit me hard. I have been out fishing with Jason on a stretch of river that I have never fished and it has been phenominal. The picture to the side here is of a nice brown that was caught not too long ago. It was probably around 15 inches or so and was a really good fight. The fish we had been catching here have been almost all Brown Trout and they are as fiesty as any trout I have ever had on my line. The first night Jason took me out with him I fished him into the ground catching about 30 nice browns where he caught 10 or 12, he was a bit frustrated, but it was a good night all in all.

I have also been fishing a couple other new spots with some old friends that I grew up around. One of the areas that I have been to is out to Willard bay, which I have been to with Kirk, but with Dale he took me to a different area and taught me some new techniques. It is really fun, because we wade out into the water up to our belly buttons and fish for various different species and have caught quite a few of them.

I was able to take my boys out the other night and show them this new fishing that I have learned. With the good fishing being out in the deep water we got the boys a 6 ft inflatable raft so they could hang out with me out in the water and even fish a little. We had a fun night and even caught a lot of fish. The boys were able to reel a couple of them in and Dane even caught a fish all by himself, which actually surprised be.

Other than the fishing I have been riding my bike more than I ever have before. I have been in better shape this spring and summer than I have for a few years and it sure feels good when I ride or so anything active. I am not sucking wind as bad and can go a lot further than I have in the past.

I am also discovering that there are so many great trails here in the valley, and many of them are closer than I previously thought as well. It would be rad to get down to The Canyons or another mountain that rents downhill bikes and ride that type of scene for a day or so.

Thats all for now, so Trek On.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Biking the Slickrock

I finally made it down to Moab for the epic mountain biking that is world famous. Kirk and I headed down Thursday night and pulled into Moab at about 1:00 in the morning. Most of the campgrounds were full, so we headed down a dirt road just outside of town, found a relatively flat spot on the ground and rolled out the sleeping bags. I was a bit under prepared for the cold desert nights and spent the night freezing in my drafty bag. On all three nights we camped under the stars and Kirk made sure he slept about thirty yards away from where I made my bed, he said that I am loud.

That first morning we got ourselves ready and made our way to the Slickrock trail. Kirk said he has been on the trail numerous times, but with someone that has never been to Moab it is a must ride, so thats what we did. I cannot believe the riding that we were able to do on that slickrock. The tires are able to grip that rock like nothing I've seen before, which allows a mountain bike to climb, side hill and descend on terrain that is sometimes quite intimidating. We seemed to make good time on the trail, but were riding for a few hours. That was more bike riding than I have ever done at any other time in my life and it was incredible.

That afternoon we were able to ask around and find some information on some places that we could make our best efforts at catching some fish. We headed to a lake outside of town and fished it for quite some time before finally we started throwing a lure that caught some fish. Of course this is my secret lure that I barely shared with Kirk and never reveal to anyone, (especially my advanced technique). The next afternoon following our second day of riding we returned to this lake for more fishing but only after we had partaken of the waters ourselves.

Having camped out in the desert for two nights and rode our bikes hard for two days we were a bit colorful in the odor department and needed a shower. We first attempted to catch a shower at a local Hostel, but with no one around to help us and a long line of far more "colorful" people ahead of us to take a shower we opted out. Once we reached our fishing destination we realized the watery bounty before us and dared each other to bath in the freezing cold lake. After some coaxing we each stripped and dipped. It was either the great washing with soap and water or the intense cold, but I felt extremely invigorated afterwards.

Two of the three nights in Moab we ate at a local pasta joint that had some incredible food. The place was always hopping with plenty of comers and goers but all of it made for a unique atmosphere and some killer food. Our second day of riding was on the souverign trail that was also an incredible ride, and that afternoon we spent an hour or two catching some rest and even a few zzz's at the park along the river. The whole trip was outstanding and I cannot wait to get back and ride more of that rad slickrock and incredible trails that are all over this place.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What the Willard

The weather here in Cache Valley has remained quite cold and has yet to feel like spring in anyway. A couple weeks ago Kirk and I set out for Willard Bay with the boat in tow. I had never fished at Willard at all, but Kirk informed me that there is all kinds of fish in that little sea, and that day it did indeed feel like a sea. The wind was howling across the water and was bone chilling cold. Of course ours was the only truck in the parking lot. The little 12' Jon boat we were in was not a fan of the two foot waves that kept pounding the sides and even spilling over into the boat. Though small in comparison I felt as if we were crab fishing on the Bering Sea tossed too and fro by the powerful waves on an episode of The Deadliest Catch. In all seriousness it was very intense and Kirk for the first time in his life put on his life jacket and cinched it up tight. At one point during our weathering the storm it actually snowed on us. Needless to say we did not catch any fish that day and did not stay long at all.

