Lake Trout with Zach Even

Patrick Edwards00:00

This episode of Radcast outdoors is brought to you by PK Lures, bow Spider and high mountain seasonings

David Merrill00:13

Radcast is on

hunting, fishing, and everything in between. This is rad cast outdoor. Here are David Merrill and Patrick Edwards.

Patrick Edwards00:32

Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Radcast outdoors. I'm Patrick Edwards, and I've got David on the phone here with me and say, Hey, David.

Yeah, you do exist, but you're on the road again and doing some hunting. So why don't you tell everybody what you're up to

David Merrill00:50

javelina tag. And then the same time I have. I that I drew this last November, when Arizona open, there is a twos or coos or coos , deer tag. And so we are searching in the snow and the rain and the mud for some little, little Havoline,

Patrick Edwards01:14

some baby deer.

David Merrill01:19

I don't know if they have leaned here, the deer bigger, but we're looking for them. I haven't found

Patrick Edwards01:22

any yet. Well, if you get something we'll have to have a little high mountain seasonings on some and, and see how they taste. I'm sure if we took some venison rub and we put on that deer, it tastes just fine.

Don't you think? Well, we

David Merrill01:34

have a Joe Bartlett with us. I'm going to film it, so we'll get it on film. And then we pick up some Havoline. So everybody.

Patrick Edwards01:43

Yeah, that's a good deal. The other day. In fact, yesterday, I made some fish tacos with some of that Bayou bass on some crappie . And I'll tell you about man, that was a delicious, delicious meal again for everybody that's out there.

If you haven't tried high mountain seasonings yet for either elk, deer, Anala, crappie, walleye, anything that you're eating, you should definitely try it. You can go to HII, MTN, jerky.com, try out some of their kits. They've got some amazing kits for the DIY guy who's going out there and making his own jerky or sausage.

Fish tacos. It doesn't matter. They've got a little bit of something for everybody. So check those guys out and see what they've got to offer and have a special guest in the studio today. Somebody that I met actually last year, it's kind of funny because I've worked with his wife for like six years and hadn't really spent any time with him.

Finally got to meet him. And he's an amazing fishermen hunter outdoorsman. He's a father and artists to teacher. Zach even is my guest. And he's done a little bit of everything. People in Riverton and Lander know a lot about him just because his art is in a lot of places. But he spends a lot of time in the outdoors.

He spends a lot of time doing art lit lately. Redoing his basement, which is a whole nother story. But you know, he's, he's done a lot of things in his life. He's an athlete. He was a state champion in track and field went to Chadron, state college for a child. So went to and did my master's degree. There is done work for Cabelas with his artwork.

And I will tell you again, people in this area know all about you from your fishing and hunting. So Zach, welcome to the show. Thanks. Happy to be here. Yeah, it's good to have you, man. You know, we talked, I guess it was last March at the bow hunting convention about having you on the podcast and visiting about hunting and fishing.

And we were like, yeah, we're going to do that. And of course it's now December late December and you know, life kind of gets crazy and things get busy time flies. Yeah. Yeah. But it's really good to have you start off with this. You know, you, you're an outdoors man and artist, you know, tell me as a kid. What, what got you hooked on the outdoors and what also got you hooked on art?

Well,

Zach Even03:47

man, you know, it's kind of hard to put my finger on kind of what got me hooked on the outdoors. It's always been something that kind of came naturally to me is, I mean, as young as I can remember, I was always fascinated with, with being outside climbing Hills, around green river, hitting the river fishing.

I just I've always had an attraction to it. You know, some of my earliest memories that can, they're a little bit skewed. I know that looking back, but I can remember catching, like, bluegills that in my mind's eye or like the size of a frying pan with my grandpa and my dad. And I mean, I couldn't have been more than, I don't know if I were to guess like three when I was, when I was having that experience, but some of my earliest memories go back to, you know, real and large mouth bass in with my uncle up in South Dakota.

