Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Few More Favorite Things

Yesterday, I blogged about a few of my favorite things from the Rebel Trout Trek. Specifically, I shared my favorite wildlife sighting, forest, mountain range and fish from the trip. I'd like to jump in where I left off and continue with trip favorites for one more day.

Favorite Fish I Caught
Although my favorite fish of the trip were a couple of fat rainbows that Asher caught, I also had a clear favorite fish of my own. Oddly, I'm not positive what species it was. I initially dubbed the big trout I caught from one of the Delaney Butte Lakes as a rainbow, but from closer examination of the colors and looking at reference photos, I sort of think it was Snake River cutthroat. Whatever the species, it was a whopper that hammered a Rebel Wee-Craw, fought hard, and barely fit in the net.

Favorite Landscape
In terms of overall scenery in a single place, nowhere comes close to Yosemite Valley in my mind. From El Capitan (highest sheer cliff in the world) to Half Dome to all of the waterfalls, everything is just so grand. In truth, everything towers so far above the valley that it's hard to grasp how big any of it is. Our visit was too brief, and visiting such a popular national park during a weekend probably wasn't the best strategy. Nevertheless, seeing the valley again and fishing between the cliffs still ranked as one of my favorite overall trip experiences.

Favorite River
I should say "favorite rivers," I suppose, because this one remains a tie in my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed fishing the Madison River in Montana and the Provo River in Utah, and both left me longing to have more days to explore other river sections. Both produced really good action from quality trout and offered outstanding public access. Also, at both rivers, Asher and I were pretty much the only anglers who were not fly fishing, which to me spells opportunity for showing the trout something different.

Favorite Lure
Asher and I caught fish on a bunch of different Rebel Lures and at times stream size or conditions dictates using some specific lure. Rebel Tracdown Ghost Minnows were the top producers, though, and the lures we ended up using the most frequently. A Ghost Minnow's slender profile makes it look like an easy meal to most fish, and reeling steadily causes a tight wiggle that's fairly subtle. That said, the weighting of this bait helps it handle fairly strong currents nicely, and twitching the rod tip makes the action much more erratic and prompts reaction strikes.

Favorite Fishing Accessory
Asher and I were repeatedly impressed by the design of the Cabela's Burl-Handle Landing Net that we used throughout the trip. The handle itself is comfortable in hand and doesn't slip when it's wet. Plus, the netting is rubberized, which make it easier on fish, and makes the hooks less likely to get caught in the net. The best feature, though, is a stretchy lanyard with a magnetized break-away design. I could hang the net out of my way from a vest or pack loop, but it was still in easy reach, and if Asher needed it or I wanted to go beyond the stretch range to land a fish or hold it in the water for photos, we could simply separate the magnet from the metal.

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