No matter what happens, this creek will always be able to give me an old fashioned skunking. I’ve caught some of my favorite fish in theis creek, I’ve also sent entire days stuck in the tree tops. Every trip doesn’t result in a day of no fish, but it certainly is a possibility. Sunny weather, skunk. Runoff, skunk. Global pandemic, skunk. It’s good to know that despite all the change that’s happening, at least one thing will stay the same. That this creek is far and away the most challenging creek I’ve ever fished.
I’m not the only one to say this, I have many friends who have fished all over and they agree, if you can catch fish here, you can catch fish anywhere. It’s a combination of tricky casting conditions, super spooky fish, a lot of people (not many fisherman) and so many bugs in the water. Now so many bugs in the water doesn’t seem like a problem right? I’d agree, until I fished here. Caddis coming off in droves, tricos in the air, mayflies emerging and huge dragon fly larvae crawling up on the bank. What do I choose? What are the fish eating? Are they eating some of everything? Or only one of them? How do you get a fake fly to stand out amongst all of those real ones? All good questions, some days I have the answers, others not so much..
This outing I was fortunate to be able to get out and fish with someone who also has a love/hate relationship with this creek. People committed to fishing this tricky water are few and far between so it’s always lucky to find someone else willing to risk the skunkings this water so often hands out. We tried everything, an array of nymphs, small dries, streamers, big terrestrials. All to no affect. We turned over rocks, tried to match bugs, still nada. Crawled up to spots, snuck around trees, how and arrow cast into hidden pocket water. Still nothing. But this is my favorite type of fishing, almost like a mix of hunting and fishing, where a stealthy approach counts for just as much as the cast or the flies. This is why I keep coming back to this notoriously tricky water.
All in all it was a glorious day on the water. Mayflies emerging, caddis bouncing off the surface and prehistoric looking dragon flie larvae crawling up the rocks. If the fish had cooperated it would have been an all time morning. Sometimes though a day of no fish improves my fishing like a day of catching wouldn’t.
Days with tricky fish force me to pay more attention to what is around me. Looking/hoping to find anyway possible to increase my odds of catching a fish. We did spot a few fish on the day, one that darted away and one we think flashed up at a fly. But maybe that was a mirage, the product of moving water and hopeful eyes.
Early summer fishing, tough to beat when this is a short drive from the front door.