And just, I mean, it's always been something that has appealed to me, you know, growing up in green river. I mean, my brother spent a lot of time just hiking down to the river and, and fishing during the day during the summers while my mom was working and I always enjoyed it, but yeah.

Patrick Edwards04:49

And then sure, the art kind of played into that too.

I mean, you know,

Zach Even04:54

yeah. I mean, going way back, I remember having the option to sign up for. Mike afterschool art programs and stuff. And I'm always took advantage of that, even when I was really young. And again, it's just one of those things that kind of came naturally just always appealed to me. Yeah.

Yeah.

Again, it's one of those things that it's just always been, just, I've been drawn to that kind of stuff. I don't really, I wouldn't have considered myself like super competitive, like in sports when I was in high school. I think about the time I finally realized that I was maybe a little bit bigger than a lot of my competitors.

I started enjoying football and like running over people and throwing people around and whatever. But yeah, I don't know. It's just always been something I've enjoyed. I think what draws me to it just like with hunting and fishing and mountain climbing and everything else is just, I'm pushing myself.

I'm trying to accomplish something, you know, that takes a little bit of effort, really. I mean, the fact that I didn't really have any financial backing going into college from any other sorts of sources, other than like scholarship opportunities. That's I really took advantage of, of the scholarships going into college.

And that's why I pursued art. I had an art scholarship and athletics at a track scholarship going into, so, I mean, the scholarships played a big role in, in, you know, my, my college athletics career, I guess.

Patrick Edwards06:19

Yeah. And I see a parallel to a lot of outdoorsmen that they were involved in some kind of athletics and they kind of have that same mentality that you're talking about of, you know, I want to accomplish something.

So I pushed myself and kind of the same thing in hunting and fishing, you set goals for yourselves going, going into the season, right? Like if it's lake trout fishing, you might set a goal to catch, you know, your personal best or catch one in a different method than you've ever tried before, or maybe go to a different location.

You know, you always have some kind of goal just like with you, probably with your outcoming too, you know? New goals every year. And I think though with athletics, it's very similar.

Zach Even06:55

Yeah, sure. I could. Yeah. I mean, I think I just like to push myself and I have a tendency of, if I start something kind of go all in, regardless of what it is, and it's just athletics kind of lends itself to that as well as the hunting and fishing and stuff.

So,

Patrick Edwards07:12

yeah, that makes sense. Yep. So when you were growing up, you know, who is your mentor and what did you learn? You know, growing up that maybe you're applying now to your kids?

Zach Even07:24

Well, I had a lot of mentors growing up. My dad, wasn't always around growing up. My parents divorced when I was in third grade, maybe.

So I had how guys like Rudy gunner, who was also my art teacher in high school. Big outdoorsman himself, great artists. I had Mr. Welsh teacher, middle school who taught flight time and as well as English classes, it's awesome. I had Ray Tilburg and he was a local gunsmith who taught me how to I mowed his lawn and returned.

He taught me how to reload their yacht, six shells. It's a guy named Mr. Beaver. I mowed his lawn as well. And that was before I could drive. And so I'd finished moan as lawn and, and as I was waiting for my stepdad to come pick us up. He'd bring me inside and show me all of these old bamboo fly rods and NIMS that were woven.

And just that got me in the flight time, fly fishing. And I mean, man, I had a lot of mentors for sure. So I guess what I take from all of those guys and I try to pass on to my kids is just exposure to all those different things. They were kind enough to kind of mentor me and show me a lot of those things.

And just, I got a huge variety of knowledge and, and whatnot from those guys. So I just, I just tried to pass that stuff along to my kids and as well as kids that I teach and stuff too. So

David Merrill08:39

what would you say to people out there, you know, you've grown up to Wyoming and you had all these opportunities to families that are starting in the outdoors in Andrews areas like Lander, Riverton, what would you say to those young families?

