This week’s entry is the flashback pheasant tail. I will admit that I cheated and turned the reins over to my 5 year old daughter to work her magic. In all I think she did a great job! Her picture features both a top view as well as a side profile view. She is quite a little artist!
I got a comment yesterday @utahfishinginfo about the icon I use for my personal Twitter account. The photo is of me with a really big bluegill (by Utah standards anyway – this is not the photo in question, that is below, keep reading). The story was too long for a Twitter post so I give you the full story below.
A couple of years ago I was working on a project for a customer in Dallas. We were also working with some partners who were based locally. The owner of the partner company and I were always talking about fishing, but never really had a chance to get out together. One night while I was down there, he invited the whole team over for dinner at his beautiful, huge home in a Dallas suburb. The development was built around a private lake that had bass, bluegill, and probably other assorted warm water fishes. I couldn’t help myself with so much fishy water around so I asked him if I could borrow some gear and give it a few casts. He didn’t have much in the way of gear, just a couple of old kids Zebco poles and one heavier catfish rod with a spinning real and probably 20 pound test monofilament. I opted for the heavy rod just because it looked like the only rod I could actually cast any distance. I rummaged through his tackle box for something that would fish. I ended up with a big, chewed up, smoke gray plastic worm that I rigged Texas-style and set out from the party to make a spectacle of myself. I think most people there knew of my fishing problem, but I don’t think they knew it was this bad. Plus I’m sure they all just thought I was an idiot for fishing in the pond. Never one to be too prideful, I set out to find some good structure to fish and found a big submerged log not far from his home. I casted around for about 15 minutes and then put a cast right on the farthest end of the log. I let it sink and then started to retrieve with a bit of a jigging motion. I got a huge hit and set the hook. I landed the fish and walked it up to the party for a little vindication and a photo and then set him free.
The fish was really colored beautifully and the unfortunately camera on my Blackberry didn’t do it justice. It had a really burnt orange breast, deeply colored stripes on the sides, and an intensely blue chin. The picture isn’t of the greatest quality, but it at least captures that big ol’ bluegill and me still in my work clothes. It was pretty funny. I guess the old saying is true, “everything IS bigger in Texas.”
Wow! That is a lot of fish. It is crazy to see how many they get in those nets. I think one of the interesting lines from the video is that 90% of the biomass of the lake is bound up in carp so I guess that means roughly 90% of the energy that is in the lake goes toward build carp. That is pretty astounding. Imagine if 90% of the usable energy from your car’s engine went to doing something that didn’t help you drive. I imagine you would want to get that fixed pretty quickly. I really look forward to seeing how the lake and its inhabitants respond to this project.
Many people know Lake Powell as a summer boating paradise, but most don’t know that it is also a paradise in the winter, but for fishing. ”Roughin’ It Outdoors” is a locally produced outdoor themed TV show that has evolved over the years, but is always worth a watch. I never miss a week. Last Saturday night they featured striper fishing at Lake Powell with three good segments on the subject. Looks like it would be a fun trip to take.
I really dig the stories that Brett Prettyman (@brettprettyman) contributes to the Salt Lake Tribune and his blog. He always has a cool story to tell. I love this one using nets through the ice to remove carp from Utah Lake. For those who don’t know there is a massive multi-year project underway to clean up the state’s largest freshwater natural lake which is managed by the Utah Lake Commission. One of the biggest parts of that plan is ridding the lake of carp which have a severe impact on the overall health of the lake. It would be great to see nice clean and clear water in Utah Lake for the first time in my lifetime. The goal is to restore the endangered June Sucker to it’s only native body of water. Perhaps they could even restore the lake to its historical glory as a producer of gigantic bonneville cutthroat. I think another eventual benefit of cleaning up the lake would mean a cleaner and possibly more trout friendly Jordan River. This is a nice river in all other respects (except maybe for the the occasional floating body) and is a shame that it can’t be enjoyed as a trout fishery.
A new website specializing in Utah fishing information has recently sprung up called called, appropriately, utahfishing.info. I think it has some really good potential as a means to harvest fishing reports information from Twitter. It would be cool to see if they could refine out the totally unrelated tweets from their river reports, but so far things at least look interesting and it’s a site I’ll be watching. They can also be followed on Twitter @utahfishinginfo.
The Great Salt Lake Bird Festival is coming up in May and will give you an opportunity to visit the bird refuge and see the great diversity of birds that call it home (or at least a place to crash on their way to somewhere else). If you haven’t ever been out to the refuge this would be a great opportunity to do so. I used to canoe through it with my Dad and brother when I was much younger. It played a large part in my love of the outdoors and birds in particular. Check it out.
There is a new open source project that aims to help your kids learn something actually useful called Phylomon. I had always thought this would be a good idea. I never cease to be amazed by how much kids can memorize about Pokemon. Many can just rattle off every last detail about about them like experts in some scientific field. I have nephews who could even draw them all. It really is remarkable. It would be cool if this thing took hold and kids could learn more about the animals around them. However it seems like kids can sense when something is actually educational and won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole