Weather: Sunny, clear, no wind, 40’s
Moon Phase: 50% Moon
Location: Flaming Gorge – Brinegars Ranch
Bait: 7 inch tube jig, burbot green
Who Went: John, Me, (un-invited old man)
Just when you think you have the big lake trout at Flaming Gorge figured out, they wind up and tail slap you right in the face, and remind you who’s in charge! I ran up to Flaming Gorge on Thursday night with my buddy John for a one day fishing event on Friday. We were on the lake before sun up, but forgot one of the fish finders so I had to run back to the car and get it. As I was walking from the car back out to our fishing holes, this beast of a machine pulled up and offered me a ride!I declined at first but the friendly old man driving insisted I jump on, so I did. Little did I know I was getting duped by a little old man on a 4 wheeler! He dropped me off with my gear and told me how this was his favorite spot to fish, but he didn’t want to intrude and we were already there before him. I told him sorry, but thanks for the ride! He continued to drive circles around us for about 10 minutes before parking 30 feet from me. He told me he couldn’t find another spot to fish and thought his generous ride out on the ice made up for the fact that he was going to fish right on top of me all day! As he began setting up his gear I walked over there and nicely told him that he was a little close for comfort, but just like an old fuddy duddy, he played it off and acted like we were best buddies and felt I wouldn’t care! Problem was, I did care, and I knew our fish finders would interfere with each other all day long, which they did, and I wasn’t happy about it. I only had one morning to fish and I didn’t want anything to screw it up, but it was too late! To make matters worse, the old man hooked up with a fish almost instantly after dropping a jig and landed a 19 pound lake trout right in front of my face!
I had a total of three good hits all day long and missed every dang one of them! John missed one hit, and together we went 0-4. It was hard to swallow, but we were certainly humbled by the Mighty Gorge on this trip, and to kick us while we were down, the old man hooked up with another lake trout and it was a total rod bender! John and I walked over there to watch the show and I helped land the fish of this guys dreams. It wasn’t as big as I thought it was going to be, but that’s because he had the fish snagged on the side! Even after seeing the fish the old man thought it was well over thirty pounds, and I knew it wasn’t, but he was very excited and said his scale was not working and asked to use mine. I weighed the fish for him and the scale topped out at 26 pounds, but I told him it was an even 30 just to make his day. He had me take pictures of him holding it and as nice as this guy was, I was still ticked-off about him fishing that close to me! Oh well, I guess we at least got to see a big lake trout on this trip, but it sure as hell wasn’t mine. I put on a miss clinic and if I would have landed those three fish the trip probably would’ve had a whole different story! It was a bummer deal, but at the same time that’s why I'm addicted to lake trout fishing, because you can’t plan on landing trophy fish on every trip, but when you do they are well worth the wait! Above is a picture of my fish finder and the top line being shown is my jig and the bottom line a big lake trout. If you understand how to read a fish finder you can see that the fish followed my jig from the lakes bottom all the way up to about 65 feet before losing interest and heading back down. You can also see that I dropped my jig right back on his head, but just like the rest of the lake trout that day, it didn't want anything to do with me! If the bottom line would have come up and touched the top line then I probably would have experienced a bite. I like to call this method, "the ultimate video game," because chasers like this will keep your interest for hours!
After accepting lake trout defeat, John wanted to go burbot fishing before we headed home, but when we arrived at our burbot fishing hole, the ice had vanished from two weeks ago when we were there, and we saw nothing but open water. We found one small area that was still iced over and gave it a shot for about an hour, but didn’t even get a bite, so that made it official… we got skunked! The drive home felt just like coming home from a Wendover trip after you’ve lost 500 dollars and it suddenly sinks in what just happened! It’s not a good feeling, but it just gives me more energy to get back up there and get back at them! I definitely have a serious lake trout fishing illness!