How does

Zach Even08:52

they get, I think just search out people that are already involved. You. Get to know people in the community that can kind of mentor you as a parent, as well as, you know, people can mentor your kids as well and get you out there and get you experienced as ice, fishing, and hunting and just, you know, whatever you want to explore, find people that will kind of take you under their wing and show you that kind of stuff.

There's plenty of people, at least in these communities that we live in that are more than happy to take people out and show them the ropes. So

Patrick Edwards09:24

what's maybe a good starter activity for people. If they want to just get exposed to getting outside and getting out in the outdoors,

Zach Even09:30

let's say one of the easiest, probably just hiking, you know, we've got these great opportunities right here in the wind river mountains, just a hike.

And man, you start hiking those mountains and all of a sudden you're like, Hmm, elk tracks, maybe I want to elk hunt and you see the bodies of water and you're like, man, Next time I come up here, hiking, maybe I should bring a fishing rod, you know, hiking super easy. There's I mean, you don't have to invest in any and any special equipment or anything like that.

Yeah, I just think hikes are one of the best kind of starters for people to get into it. Sinks,

Patrick Edwards10:00

canyon men, and you don't need anything. Like you said, you just need a pair of shoes and just take off on some of those trails that they have, like that nature trail super simple and Rudy out, and you can take

Zach Even10:12

everybody.

Yeah. Yeah. I think just simple hikes are great way to start.

Patrick Edwards10:16

Yeah, absolutely. So for you. I mean, you've been raising your kids in the outdoors. So what are your favorite activities to do with your kids currently?

Zach Even10:26

Oh, man hiking backpacking few years ago it took some convincing by convinced my wife to rent llamas and my kids they're now 13.

They just turned 13. I've got 13 year old twins and a few years ago I thought, oh, they're getting old enough that they can put on some miles in the back country. And I just thought, you know, to keep them entertained. I think having some animals with us would be a great way to kind of keep their interest.

And I finally convinced my wife to do it and yeah, hiking backpack and trips with llamas has been awesome. We've done it three consecutive years now in a row. And it's pretty cool. Cause you know, the kids they'll hike 7, 8, 9 miles a day and not complain at all because those alarm is keeping them.

So I guess content to distraction. Yeah. Distraction from the pain and the suffering that I'm putting them through now. So yeah, that's been great. I've taken them fishing forever since they are really small. We've taken them out fish and in the boat and then ice fish and everything, everything else.

And now that they're old enough, we've started hunting a little bit. My daughter's still not super into it. Like she drew an antelope tag this year that I could not convince her to go try to fill. And I was kind of excited about that tag because I've never actually gone on a rifle and a little punt. And I hear so many people talk about how it's like grocery shopping.

You know, it's just like you out there seeing all these animals and stuff. And honestly, I think I've shot what 12 antelope in the last 13 years with my bow. Just getting leftover tags or whatever it took to get an antelope tag I would do. And just cause I love archery hunting them so much. And so I've never actually rifle hunted downloads, but anyway, I can convince her to go do that.

And then so my son, he was also old enough to hunt this year. So hunting has become another one of those things. I like to get the kids out to do so hunting and fishing backpack. And, you know, I took my son up the, and at peak this summer. And so, yeah, I'm just trying to expose him to, hopefully not too much at once.

I don't want to burn them out, but I'm trying to expose them to as much as possible. That's

Patrick Edwards12:34

awesome. Yeah. It makes for a fun, fun childhood. They'll look back on that and be grateful. I'm sure. I hope so. We gotta talk about another one of our sponsors for just a few minutes. PK, lures. It is ice fishing season.

You talked about taking your kids, ice fishing. Well, it is primetime ice fishing season, and I know it's been a difficult year for the ice fishermen. Typically we've got a lot of ice right now. There's not a lot of ice to be had. So if you're an Avidyne fishermen, it's just been kind of a downer a year, but I know Boysen today I had a friend driving around, said that they're starting to get some ice and I'm sure there's some other bodies of water around Wyoming that are starting to freeze over.

