FIELD TEST FRIDAY: JUNE SUCKERS (IN JULY)
It's no secret that we're hopeless fly fishing addicts here at Ventureborn. With countless blue ribbon trout streams in our backyard it's hard not to be. We sneak out of the office at lunch breaks to wet the line or duck out of work early to catch an evening dry fly hatch. We do whatever necessary to get our time on the water.
When one thinks of fly fishing they think of catching a beautiful brown trout, a colorful rainbow or even a high mountain cutthroat or brook trout. Hell, some picture Brad Pitt in the classic film, A River Runs Through It. Fly Fishing is magical no doubt.
However, this weeks FTF things took a comical turn for the crew. As we gathered at the dirt parking lot on the Middle Provo River on a perfect summer day. The plan was to catch the drake hatch sometime between 12:00 and 3:00pm in hopes of landing our share of brown trout and properly kick off the weekend.
Just as planned, right on time the hatch took place. Bugs were everywhere, fish were rising and the fishing was stellar. Brown trout after brown trout, tight lines were had by all and the stoke factor was high. However, like all hatches, eventually things slowed down and the fish were full and went back to deeper waters.
Like most fisherman, ignoring all curfews, obligations and time restraints, we opted to stick around a little longer. We moved upstream in search of more fish. Making our way though the tall weeds, wading through shallow sections to access a piece of water that we knew held fish.
Little did we know, the bend that was normally known for decent sized browns was full of June Suckers. While the June Sucker is actually considered "critically endangered," they rank right up there with the carp in most anglers eyes. We will say they're not the most pretty looking fish to reel in and leave it at that.
With open minds, we casted and ran nymphs (sub-surface flies) through the water repeatedly until we found a bug that these big fellas were interested in. The fun part about landing a June Sucker is that you feel like you've hooked into a shark. They are extremely strong fish and put up a great fight making them a blast to bring to the net.
Once in the net, it's hard not to get a good laugh at these prehistoric looking creatures. From a first glance, the June Sucker appears to be a bottom feeder, however, they are able to take food from mid-water. Most Suckers are gray or brown with a pale belly. Their lifespan can be up to 40 years and they can reach upwards of 24" in length.Our largest Sucker of the day was a few inches shy of the Utah state record of 28" unfortunately, however, she put up an amazing fight and provided some great entertainment for the group.
Like the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia once said, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
Jerry knew what he was talking about because we sure had a lot of laughs hooking into these June Suckers in July. Thanks for taking time to read this weeks Field Test Friday, we apologize it was actually posted on Saturday. Like true fly fishing bums, we were otherwise engaged, ha!