STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR, UTAH
Saturday January 13th, 2018
In the morning, it was a nice ride to the new home for a week.
The main HWY was clear, but once I turned into the Reservoir road, it was covered with packed snow.
On one occasion, 4Runner did a couple of slides, before I started to use the 4X4 function.
1-The second place I was to stay for a week.
2-This place was vast. The weather was sunny and perfect with almost no wind.
3-Anglers with their shelters on the Strawberry Reservoir.
The scene is not unlike the nomads in a desert setting. Except they are standing on solid water!
4-The motel and the main office/restaurant/tackle shop in the back ground.
The staff and owner at the lodge were very helpful and service oriented. I enjoyed my time there to a point that I am going back at the end of the February. Reservation has been made.
5-I met Jim (landlockedinUT) and his fishing buddy. The orange thing around my neck is a spike to help me get out of the pool in case of thin ice.
Jim had seen my post on SC surf fishing website and without knowing me in person offered me his hospitality.
He posted that I do not need to buy anything and that I could use his gear. I was very humbled by his offer.
However, he could only meet me for two days of the trip due to work and other commitments.
Thus, I needed to be self-sufficient and have my own gear. I plan to go back this year and hopefully in coming years.
Such are the fishing families on some forums.
6-This shelter belonged to Jim’s friend. Hard to see from this angle, but it was huge.
Three of us fished in it in comfort. Lots of space and warm.
They had two holes drilled for me with flasher in one. There was even a chair for me to use.
Now that is hospitality.
7-Jim’s friend with a nice size cutthroat caught with the Jaw Jacker.
It was in the slot limit (15”-22”), so it was released.
8-This is called Jaw Jacker. It sets the hook automatically when the fish grabs the bait or the lure.
9-Sample of keeper cutthroats that were caught.
10-Always smiling Jim (landlockedinUT) and my host with the most, with a keeper cutthroat.
Lots of room inside this shelter.
11-Yours truly with a $3000.00 (I mean a keeper) cutty!
The cost of trip was well worth it. It gave me a chance to put another adventure under my belt.
12-The fishing style involves very subtle bite detection. A use of a gadget like this enhances the detection of the bite.
I used it later in the trip for perch fishing.
13-Nature’s beauty, if you ignore the cold.
14-Jim’s friend had the hot hand. I believe this was his first trip to “Strawberry”, but not ice fishing.
Sunday January 14th, 2018
I fished alone for most of the day. No fish was marking on the flasher, thus none were caught.
15-My lodge in the distance. The tracks are from sleds being dragged on the snow.
16-I got concerned when I first saw this crack on the ice. It was not a problem.
17-Later in the day when we had ice expend and make noise (that is a good thing according to locals) I learned to relax.
However, when the ice shook like an Earth Quake, even the veteran Jim got concerned.
18-If the weather is good not even a jacket is needed. One can enjoy ice fishing without the shelter and be mobile.
If no bites in few minutes, it is recommended to drill a new hole and check it out with a flasher.
This is where a power auger comes in handy. New Eskimo brand propane operated one is on its way for the upcoming trip at the end of February.
Hand drilling into 12” thick of ice (the current thickness according to the local fishing guide) in that high altitude is not an easy task.
Monday January 15th, 2018
19-I woke up to a frozen vehicle due to an overnight drop in temperature.
20-Snow flake of a different design.
I met Jim at a bit deeper location (further from the shore) in search of elusive Kokanee salmon.
21-Our new location on “Strawberry” on Monday when Jim returned for a second day of fishing with me.
22-Jim let me use his power auger. It uses propane as fuel. This is supposed to be a video, but I cannot make it work.
23-I am winding line on a device called “tip-up”. I wanted to try an old school ice fishing method, although this unit has a modern look and improvements.
There are many types and this one has insulation on the bottom to keep the water in the hole from icing up.
When a fish takes the hook a flag pops out to let you know.
24-Once the flag is up; angler must take the slack out of the line and set the hook.
Then hand line the braid line, to bring up the fish.
After a slow bite in the morning, Jim suggested to move to a new place.
25-New location that Jim and I fished called “Ladders” on the Strawberry Reservoir.
26-The catch of the day by Jim at Ladders.
27-This is how pros navigate the ice to the fishing spots.
Tuesday January 18th, 2018
28-Coldest temperature reading so far on the trip.
29-Went for a ride around the Strawberry reservoir.
It gave me a chance to put the 4Runner through it various off-roading functions. I was on the paved road, but covered by thick level of snow.
It performed outstanding. Love that vehicle. Quite, comfortable and with the XM radio function, my kind of music everywhere I traveled.
30-View from the dam.
31-Some sort of animal tracks. Deer or elk perhaps.
After the tour around the lake, I went back to fishing in the afternoon.
32-I am fishing alone using the flasher.
33-Speaking of flashers, here is what the screen looks like:
It is very interesting.
The red section between 21 and 25.5 feet indicates the bottom.
When a lure is dropped in the water, it appears as a yellow line on the right side and moves from “0” toward the bottom around the circle.
If there is a fish it shows as another yellow line.
When the two meet, for example here at 13.5 ft, then it is time to get ready to set the hook.
If the fish stays there; the signal is a small red indicator. If the fish leaves to deeper or shallower, it turns to yellow line.
It does take some practice to learn how to interpret the signal.
Wednesday January 17th, 2018
One of the staff of the hotel, who was a retired warden (on the left) and a fishing guide, took me on a snowmobile (in the distance) to remote places to catch fish.
37-My snowmobile guide on the right.
We tried two different locations, but the fish were not around.
38-Since the fishing was not productive, I decided to take a guided snowmobile ride.
It was lots of fun, though demanding on this old body.
39-We went to the peak of a nearby mountain. Scenery from top of the mountain reached by snowmobile.
To be continued