But I know in the Midwest and the north they've, they've got plenty of ice at the moment. So if you haven't tried PK lowers, you've got to do it. The PK spoon and will tell you that red dot glow is a dynamite spoon. If you're fishing for walleye through the ice. And I saw a post just today of some guys that were using the PK rattler, which is a, just a rattle bait.

Kind of a lipless crankbait vertically Jagan net through the ice and catching walleye. Go check them out. PK, lewer.com. You can try those lures again. The tungsten predator is also really good for panfish. If you're going after blue Gill, croppy yellow PERTs. Definitely a good, good option to try. And I know David, when you get back, you want to go do some of that.

And as soon as you get back from your trip

David Merrill13:52

and maybe to go get kicked around a few retailers, definitely in the tackle box. When we go out, you are known for your fishing and hunting abilities. I want to focus on the fishing side today and get your perspective on fishing practices and techniques.

What is your all time favorite fish species to pursue?

Zach Even14:13

Oh, my goodness. That's a loaded question. That's that's a hard one, man. I've got certain fish that I just enjoy because of like the sentimental value, going back to like experiences with them as a, as a kid. So what

Patrick Edwards14:27

are some of those?

Zach Even14:29

Well, so I laugh because it's almost embarrassing, but I was probably the only kid in Sweetwater.

There's like a third, fourth grader that had a subscription to Bassmaster magazine.

And, well, that was primarily what was on TV. When I was a kid it's bass fishing shows, I had a list of all the shows. Saturday and Sundays. And there times written down on this, the sheet of paper that I keep and I would set my alarm on Saturday mornings and get up and start watching a man. Absolutely.

And most kids were watching cartoons and I was watching fishing shows, built dance and Hank Parker and all those guys, and primarily they were bass fishing. And so I've got family in South Dakota. So we'd go up in the summers and I'd finally get to use all those stupid bass louvers that I had in my tackle box.

But yeah, so I mean, bass in that aspect, as far as sentimental value goes way back, but man grayling grayling is kind of what I learned to fly fish on. It's kind of a special part or spot in my heart, great fighters by the way, as far as their size and grayling are awesome. But man, we had some great adventures, like in high school with buddies learning how to fly fish and fishing grayling out of float tubes and up above Pinedale.

But I would say man, golden trout. They're pretty awesome. Cause it's kind of like a destination fish. And that took me a lot of years when I moved up here. Gosh, I moved to Lander like 15 years ago, Mamie and and I followed a lot of wild goose chases trying to find Goldens up here in the winds. And it was before they kind of started restocking them again heavily or fairly heavily.

And so I spent a lot of time put on many miles before I ever found one. And so they've kind of got a special spot in my heart and I love the country. You find them in. It's just awesome. But I think if I had to pick one pan, I don't know, big lake trout, maybe I was going to

Patrick Edwards16:26

say your big lake trout.

Zach Even16:28

Yeah. I mean, I love brown trout too though.

Man, fall Browns. I love but if you had to put me on the spot and I had to pick one. I probably think about fishing for big lake trout, more than any other fish in ways that, oh man, I could go on and on, but I think it's because in part it's a lot like hunting in a way. It's not the way I fish for them.

I like to jig for. Vertically. And there's a lot of just, it's like you're hunting them down. They can be hard to catch, even when you're sitting on top of them. Sometimes it's very difficult to find them, but when you do, if you can get them to buy it, it's so rewarding. It's so cool. I mean, just like to kind of, I don't know if it's, if you want me to get into my techniques and whatnot too early in the podcast, but I mean, I get an adrenaline rush from fishing for Lakers, and this sounds super dorky and people are like, whatever, but I get so passionate about them as I'm talking about.