The next trip to Willard Bay we made a couple of weeks later and it was a completely different trip. The weather was nice and even felt a bit like spring. We had Kirk's cousin, Chad, on board with us this time and we were heading out to fish for walleye or wipers, either one would do. We fished for hours and hours with no luck at all. We had crisscrossed the entire bay and had not even had so much as a bite. Then all of a sudden out of the blue I snagged into what I thought was just a log or rock, but as I quickly noticed it was a fiesty little fish. Kirk and I had been fishing all day for the wipers and then quite unexpectedly I had one on the end of my line. I did not waste anytime fighting the fish for fear that I might loose him, so I just muscled him in and Chad netted the fat sucker. It was a beautiful wiper bass, pretty good size, but definitely thick and fat. It was really the only moment of excitement the entire trip, but those few seconds of intense reeling action on my pole was worth the entire days work to catch that bugger.

With three of us in the small Jon boat it makes for a much more intense fishing trip. The weight loads the boat down so as we push through the water, it seeps over the front and in the rivets, which soaked my rear and most everything else as well. Once I caught that fish it gave all of us a energy boost to fish that much harder and before we knew it we were fishing in the dark with a long way to get back to shore. Once we stopped fishing and started back to the marina it took us forever to get back. I don't recall exactly but it seems that it was around 20 to 30 minutes of travel time, which is not really too bad, except that when our top speed is 5 mph it makes for a slow trip home.

That Wiper is one of my top notch fish, at least here in Utah. The Silver and King Salmon in Alaska are hard to top, but Utah fishing is still incredible.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jackalope Hunting

I recently purchased a new .22 rifle for varmint hunting and to have a good plinkster. The gun I purchased is the Remington Model 597 but in the camo composite stock. I mounted a 3-9 x 40mm scope and it is a pretty sweet little setup. I have been out west towards Snowville a couple times before, but never had much luck. Now that I am equipped with a super high powered rifle we can go slay some bunnies.
Hunting rabbits is not an extremely detailed hunt or anything, it is just fun to have a good semi auto .22 rifle that can go out and just plink as much as you want. This year it seems that there are quite a few rabbits, but they are jumpy and don't let you get too close. That makes the scope come in pretty handy.

I am originally from Wyoming and up there I have seen many mounts and pictures of the rare Jackalope, but have never seen a live one myself. Kirk had told me that some guys at his work heard that their were Jackalopes being spotted out in the Snowville area. We have been out there a couple times in the last month and have not seen anything resembling a Jack rabbit with antlers. I don't know that we will run into one ever but if we do I sure hope that we can get a good clean shot and bag the thing. That would be the coolest mount ever!

The snow is starting to melt around cache valley and Kirk and I are hoping to get out and hunt some other varmints as well. There are a lot of Raccoons up Blacksmiths Fork canyon and maybe we can figure out how to hunt those buggers. My .22 wont work for predator hunting, but maybe we can get in close on some fox that we know are around the Cutler Marsh area. Any big predators I have another friend that will let me take his 22-250 out, perhaps on some coyotes. Kirk has a rabbit distress call and a coyote yip call that we can try out, and maybe get into the dog hunting a bit. The coyote's in this area have a $20 bounty on them as well the pelt if preserved can be sold for another $20 or so. I still don't know too much about it, but coyote hunting is something that I will have to get into in the future for sure. There are all kinds a cool hunting video clips on youtube.

All animals filmed in the making of these videos WERE harmed and or killed.
Rabbit Video
Coyote Video
Varmint Video

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A New Hobby

The winter of 2006 was the most boring I have ever endured. My family usually gets out on the sleds or snowmobiles and we have even been snowboarding on the mountain in recent years, but '06 was altogether different. No one had any snowmobiles, and no snowboards, so all my wife and I seemed to do for fun was watch movies. I enjoy a good movie, but that winter was just flat boring.

This winter, again due to my good buddy Kirk, I found a new hobby, ice fishing. I had never been ice fishing until earlier this winter, and actually the first time I went I was not that impressed. Kirk took me out to Mantua Lake and we didn't catch a thing, plus it was cold, windy and fairly miserable. Well, the next trip redeemed Kirk and his crazy idea. We started going to a local place called Porcupine, and just like other fishing I had done, or hunting as well, I got that adrenaline rush and feel in love with a new hobby.

Though it can get fairly extreme at times, especially when Kirk drags me out for a midnight ice fishing attempt. Again my wife and all others I know view it as stupid, it is incredibly fun and my son, Dane has gone out with me a few times. He likes it quite well, and of course loved that he caught the bigger fish that day.

The first trip to Porcupine was earlier in the season and being out on the ice was still a bit sketchy to me. Early in the year the ice was about 5 or 6 inches thick which is plenty to fish on, but out in the middle the ice was crystal clear, and when the snow was cleared from a good area it was as if we were standing on a pain of glass about 3 inches thick. That was a bit scary to me and just overall creepy the way it made you feel peering down, deep into the water, know that it was hundreds of feet deep, and all you stand on is a nearly invisible sheet of ice. Truly the closest thing I think I will get to walking on water.

The ice fishing season is almost over. The temperature is getting quite warm, though it is still fairly cold at nights. In fact we went ice fishing this morning up to Porcupine and the ice was over two and a half feet thick, which burns the arms hand drilling the fishing holes through ice that thick. It is plenty deep to fish on for quite a while, the problem is the edge melts enough that it becomes impossible to get out onto the ice. That's okay though, its almost mountain bike season and I need to get in shape.