Strawberry Reservoir, Utah... good month

stenacron

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So... been away for a while, crazy combination of events, basically took about 10 months off, but now back and killing it on my favorite body of water - Strawberry Reservoir. We had a really strange weather cycle in Northern Utah this year... mild winter, cold/dry spring... then right when it usually gets hot/dry, it got cold/wet. The result was an entire month of June (and early July) with water temps in the low-mid 50s and fantastic fishing.

I'm a picture guy (worth a thousand words blah blah blah)... so here goes:

If anyone ever asks "why do you get up so early to go fishing"... easier to just say "no reason" than to try and explain this:
00 sunrise.jpg

Stripping emerger patterns and buggers/streamers early mornings took most of the fish. Cutt's seemed to roam in packs over the shoals earlier in June in fairly shallow water (2-3 ft). So if you ever wanted to see a Cutthroat peel into your backing? Hook a good one 50 yards away from the safety of the abyss. Here's a 2-footer that my buddy Steve caught on Rickards Stillwater Nymph. Unfortunately it shot out of his net when he tried to lift it for the money shot:
07 Steve_cutt.jpg

Looks like they might have been feeding on chironomids... whadda ya think? Throat sample from a 17-inch Cutt roaming the edge of the shoals:
01_Throat Sample_Strawberry_12 Jun 2020_0930 hrs.jpg

One fly that I've really come to love is Rickards Stillwater Bug... it has quickly shot to the front of the line in my fly box and has become the first to go into the water as the month progressed. Interesting fish here (20-in Cutt) that must have been stalking shiner minnows dimpling the surface at first light... coughed up a 5-in Kokanee smolt when it hit the net!
03 cutt.jpg

The Bear Lake Cutthroat is just a gorgeous fish... willing biters... and underrated fighters (they're a real handful on a fly rod)... and love to dig for the bottom:
04 cutt.jpg

But there have been Rainbows too. The DNR stocks "triploids" here. They're sterile as to not co-mingle with the spawning cutthroats. They save all their aggression for the sting of the hook. Never have I seen my fly line peel off and disappear into the waters of the Berry while I question the last time I checked the knot on my backing. Pretty little things too:
09 rainbow.jpg
07 rainbow.jpg

Barring any unforeseen weather patterns that keep the water temps down, it looks like I'll be taking the tube to higher grounds for the summer... 10,000 feet and the Uinta Mountains... be back to the Berry in the Fall:
08 lunch.jpg

Stillwater Bug and the Tequila Booby have been the shining stars so far in 2020 accounting for about half of the fish caught so far. On to the next FF chapter.
 
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So... been away for a while, crazy combination of events, basically took about 10 months off, but now back and killing it on my favorite body of water - Strawberry Reservoir. We had a really strange weather cycle in Northern Utah this year... mild winter, cold/dry spring... then right when it usually gets hot/dry, it got cold/wet. The result was an entire month of June (and early July) with water temps in the low-mid 50s and fantastic fishing.

I'm a picture guy (worth a thousand words blah blah blah)... so here goes:

If anyone ever asks "why do you get up so early to go fishing"... easier to just say "no reason" than to try and explain this:
View attachment 24351

Stripping emerger patterns and buggers/streamers early mornings took most of the fish. Cutt's seemed to roam in packs over the shoals earlier in June in fairly shallow water (2-3 ft). So if you ever wanted to see a Cutthroat peel into your backing? Hook a good one 50 yards away from the safety of the abyss. Here's a 2-footer that my buddy Steve caught on Rickards Stillwater Nymph. Unfortunately it shot out of his net when he tried to lift it for the money shot:
View attachment 24352

Looks like they might have been feeding on chironomids... whadda ya think? Throat sample from a 17-inch Cutt roaming the edge of the shoals:
View attachment 24353

One fly that I've really come to love is Rickards Stillwater Bug... it has quickly shot to the front of the line in my fly box and has become the first to go into the water as the month progressed. Interesting fish here (20-in Cutt) that must have been stalking shiner minnows dimpling the surface at first light... coughed up a 5-in Kokanee smolt when it hit the net!
View attachment 24354

The Bear Lake Cutthroat is just a gorgeous fish... willing biters... and underrated fighters (they're a real handful on a fly rod)... and love to dig for the bottom:
View attachment 24355

But there have been Rainbows too. The DNR stocks "triploids" here. They're sterile as to not co-mingle with the spawning cutthroats. They save all their aggression for the sting of the hook. Never have I seen my fly line peel off and disappear into the waters of the Berry while I question the last time I checked the knot on my backing. Pretty little things too:
View attachment 24356
View attachment 24357

Barring any unforeseen weather patterns that keep the water temps down, it looks like I'll be taking the tube to higher grounds for the summer... 10,000 feet and the Uinta Mountains... be back to the Berry in the Fall:
View attachment 24358

Stillwater Bug and the Tequila Booby have been the shining stars so far in 2020 accounting for about half of the fish caught so far. On to the next FF chapter.
Thanks for the story! A bit far from here but maybe....
 

iv_wjb

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Great photos and a really enjoyable post. Bings back some great memories... Fishing that area is, indeed, spectacular!!

I realize this is an older thread but, would you have a link to the Rickards Stillwater Bug fly pattern? I’ve tried to find the pattern so I can tie a few but, I’ve come-up empty so-far. Thanks 👊🏻
 
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teledan

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teledan

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You bet. I was literally just looking at Denny’s site yesterday. I still had my browser open to his site on my phone when I saw your post.
 
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