And I can tell people's eyes just glaze over as I'm getting excited about lake chow. Usually when I'm talking to them, they're like, what? But I just, I just love the adrenaline rush I get from. So as I. But around in my boat or I'm sitting on the ice and those fish come in, I can see them on the graph.

Then I fished for them enough. Now that I've worn their body language on that graph. And when I see them initially, I don't get too excited depending on what they're doing and kinda, I mean, where they're located is, I mean, they can be, if they're hugging the bottom, I get excited. If they're three feet off, I'm not as excited.

And when you're fishing in a hundred feet of water, a three foot difference, most people are like, what's like, what's the difference. But it's, I've learned to realize that those fish that are hugging the bottom, there's a better chance they're going to bite usually. So when I see that I get excited and then as I've, I've got my jig down there and I'm trying to convince them to buy.

I'll notice certain behavior on the fish finder and all sudden my heart, I can see that adrenaline rush just surges through my veins, man. And it's just like holding my breath and I'm like, I'll tell if I have somebody fishing with me. I'm like, get ready, get ready. And 90% of the time I can call the bite.

And so when I see that behavior, it's just, there's nothing like it. And then when you do get that hit, sometimes it's so subtle that when I set the hook, I'm almost surprised that there's actually a fish on the end of the line. It's like, holy cow, I barely felt anything, but I've trained myself. I think over the years, fishing form enough that, you know, you feel the slightest hint of a bite down there.

You set that hook and a lot of people think that a 30 pound lake trout is going to try to rip the rod out of your hand, on the hook set or on the. But it's just like a perch. All they're doing down there is they're sitting there and they're sucking that jig in. And if you're not paying attention, I've had friends sitting in the boat and it's happened to me too, where I can tell a fish just sucked it in.

I'm kind of like, nah, and I pause for a second. And then I feel them spit it out. It's like, dang it. I should've set the hook. And plus there's, there's not a, there's not many freshwater fish, at least not in Wyoming that fight like saltwater style fish. Like he can't get a F 20, 30, 40 pound fish every day in Wyoming or out west that just, you know, pulls like that.

You know, there's certain areas where sturgeon catfish and whatnot, but they're just special, you know? And they're old. And I mean, a lot of those fish, I talked to one biologists who said that they had some Canadian biologists come down years ago, who are experts in white trout. And he'd said that they told him that they estimated that our fish here in Wyoming are about one year per pound.

So you figure if you're catching a 40 pound lake trout, it could be 40 years old. And I know that I've heard of fish 15 year old, 15 pounds being over 20 years old. So that, I mean, they could be older than the pounds even say, so.

Patrick Edwards20:24

Yeah. It takes a long time to grow a big lake trout.

Zach Even20:27

Right, right. So, yeah, I don't, I think if I had to pick one, it might be like trout Goldens, or a close second Browns might be a close third to,

Patrick Edwards20:38

I know it's so hard to pick because there's so many great fish for different reasons and different seasons, even like there's certain times a year, it's like, man, I want to go catch this.

And sometimes here I want to go catch that know.

Zach Even20:51

Yeah. Well, I don't know if you're like me, but there's times a year where like I'm focused on whatever it is during that season. And I couldn't care less about like, You know the next season, but then the next season rolls around and it's like, I can't wait to go bourbon fishing.

And it's like two months ago, I couldn't care less about bourbon.

Patrick Edwards21:10

Right. But no, I'm with you. I, I get it. I, I think to that, like lake trout have a special mystique for, especially people out west, because they really are the biggest fish we can get. You know, as far as, other than sturgeon, like maybe a paddle fish or something like that, but like a real predatory type fish, they're the biggest baddest

Zach Even21:31

out here.

Right. And something that's going to strike like a lure, you know, some of the bigger fish, catfish, sturgeon and stuff, you're catching them primarily on like dead baits or are just bait, you know, sitting there waiting for a bite, the Lakers will chase things down and attack it, you know, which is pretty cool.

