Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anvil and the Pipeline, Flaming Gorge Reservoir

While we could take the boat to Anvil and the pipeline, I prefer to drive to the boat ramp at Anvil. Not only does it cost less to tow the boat than to take it there, but more importantly it a lot safer! Every day the cumulous clouds form and lightening and wind gusts chase us off the lake and by launching at a boat ramp close to where we are fishing, we can avoid long high speed runs.
So it’s a no brainer to tow the boat, but one should remember to take the boat keys. Yep, we forgot the boat keys!
We knew where they were, right on the dining table. So our first day at Anvil, we changed plans and went fossil hunting instead of fishing, and its actually pretty good there for brown turetella. Now turetella, (actually it is Elimia tenera,(family Pleurocerida), fossils are used for jewelry making. We gave some to a new friend in Grand Isle and so we wanted to get some more of it. The black turetella is actually more highly prized but the black jasper at Anvil doesn’t contain any of the fossils and we had to settle for the brown variety.
Yesterday we finally got back to Anvil, this time with the boat keys! As we drove in we noticed a group of boats trolling for salmon, directly across from the boat ramp. It was a very short run to get there and we quickly arrived and set the downriggers. We could see a lot of fish on the fish finder and so we joined the boats anticipating a good day of fishing.
Two hours later we hadn’t had a single release. We could see fish coming up to the rigs, and then going back down with hitting. Talk about frustration! In that same time we saw the other boats catch two small fish. This was not good. Suddenly we went through some fish and the left downrigger twitched but didn’t release.
I grabbed the pole and jerked it hard, releasing the line and then proceeded to wind in a small rainbow trout. Darn, so much for my turn,(We take turns catching the fish and employ the three strike rule, which is that you get three bites and then lose your turn if you don’t land them)!
Pulling up the other rigs we headed down to the pipeline, only to be greeted by the sight of a large number of boats trolling the area. One of the boats was a guide boat. It’s a proud boat and I had talked with the guide last year. He specializes in Kokenee fishing, so it’s usually a good sign to see him working an area.
It wasn’t this time. We got into the trolling pattern, ( when there are a lot of boats they usually from a traffic pattern and it’s wise to join in instead of messing then up. While we saw fish and talked with several other fishermen we didn’t see any nets flash, or even see anybody running to their poles.
Storm clouds were forming so we trolled back towards the boat ramp. As I watched the clouds build, Renita calmly read her book. Suddenly she put her book down and went for the rods, as a pole had released! Grabbing the rod she yelled to me that she had a big one and fought it in while I turned the boat and wound in lines and the downrigger.
Of course she got it and I slid the net under the fish, a nice three pound Kokenee! Dinner was served! We fished a little more before Renita noticed lightening in the distance. Now lightening has been known to strike over five miles ahead of the storm, so we pulled our rigs and headed back to the ramp.
I backed the trailer into the water and Renita expertly drove the boat onto the trailer. She has gotten really good at this and another lady in a boat watched her with obvious envy. Not only does she catch the big fish she is quite a first mate and runs the boat better than most men!
We grilled the salmon, lightly spicing it with spinach and herbs, garlic salt and fresh ground pepper, and a few pats of butter. As it cooked I put some mesquite on the grill for a smoked flavor. Now we don’t eat out a lot for a couple of reasons. One it costs a lot, but more importantly it usually isn’t as good as what we can make at home! The salmon was exceptional! Clear skies

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