Monday, June 6, 2011

Free Fishing Day

Last Saturday was Free Fishing Day in Utah and Wyoming. For the last several years I've gone with my Dad, my brother, and my brothers-in-law up to Star Valley Wyoming to do some fishing in the Salt River and in the Grand Palisades Reservoir. And for the most part we've been skunked. This year we opted out of going to Wyoming and chose to stay in Utah, instead.

After I got to my parents' house, we headed up to Mantua Reservoir.[1] When we started unloading I discovered that while I'd remembered to put my rod and tackle box in my Dad's car, I forgot to bring my reel—it was still sitting in my car back at my parents' house. My brother-in-law, Mike, let me use his pole while he went to visit his aunt who lived just down the street. After he came back, my brother, Nathan, got bored, so I used his pole.

We didn't manage to catch any fish at Mantua Reservoir, so we went back for my reel and then headed out to Willard Bay.[2] We got skunked there, too. I tried just about every lure I had in my tackle box, but all to no avail. No one else caught anything, either, except for rocks and algae. Which brings me to some of the laws of fishing:
  • No matter what side of the lake you're on, the wind will blow your bobber back to shore.
  • You will catch more things that sink than that swim.
  • You won't catch any edible fish on Free Fishing Day.

But at least we had good company! These midges [3] thought it was hilarious to gather into big swarms and then wait for a gust of wind to blow them into my face while my mouth was open.

When we got back to the car, we found a bunch of dead beetles on the roof. I suspect that they landed on it and died because it was hot (it's a black car, after all). After a little sleuthing (which included using I believe that these belong to the genus Enochrus, a type of water scavenger beetle.[4]


[1] If you're familiar with Utah, you know that Utahns tend to turn the letter t (voiceless alveolar plosive) into a glottal stop (voiceless glottal plosive; /ʔ/). In the case of Mantua, that t has become entirely silent. Thus it is pronounced MAN-uh-WAY (mouseover for IPA).

[2] At this point I learned that my former place of employment, the Lunday Dairy, had been demolished.

[3] Midges are similar in appearance to mosquitoes, but most species of midge don't bite humans (those that do are called no-see-ums or punkies, depending on where you live). One of the easiest ways to distinguish midges from mosquitoes is that midges have wings which are shorter than their abdomen while mosquitoes have wings which are longer than their abdomen.

[4] See

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