Patrick Edwards21:48

Yeah. And you'll have them up towards the top and you're like, okay, I got this fish. And then they take you all the way back down on the bottom of it. And they're just super

Zach Even21:55

powerful. Oh yeah. Yeah. Speaking of. Catching them on top water is pretty fun to

Patrick Edwards22:01

see that's something I've never done it. I know you've done that.

So somewhat, somewhat. Well, tell me about that. Like what's, what's that like, I mean, I imagine it's gotta be something similar to like you know, trying to catch a Muskie on top water or something like that. Yeah.

Zach Even22:16

From my limited experience, there's some guides out there that do a lot more than I do. And it's one of those things that I don't think many people are aware of.

But they don't make this giant explosion. Like you would see from like a pike or a Muskie, at least in my experience, but it's still exciting to, to have a very large fish coming up and, and hit and top water beads. But it's the, the, the occasions, the chances to be able to do something like that are pretty limited also.

It's a seasonal

Patrick Edwards22:45

thing. I'm

Zach Even22:46

sure. Yeah. It's, it's very seasonal. I would say in my limited experience, like I said, there's guys that I know personally out there that do it a lot more than me. I don't claim to be an expert on it, but it is fun. The limited times I've had it work success. You've

Patrick Edwards23:01

been fishing in a lot of different places.

You've got a lot of different kinds of fish. We've talked about that before you and I have, what do you think is the key to sustainable fisheries? I mean, you were just talking about how lake child take forever to grow. We know that small mouth bass in the west take forever to grow lots of these different species that we have here take a long time.

So there's a lot more people fishing now. And especially because of COVID, I mean, the number of anglers out on the water is just way more than it was a couple of years ago. So for sustainability, especially out here for the next 10 years, what do you think is going to be a key to maintaining what we have or maybe even making it better?

Zach Even23:40

Oh, I think one, one key is. Learning how to handle fish, maybe when not to fish for fish. So I love to fly fish too, and there's a lot of small streams or especially around this area that I fish as well as the green river and the wind river, the big horn, you know, there comes a time during the summer, especially when we're low water levels and like drought type scenarios.

And when that water starts to really warm up, it's hard and it's hard to ask people to do it, but man, to, to not fish, when those water temperatures are really high I think helps sustain our fisheries for sure. And kind of having that self control, me being kind of a. Lover or appreciator of lake trout.

It's like, just because the law says you can keep some of these fish, maybe again, it's kind of a self control thing, keeping the ego in check and whatnot, but you know, letting those fish go, you know, keep all the pups that you want. I love, I mean, as far as trout go, I don't think anything tastes better than small lake trail, like those two pounders, but, you know, I do not keep those big fish.

So I think just a little bit of self-management and just because the law says that you can. That's certainly do it all the time. You know what I mean? So I keep it in

Patrick Edwards24:54

a 30 pound lake. Child's probably not going to be all that great for you anyway.

Zach Even24:58

No, I talked to a biologist who told me that the lake trout, at least the big ones in flaming Gorge are, I think he said they were the second highest mercury levels in the state.

Yeah. And it's probably

Patrick Edwards25:10

cause I mean, they're feeding on others

Zach Even25:12

and they're old. They got all that time to collect all that mercury. But yeah, and I mean, as a seriously drought, fishermen too, I don't know. I think you'd be kind of shunned by your buddies if you kept the 30 pounder and I'm, I'm not saying that you, nobody should be allowed to, it's just, if you figure them out and you get.

You know, really good if you're in that like top percentage of guys who are very efficient at catching certain kinds of fish, whether it be lake trout or anything else, you're not the average guy that those regulations were built around. You have to maybe take a little bit of responsibility upon yourself and do things like maybe let some of those bigger fish go.

So that's just my opinion. So that makes sense. Makes sense. And I think too, just, you know, I guess getting those kids involved and stuff, you know, and fishing is going to help sustain those resources also because as long as there's interests, Money flow from tags and things like that. That's all going to be helpful down the road, too.

