Monday, August 17, 2009

Union Reservoir - Sunday, August 16, 2009

This was a WTF were we thinking trip - I mean, with so many cold water fisheries available to fish and having access to a boat to boot, we had our pick of any destination. Somehow I got tasked with putting this trip together and I royally screwed it up. I did manage to find two other guys to screw it up with - and to them I owe an apology. Please read the disclaimer - no fish over an inch and a half were harmed in the making of these photos - with the exception of some Old Chub's, which were drained and abused.

Scott and I met up at 5am in Morrison - that's early, especially since he has to wrassle up the boat and drive down 285 for about 20 miles to get there. I managed to slide into the Conoco at right on time. We met Steffan just after 6am at Union - would have been a few minutes earlier if Scott didn't have a disgusting, dirty gas station, plastic wrapped burrito urge that he couldn't say no too - and if we had paid attention to those big brown UNION RESERVOIR signs on the side of the road. Anyways, we made it - and we on the water in no time. We slowly set out for the shore and marked a few bait balls and fish, until we reached the eastern shore. There we started casting aimlessly at fish that didn't seem to be there.

The Chubs started cracking early - like 7:15am early - I needed to get a liquid breakfast in and what better way than with a little Scottish Ale! The boys were all business - well, just long enough to get in some serious pics:

Scott swore up and down that he couldn't drink the Chub because it made him feel bloated and irritable, but soon even he couldn't deny the charm of ice cold Chubs! Steffan and he started drinking them too - we killed off about 6 in the first 45 minutes. Then the action really started picking up - we trolled, and trolled and trolled, and trolled and found....nothing. The weather was decent - not too windy, just a steady breeze and the weather was about 75 degrees and no sign of bad weather yet. By noon we were about 5,000 casts into a skunking. We were again patrolling the east bank when it was obvious there was a lot of bait activity on the surface. Now, being the skilled fisherman that I am I can just sense when the bite is going to be on and my instincts told me to go with the brown and black Andrew's Slider carp fly. A strategically placed cast yielded our only catch of the day - but it was well worth the wait - although not my best fish, he was fairly hooked right in the mouth.

Now, he doesn't really look that big, but that is because I have really small hands and face and glasses, and I have him right up close to the camera. I don't think he broke the 1.5 foot mark or the 1.5 inch mark, but he was a keeper. We passed him around a couple of times for pics, but he was safely released into the wild.

We met up with MarkM later in the day and chatted with him while we ate some lunch. We did a lot more lounging than fishing in the afternoon, and did manage to spook 3 carp out of the deep weeds. We did manage to get stuck a couple of times in the deep cattails, but it was worth it.

Scott managed to scoop out a few baby catfish that were as black as coal and had long whiskers - there was a school of hundreds of them up in the cattails that Scott managed to get the boat beached in.

It ended up being a great day, the weather was good, the beer was cold, the conversation was good, and I didn't have to wear a shirt. We were out of there just after 4pm and home by 5:30. Not too shabby. I went to bed at 8:30 that night and don't remember anything until morning. 6 Chubs, a wicked sunburn on my gutt and my feet and three crab salad sandwichs did me in. Thanks guys for not letting me over do it!!


Chris said...

all i can think when i see/hear the word "chubs" is happy gilmore, the wooden hand, and the one-eyed crocodile....

wyoflyfish said...

Love the shad on the fly. Especially a fly that large with a shad that small. Does Union have any schooling up of bigger adult shad for a spawn attempt or do they just get decimated by the wipers before ever getting that large? I thought someone said the shad stack up there and the wipers sit on them gorging.... but I don't know.

Brandon said...

The shad in Union grow large - I have heard to about 14 inches - the reason is that the wiper population was nearly wiped out a few years ao and it is rebounding rapidly. The shad in the low wiper years survived and have grown quite large. I think the survey taken last year said 70% of all fish in Union are shad.

We saw millions of them near the cattails and the fish finder saw a bunch in the 20-25 feet sections as well in the middle of the lake.

Avg wiper is 14-16 inches in union and growing.