Essays and Musings

Best Fishing Day In 18 Months!

This was the best day I have had fishing in at least 18 months! Both stalkerS were on the prowl today near the headwaters of West Fork of the Bear River. Within seconds of entering the water, I knew, no doubts at all, that I had finally reached the pinnacle of 18 months of effort. Today was unexpected because although I have been actively working for at least a year and a half for the very results I finally achieved today, each of the other times fishing during these months I’ve been disappointed, so I expected disappointment again today.

I think Dan was a bit jealous because at the end of the fishing day, as we were stripping off our waders, he said that I had expressed my excitement at least four times (well, he said that the picture was worth a lot more than the verbal comments). Okay, it probably wasn’t jealousy because he did pose with my pride and joy (the picture is at the end of the post if you just can’t wait).

Today was another reconnaissance mission. We wanted to see what it was like closer to the headwaters of the famous West Fork we fished last week. We had never been to that area, so that was today’s main destination. The “near the headwaters” was among a lot of grazing land at 6000′, but luckily access was on public land:

The West Fork runs right along the white line (it goes behind the hill in the middle and in front of the hill on the far right).

It’s a pretty little creek, with openings here and there, and lots of brush and trees block access in areas as well:

Dan was first in the water:

(make sure you compliment him on his new hat—his ears were getting burnt, so he needed some cover)

He had a fish on within a couple of casts:

We were hoping for cutthroats along this upper stretch, and luckily were not disappointed. As far as we can tell, the entire West Fork is loaded with a Bonneville Cutthroat. Dan said several years ago he did catch one that appeared to be a cutthroat-rainbow mix. Other than that, nothing but cutts!

This is the hole he plucked the fish from:

“Hey Dan, guess what?”


I told him the exciting news.

One of the best catches of the day was this little fella:

He was about 35′ upstream from us. He didn’t seem too bothered. We kept as quiet as possible. I snapped some shots. I moved a little closer and snapped some more and took a little video. Then we tried to spook him with animal noises (my wife pulled the you-couple-of-idiots face when I told that). Then we started talking and moving closer. He finally took off. I hope he has the instincts to make it.

This is a fairly open section, but you can get an idea of the typical “dap-and-dab” fishing we had to do.

This method did help produce this fine specimen:

I was only getting little nips here and there from the small fry. Dan was getting those as well, but he at least landed a couple of better-sized fish. I finally got one about 6″.

“Hey Dan, guess what?”


I told him the exciting news again.

We headed downriver to our usual destination after about two hours of fishing. We hoped the back way was accessible all the way downriver and out our usual route. It was an exciting, back-realigning trek. We crossed the creek several times. And finally made it to the burned out section we fished just eleven days ago:

The red indicates the approximate location of the water when we were in the same spot last week. This is the hole Dan caught the fish in that I have on video from last week’s post.

I picked up a nice 13″ cutt that I tried to get a picture of, but it flopped out of my hand while I fumbled with the camera. It was time to wrap it up and head home.

“Hey Dan, guess what?”


“My feet are dry!”

That’s the mark of a true friend—someone willing to pose with the best catch of the day: a walked-in-all-day-long-in-waders sock.

That was indeed my best fishing day in at least 18 months of fishing. I am officially the Aquaseal poster boy:

Several tubes of Aquaseal have created this thing of beauty. After every trip for the past year and a half I would look for, and try to Aquaseal patch, the leaks in my neoprene footies. No problems with the breathable fabric, but those booties have been my bane. Dry feet make this the best fishing day in 18 months!

Leaky waders or dry waders, I want to see more pics of great looking patch jobs. Leave a comment with a link to the worst looking patch jobs you know of.

“Hey Dan, guess what?”

You can read about Alistair’s wader repairs here.

These are Talking Bull’s hand-me-down waders (they are now my son’s waders). I’ve highlighted a few important features that my son has been especially impressed with.
image: hand-me-down repaired waders

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4 comments for “Best Fishing Day In 18 Months!”

  1. Another great day in the chronicles! Scott (if you don’t mind), another great patching job is just seconds away.
    Go look at Ben’s hand-me down (or should I say hand-Dan down) waders. I think it has hall of fame potential. That’s
    a lot of aquaseal and a bunch of other goop to boot.

    Posted by Talking Bull | June 22, 2008, 6:49 pm
  2. Ah, yes. I’ll grab those out of the back of the truck and snap a few photos.

    Posted by Cutthroat Stalker (Scott) | June 22, 2008, 10:12 pm
  3. Nice pics and story. Congrats on having productive creeks around to fish.

    I used a tube of Aqua Seal several times on some waders where the gortex meets the neoprene. It was the mid calf area. I couldn’t get it to seal. So, finally I called the Sportsmans Warehouse department manager and he gave me a new pair. He said if they leak in “that” area it is a fault in the waders. If it leaks in the crotch etc, it is due to not turning them inside out and letting them dry out. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures, but the phone call was worth it.

    Posted by Ron Bell | July 11, 2008, 8:05 am
  4. Thanks Ron. I talked to the store that I bought the waders from, but since I used some of the wrong repair stuff (felt sole glue–don’t ask) first, I pretty much botched the whole thing before I put the Aquaseal on. If it wouldn’t have been for that, Dan Bailey’s would have replaced them. Live and learn.

    Posted by Cutthroat Stalker (Scott) | July 11, 2008, 9:41 am

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