So when you

brought

Patrick Edwards26:06

up seasonal fishing, we had Pete main on, I don't know, a year, year and a half ago. And he's big musky guy, you know? And he was talking about that. You just, he said, I just won't fish for muskies in July. And it's that reason that he said nine out of 10 fish that you catch and you take out of the water, you unhook, you put back in, are going to die because it's just too hot.

Right. And so I think. You know, warm temperatures, go fish for a warm water species, fish for a bass or something like that. That can handle it. Yeah.

Zach Even26:40

And there's times like November where I won't fish for Lakers. I know they're spawn. And then again, guys, we'll see it's illegal and that's, that's cool. You can go do whatever you want to do.

I'm just saying I'm not going to do it. And I've got my reasons cause I can go. I feel like I can catch those fish throughout the rest of the year. Why do I need to go bother them at that time? You know what I mean? So I'll go fly fishing for brown trout in November. Well, that's a great time to catch Browns.

Oh yeah. Well, yeah, exactly. So yeah, so I'm not going to go out there and risk snagging, these fish and ripping their sides open and stuff intentionally or by accident, you know, Yep. Makes

Patrick Edwards27:14

sense to me.

David Merrill27:14

Yeah.

Zach Even27:18

I don't know. I don't get this like, dire sense that fishing's in trouble. I see some of the biggest threats to some of my fishing holes as being like social media. For sure.

Patrick Edwards27:32

We'll talk a little bit about that because I think that there is some potential issues there with social media and

Zach Even27:38

fishing. Yeah.

And I'm not, I'm not here to complain about social media or any of the people that are involved with it necessarily, but it's just something that you can't help, but pick up on, right. People love to share information and that's awesome. Forums, Facebook, Instagram, whatever. But you know, as other states get more crowded, like we in Wyoming, love to complain about Utahns and Colorado.

And is that come in and. And you know, take over the river where we are, where you used to fishing, but I think it's so easy now for people to post something and for it to catch people's attention. And then they start asking, asking questions. And before, you know, it, you know, a spot that you fish since you were a kid is now packed with with people, you know, and that's just the nature of the beast tout is.

And I know that sounds maybe selfish, but yeah, I don't know. It's something I've noticed, you know, over the last, I don't know, a decade. And I think a lot of it's contributed to social media and news articles, TV shows that have been written about certain areas and whatever, but I mean, I don't know if that answers your question.

I mean, I don't see like phishing as being in like dire straits or anything, but yeah, I don't know. It's just some something I've noticed about some of my, my personal areas. I think. I just get a lot of attention via social media.

Patrick Edwards28:58

One of the things I worry about for like your primary fishery for lake trout is invasive species.

Just because we do have people that come from all over the place and fish, that body of water, you know, that is a concern. For me, you know, cause I mean, I've been fishing flaming Gorge since I was a little kid. So

Zach Even29:15

are you saying those people are invasive species?

Patrick Edwards29:19

No, not exactly, but

Zach Even29:20

maybe I'd agree

Patrick Edwards29:23

now that is this like, you know, zebra, mussels, things like that as true.

That could be an issue. And I know burbot are a new addition to flaming Gorge and that's got its own, you know, people got their opinions on that

Zach Even29:34

too. No, that's a great point. And yeah, I guess I, I hadn't even, it. Like invasive species other than the people. But, but yeah, I mean, bourbon have kinda, man, I used to love fishing for small mouth basketball.

Cause I grew up in green river and I did not own a boat. My family didn't have a boat, but man, I could go out there and walk the banks and fish off the rocks all day long for smallies and catch them all day long. Oh yeah. Yep. Got some of the crazy stuff we used to do out there. Not this go go off track too much, but I think.

