I've kind of been on quite a roll at Strawberry this summer and I guess I just got a little too cocky because the Strawberry gods gave me a shellacking today that was probably long overdue!
Started out ok with my workmate Jeff meeting me at my house at 4:30 a.m. in South Jordan. At work yesterday I assured him that "even on a slow day he would catch at least 10 fish..." Boy was I wrong. On the road about 4:45 a.m. and headed up to the Berry in my Jeep pulling my 14' boat. We stopped in Heber for the usual snack-and-go and found ourselves at the Ladders long before daylight. We met a couple of Pontooners there who were also early risers. They would play a key role later on in the day.
We almost got stuck launching, but the 4 wheel drive pulled the Jeep back out of the mire and we got the boat launched successfully.
Conditions were fairly warm, no wind and clear skies. We knew the weather was coming in the afternoon but we planned on being off the lake by about 11:00 or so. We buzzed out to the honey hole and dropped anchor. Didn't see any fish on the finder, but the last few weeks had started off slow also. 2 hours later, still no fish on the finder and no fish in the boat. I finally caught a slotter on a Kastmaster no less, so by 9:00 a.m. we had 1 fish to our names. Jeff then went on a roll and caught 2 in a row out of a school that must have been lost and swam under us. Right after that the wind started blowing and we started moving in towards the shore to escape the waves. We attempted to fish, but there just were not any fish around. I should have listened to my own theory on low pressure systems and bad fishing days because the fishing was just non-existent today. Hardly even saw any fish on the finder. Anyway, around 10:30 we called it due to the wind and waves and no fish. Got the boat to the shore and I got out and went to start the Jeep. It wouldn't start. My runs-like-a-top Jeep that hasn't failed me in 4 years was cranking, but not starting. A quick analysis showed no spark. It was about this time that the weather was coming in. Dark clouds, and lots of wind. My boat still floating next to the shore and a dead Jeep. All the shore fisherman were leaving and I had that sinking feeling that we were about to become stranded! A series of dropped-calls later on the cellphone and I had talked my brother into coming up to help us out. In the meantime, we talked to the 'Tooners of the last truck in the Ladders besides us, and they agreed to tow us into Heber. One problem: My boat was still floating. We (me and Jeff...remember, I'm trying to heal from broken ribs...) unhooked my boat trailer, wheeled it down to the water, loaded the boat after breaking the winch rope once, and managed to pull the trailer and boat back up to the Jeep by hand and hook it back onto the hitch. By now the nice 'Tooners were ready to go, so we hooked or tow rope to their truck and started towards Heber. We were a sight. A truck with two 'toons on the back, pulling a Jeep pulling a little boat. It was white knuckle driving and we tried to stay around 35 to the top of Daniels. We had agreed earlier that once at the top, we would unhook and coast down as far as we could. Another white knuckle ride as we hit speeds of 60+ going down that canyon towards Heber with no engine running! We slowed down to about 15 just before hitting the valley and pulled off to let the 50 or so cars behind us go by. My neck and back (and ribs) were KILLING me about now. The tooners pulled us into the Arby's at Heber and we thanked them and they went on their way. My brother showed up shortly thereafter with our hunting Jeep (76 Big ol Wagoneer) and we spent about an hour in Heber trying to find out what would cause no spark on a Jeep and if anyone had the part. Well, we gave up, hooked the boat up to the Wagoneer, ditched my Cherokee at Arbys and headed home.
Once home, my wife reminded me that the new dishwasher still needed to be installed today. As we were unhooking the boat from the Wagoneer, we noticed a screw in the tire. This day just keeps getting better and better. Supposed to be leaving Tuesday for hunting with the Wagoneer and I've still got an abandoned vehicle up in Heber with a storm coming in.
Well, thanks to modern technology (and the JeepsUnlimited forum) my cyber friends helped me determine that it was the Crankshaft Position Sensor. $70 later I was the proud owner of a new part...which I wasn't even sure would fix the problem. I assembled some tools and we drove up to Heber...in the storm, and we put the new part on...in the storm...and for some reason, it worked! Soaked and greasy and dirty and soaking wet and cold, I went into the gas station and changed into my clean change of clothes that I brought. It was now about 10:30 p.m. Made it home with no further adventures.
I've been up now for 20 straight hours. My Cherokee and boat are back in my garage, the big Wagoneer got it's tire fixed, the old dishwasher is out...and the new one is in the house, but not quite installed yet. And to top it all off, I caught ONE freaking fish today.
I shoulda stayed home. Good to get this day BEHIND me.
Wow, this is long.
N.E.T.O.= Not Enough Time Off!