Friday, June 28, 2019

Beating the Heat, and the Freakin Biting Gnats!!!

As much as I love being in the Slot Canyons, there comes a point in ones Canyoneering life that the total nature of the desert becomes a bit too much. On this such a day, we had spent the day prior in Capital Reef National Park running some short slot canyons. The canyons were great, the hikes in were a bit more obnoxious and by the end of the day Jeff and I were hammered. Jeff more so and we decided to take a rest day on day 2 instead of hiking. Well, I love the canyons and I love Fishing just as much so we decided that day 2's canyon will be Glen Canyon, Lake Powell to be precise. Keeping some fishing poles in the car for just such an occasion we packed up camp in Capital Reef and loaded up the Hoe (Tahoe) and heading to Bullfrog Marina. Making a stop in Hanksville to top off tanks, drinking water, Fishing Licenses, Red Bulls, and Bait, we hit the lake in style.


The wind was pretty rough and we decided to run down to Stanton Creek / Red Canyon area where we had stopped and fished at before and where I've done some decent shore fishing at a couple years ago. We parked on the North Side of the cove and quickly discovered that the wind was hitting us directly in the face and it wasn't playing nice - Well, Ok, it was somewhat nice, but still brutal enough that we had a hard time casting the anchovies into the wind. We were targeting Stripers as we just wanted to make it as easy on us as we could.  Stripers are not a very hard fish to catch (and neither are Catfish). So we loaded up the hooks with Anchovie and lobbed them out just enough for the wind to throw it back in our faces.  It took a little bit to get it dialed in and we ended up putting 1/2 oz. weights on the lines just to get it to land in the water. One fantastic thing about the lake though, is No BUGS!!!  Ok, I did find a spider on my leg at one point, but no biting gnats out there. I've never seen an issue with annoying bugs at all out there. I figure the fish keep the larvae in check and the insects don't get to hatch in that water. Plus the wind on this day would have made the gnats non commital anyway.  It was fantastic.

Once Jeff figured out the right weight to get the bait out into the lake and the right spot to cast to, he started catching some fish. Catfish at first as is expected when bait fishing on the bottom, then a Striper.

We continued to battle the wind here for a couple hrs trying to get it dialed in. I didn't catch anything here. The wind continued to get me hung up in rocks and every time I'd set a hook, they get hung up and break off at either the hook or the weight. We probably lost about 10-15 hooks at this location (Warning anyone going swimming there in the future).   We packed it up and headed to the Marina where we could face the opposite direction, hoped to have a little reprieve from the wind and where I know there is more gravel than rocks at this location.  Problem was.... We had to start all over chumming the water for the Striper to get active. We only had a little less than 1/2 a bag of anchovies left after all our prior issues and they were getting warm and soft.  They didn't want to stay on the hooks now.  Jeff figured out the right spots to hook the anchovies on at to catch some bone and hold better. I lost a few in the process, but hey, chum!

After about an hour of sitting in this spot Jeff pulled in another Catfish:

The wind, well yeah, it wasn't any better here. Somehow it had figured out how to blow in the opposite direction here as it was in our previous location just so that it could blow back in our face again. However, without the rocks and such to get caught on we were feeling a bit more confident and it worked in my favor. After Jeff's catfish, I pulled in 2 Stripers and a Small Mouth that surprised the heck out of me. Jeff asked me earlier if a Small Mouth would eat an Anchovie, I told him no, but I guess if they are hungry, or annoyed enough they will.  The hook was almost bigger than the mouth on this guy.

All total for the Day:
Jeff: 3 Catfish                    1  Striper
Jared: 2 Striper                    1 Small Mouth

We beat the Gnats and our soreness and had a fun day out in a different type of canyon. Some would say that we gave up the canyons and opted for the easy way out, Some would say we just took a different approach to enjoying the canyons in another way.

Living in the South East desert of Utah affords us the opportunity to enjoy nature in so many different ways. From Hiking Slot Canyons, to Fishing Lake Powell or ATV riding through Elk Ridge and High Altitude mountains, there is lots to see and do and enjoy in this area. We aren't done with Slot canyons for the year, but man, the Gnats are out in force now and the lake is calling for now.  We might be on the water a bit more over the next couple months now.

No comments:

Post a Comment