God bless them. My parents dropped me off out there and then leave us for a day or come back the next day. And the amount of rattlesnakes we'd run into and that loose rock fall into the lake and just guy, it was an adventure, but anyway, sorry to get off course there, but yeah, the small mouth they'd taken a big hit in the Gorge.

And I think primarily because of the burbot smallies are big, big time crawfish, feeders, and I think those bourbons have really cut back on those smaller populations and they're eating a small mouth as well, but, and then the the muscles as well, it makes me wonder, you know, How that would affect that body of water.

Obviously you're hoping that that stuff never, never gets there, but I know it seems like a tough thing to stop. It is, especially when 99% of the time when I'm launching my boat, there's nobody Manning the docks. Cause I mean, seriously, can't ask those guys to work 24 hours a day. Yeah. So

Patrick Edwards31:06

I think about that too.

Like I was there. I guess it was last year. Same thing. I was there at like three in the morning. Right. You know, granted my boat hadn't been out of this state. So, I mean, it's not a threat, but you think about that, like, you know, somebody could show up from a body of water out a hundred percent in

Zach Even31:23

the east and yup.

Yeah, yeah. Even if you're on the water at six, they're not there and I'm not saying that they should be, but I mean, they're not right. Yeah. So, yeah.

Patrick Edwards31:33

It's just something that I, I think about too with boys and even, you know, or any of our big bodies of water here, I mean, it could totally change the dynamics of the oh yeah, for sure.

Totally change the lake

Zach Even31:46

a hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know.

Patrick Edwards31:49

Cause I don't know, like forage species wise, you know, for, for lake trout, for example, you know, the fish that the lake trout are eating are probably subsisting on some of those plankton. Some of those other things get filtered out. Yeah.

It's an interesting thing to think about.

Zach Even32:06

Yeah. I would totally change the food chain if those muscles got in there. For sure.

Patrick Edwards32:10

Sure. So when you're, we've talked about some of your values, like selective harvest and things like that, like when you're fishing and some of the values that you have when you're teaching your kids or, you know, kids in Lander about fishing, what kind of values are you looking to instill in them?

Or maybe at least get them to think about

Zach Even32:29

probably more than anything maybe appreciation for not only the fish, the game species, whatever. But also the environment that you're you're out or taking it. And yeah, appreciation for all that stuff. And as a teacher, I hear so often kids talk about, I can't wait to get out of land or whatever, and it's like, you gotta be kidding me.

Why are you crazy? Yeah. Like, geez, I can't wait to get out of Wyoming. What are you talking about? Have you ever been to Yellowstone? No. There's people coming from halfway around the world to come to Yellowstone. You should go check it out sometime, you know? And so trying to install that still that appreciation and as well as respect, you know, and I try to teach my own kids those same, same values.

It's like. Respect the fish respect the wildlife that you're dealing with and just appreciate what we, what we have. So I'd say those are kind of the main things, but all right.

David Merrill33:23

You're, you're pretty well known for being the lake trout master, what are some tips and tricks in certain circles diagnosis? So what are some tips and tricks to catch more like,

Zach Even33:38

and first of all, I don't, I don't know if I want to like, accept that I'm, that well-known for attaching big lake trail than you are.

I think it's a, probably a good thing. I don't live closer to those lake trout because I think it's all I'd ever do right now. I have to travel a little bit to get to them, but it's probably fortunate for them and me and my wife that I don't live closer. But so as far as like tips and tricks, is that what you asked David?

Man, I don't know. I guess learning, presentation's pretty important. Learning the habitat that they like to kind of hang around in and, and all these lakes throughout the state, whether it be Jackson lake, or a lot of these lakes on the foothills of the winds or flaming Gorge or wherever those Lakers are found, I find that no lake is the same.

It seems like the fish all kind of behave a little bit differently in a lot of those, those lakes, but, you know, primarily trying to learn a specific lake, talking to the locals and stuff to see kind of what the general pattern is, seasonally and for those individual bodies