Wednesday, April 10, 2019

First trip of 2019 - Mixed Success

Diane and I planned a trip to the Flaming Gorge in Utah about 6 months ago. We don't normally plan big trips in April due to most lakes still being frozen and the fickle nature of spring weather. I had been patiently waiting for April 8th to come so we could hit the road. Literally the morning of the 8th I get a text telling me a foot of snow and 30mph winds is what I could expect to find at the Gorge. I can generally deal with a day or two of that, but that was the forecast for most of our time there. We decided to just fish and camp here around Denver :|

All of Colorado was basically seeing the same weather as the Gorge, but we had about a day and a half before it would hit. So we decided to just camp at Cherry Creek and fish for walleye. It was pretty exciting to get the truck and boat fully loaded up and ready to go. Even if it was just for a short trip to Cherry Creek. We arrived at Cherry Creek about 4pm and started setting up. First I have to ditch the boat somewhere so I can get the camper off the truck. Getting the camper off and level is not too big a deal. The whole process probably took about 1/2 hour. We spent the rest of the day drinking beer and listening to music. It was just a bit too late to take the boat out and it was a little windy. We slept great. The bed is very comfortable and we didn't even need the heater.

We hit the lake about 7am the next morning. It was pretty windy, a little chilly, and mostly cloudy. Water temp was about 49 to 51. We put out 4 lines with 1oz snap weights pulling #5 flicker shads. At some point Diane got one of the lures really caught up in her jacket and asked me for help. The hooks on the new lures are *so* sharp. They will pretty much stick into anything they touch. The lure was stuck pretty good and would not come out. I grabbed some needle nose pliers and just had to jerk the lure out ripping a little hole in the jacket. The lure went flying in the process and stuck in my thumb.. way past the barb. Basically everything but the shank of the hook was in my hand. I tried to back the hook out with the pliers but due to the barb the hook would not move at all. At this point I thought about trying to push the hook through so the barb would pop out the other side and I could cut it off. The hook was in at such an angle that trying to push it through was not really practical. At this point I didn't really know what to do so I just made sure all the other lines were setup so we could keep fishing.

I tried pulling the hook out a few more times with no luck. As I contemplated going to the ER and wasting the whole day I remembered a few youtube videos I had seen about removing hooks from people. They used a trick with fishing line to apply pressure to the hook in the opposite direction of the barb. This would often create just enough space between the barb and skin to allow the hook to slide out. I kind of always thought it didn't seem like a useful tactic but I figured I might as well give it a shot. I had Diane cut off about 6' of 12lb floro line and double it over. I wrapped it around the shank of the hook and had her pull the opposite direction of the barb. I then used the needle nose to try to back the hook out. Immediately the hook popped out about 1/2 way!! We repositioned the line and needle nose to try again. After a few seconds of us both pulling hard the hook was freed from my hand! Thanks Youtube!

We fished for another few hours and managed one small walleye. I think the water is just a little too cold for them to be very active right now. That night we cooked up some brats and made a fire. The next day Denver was expecting "Bomb Cyclone #2" so we packed up and headed home. Not bad for a first trip out.

Remove a hook with string

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