Welcome to High Country Fly Fishers. We are a conservation-oriented Trout Unlimited chapter located in beautiful Park City, Utah and covering all of Summit and Wasatch counties. Our activities include teaching fly fishing and fly tying, conservation projects in support of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Trout-in-the-Classroom program at local schools and lots of great fishing trips.  We meet on the first Tuesday of the month and feature fishing guides, fly tiers and fisheries biologists from all over the western states as speakers.  Old friends and new members are always welcome, so drop by for good conversation, interesting programs and fish tales.

New website coming soon.  Scheduled changes to editing software require a brand new HCFF website which should go online sometime in the next few weeks.  We hope….

Next Meeting
Date:Tuesday, May 3, 2022.   Dinner and Social Hour at 6 p.m.   Program starts at 7 p.m.
Location:Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery in Kimball Junction.   (map)
Program:Cody Prentice from Lost River Angler in Beaver, Utah will describe fishing untapped waters in Southern Utah.
Prez Sez

Bill Quapp

Catch & Release fishing is a choice that many fishermen and women practice.  For me, that practice evolved some 40 years ago when I fished the South Fork of the Snake River in Idaho.  We typically make that choice because we believe it improves the quality of the fishery.  Usually, that is true, and it can lead to more big fish.

However, in some fisheries, it can lead to overpopulation and actually lead to a large population of small fish.  I have seen this in Copper Basin beaver ponds on the Big Lost River in Idaho.  Once while camping there with my family many years ago, I would have 2 or 3 brookies competing for my fly as it landed on the water’s surface.  While that was exciting, none were more than about 8 inches in length.  So, quickly catching a dozen for breakfast became a conservation practice during that camping trip.

In Jordanelle, the DWR biologist has encouraged keeping small smallmouth bass because the forage is limited, so the smallmouths seldom get big.  In Starvation, the DWR wants fishers to keep small walleye so the population will evolve to larger walleye.  So, it is important to know your fishery and how catch and release practices will impact the fishery.  The Middle Provo is another location where the fishery would benefit from fishers keeping some of the smaller trout.  This practice would then provide more food for those fish remaining.

However, in both of those Utah reservoirs, catch and release practices for trout produce larger trout.  For many of us, one 20-inch trout in a day is more rewarding than a dozen 12-inch trout.  Many of us fish Strawberry Reservoir throughout the summer and routinely catch good numbers of 18 to 22-inch Cutthroat trout.  In Strawberry, the regulations require releasing all Cutts between 15 to 22 inches.  Those regulations then result in the larger average size fish.

CRT MedSo, if you want to practice catch and release fishing, here is a unique method to do so.  One of our HCFF members came up with a tool to enhance our ability to release fish quickly and without ever netting or handling the fish.  You can see and learn more about the method here.  We call it the CRT or catch and release tool.  The video lists some of the advantages to the fish and the fisherperson.  Once you use it, you will never go back to netting a fish (except maybe for the occasional photo).

Three HCFF members made 250 of these CRTs last year and gave them away to fishers.  This year we have made another 250.  So, if you want one, you can get one from John Schultz, Gene Cannarella, or me.

Tight lines,
Bill Quapp

Park City, Utah