ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Trout Fishing on the Lower Provo

Accidental selfie.

You can't live dangerously without a little fishing. If you're a follower of this blog, then you'll remember when I posted the blog about fishing when I was in Afghanistan called When I Used to Be a Fisherman. Somewhere along the way I'd stopped fishing. No more.

Ever since I came back from Afghanistan in the fall of 2013, I've been trout fishing where I can. We have a little alpine lake close by that has rainbow stockies. Really no more than 9 or 10 inches if you're lucky. On day I latched onto a school of them and caught 30 8 - 9 inch trout (or maybe there were only two and they took turns leaping onto my lure). But these fish are small and hard to find. The best part about Parker Canyon Lake is that I can take my fishing yak on there. Now that's fun.

My son and I went up to Silver Creek last fall. We tried to fish, but a deluge and subsequent flood spoiled that for us. Seriously. The creek flooded within 30 minutes of us arriving. Sigh.

I recently tried to fish the Lower Salt River in Arizona and was skunked. Nothing. It was a freezing morning and no one was catching anything.

Then in January I tried to fly fish the Lower Provo River in Utah. I'm not a very good fly fisherman yet. I tried nymphing. But again. Freezing. And nothing. Not even a strike.

So when I returned to the Lower Provo River this time, I decided to fish the way I normally fish and that's with spinners. Only question was which spinner to use. And oh yeah. In the middle of April it snowed and got down to --you guessed it-- freezing.

But the day I went fishing dawned nice and beautiful. No snow and the temp raised to the mid-50s. So I hit the river, found a spot and began working through my spinners. First one I tried was one the guy at Cabellas told me to use. Ten minutes and nothing. The next one was a spinner mimicking a rainbow. Nothing. Then the next one mimicked a little brown trout. Still nothing.

I was beginning to wonder if I'd lost the touch. I'd done my research. I'd read the blogs. I'd bought what others had said worked. But still nothing.


Then I noticed that my lures were a little large. I also didn't like their action. So I tried a little spinner mimicking a brown trout. Three casts in and a fish rolled it's belly towards the lure, showing me the yellow and white of the brownies tummy. My heart leaped into my throat. I told myself to move slow.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

Don't fumble this.

I was working my way up stream with waders, casting up towards the deeper waters at a 45% to 60% angle. I cast over where the fish rolled, retrieved the spinner, and BAM! It took it with only about ten feet of line left, so near I saw it take the lure and try and run with it.

Oh the joy and excitement. There's nothing like it. Catching a fish, especially a big fish like this after so long not catching anything is an almost indescribable feeling.

I brought it in, took a picture, then released it.

Funny thing. I've never done catch and release before. But I was traveling. Hell, my suitcase had my two travel rods, two reels, my lures, my Simms waders, and my Korkers boots. What was I going to do with a fish? Stuff them in my socks? I had to let it go.

Of course before I left my wife had said, You spend all this money on fishing gear to catch a fish just to let it go. You're so weird.

I thought it would bother me not keeping the fish. But you know what? I enjoyed it. And yeah, dear, it did feel a little weird.

That first brownie was not the last. Over the next six hours I worked different parts of the Lower Provo and caught and released ten fish.

Let me share them with you.

2nd Fish caught about two minutes after the first.

3rd fish caught about ten feet from where I caught the second. I was constantly inching upstream. 

I think this was the 3rd fish's brother.

Last one at this location. Then I moved on. When I returned to my car I met a fly
fisherman who'd come all the way from Switzerland to fish. He was in for a great time. 

This one wasn't as fat as the next one, but it was long and rangy.

I caught this one on a first cast in a place where I knew a lot of people had passed.
Just goes to show.

This is the same as the last one. It was a huge fish and fought the hardest of all of them.
I was pleased to return it to the river.
This one was barely a keeper but it fought like it's big brothers.

Two guys were about thirty yards down stream fishing
from a bridge. I walked up and first cast. Boom!

How'd this Rainbow Get here?? About 15 inches.
So that's it folks. After the rainbow, I called it a day. I drove around a little looking at spots I might try next time. 

Here's my Gear:
  • Akuma Trio High Speed Reel
  • St. Croix lightweight Travel Rod
  • 6 pound test
  • Simms Waders
  • Korkers Boots
  • Licence from Cabellas
  • and some lures.


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