Took a friend fishing the other day, woke early and drove for more than an hour to get streamside. That’s an hour for me… and over three for Paul. Coming from St. Paul this guy woke at 3:30am to get to my place at a good hour for the drive to the stream. Boots hit the creek at 8:05am with a water temp of ~52 degrees. The creek had very minimal stain bordering on clear but the deeper holes were a bit off providing good conditions to pull trout out with heavy streamers. I stuck on the fly of the month, a #6 Black Kiss My Leech and put Paul on the first hole we came to. A couple missed strikes and we moved on, I put my leech on the tail end of a pool allowing it to sink a couple feet before picking my line up. Again I can’t stress enough how many fish I have taken recently just by simply raising my rod to bring my streamer up and out slowly, often an aggressive fish is following close behind. This morning my leech was trailed to the surface to be crushed by a nicer 15+inch brown. Shortly after Paul landed his first fish of many for the day and we busted ass to cover as much creek as possible in a single day.
By noon we covered a good mile of creek pounding each spot with streamers only lingering if fish were caught with any regularity. The trout were on and aggressively hitting a streamer all morning. I wanted to get Paul a bit further from his usual fishing haunts and cover as much of this water as possible. Rainbow bridge (a spot known for it’s stocked rainbows), gave up nothing and we moved upstream. I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping Paul would get a Brown, Rainbow and Brook all on the same creek but after striking out at Rainbow bridge I was pretty sure we’d only see a Brook and Brown. Turns out I was way off. Upstream just a bit and the rainbows were out numbering the browns which is very unusual, typically I notice Rainbows in a very specific spot on this creek but today they were everywhere, more than a mile from where I would have guess I’d find them. Paul nailed his fair share of rainbows stripping his version of an SMB back to his feet but as the day would have it the Brookie would not be seen, a goal for next time. We worked alot on roll-casting and getting a weighted fly up and out of the water with a smooth motion, this keeps your weighted fly as close to the surface of the water as possible when you go to start your roll cast. The result: less tension from the water on your fly allowing it to roll out nicely despite it’s weight. On a side note: I landed the first fish I’ve ever caught with someone elses fly stuck in it’s mouth… I promptly removed both flies and let the fish go about it’s way. Not the brightest trout…
Further upstream we busted out of the woods and found ourselves in a trimmed cow pasture, a beautiful dark dogger was seen but not caught, it moved on my fly and despite my best efforts refused every presentation. The bluff walls around us were sporting the beautiful colors of fall, many leaves were hampering drifts but the weather couldn’t have been nicer. At ~1pm we made a choice to travel into the unknown, unknown water for the both of us. A much smaller creek giving up brown trout and creek chubs as we moved upstream. My opinion of creek chubs is grim as where there is one there are usually many and they will often hit your fly before a trout can. The flipside to that coin is that where there are brown trout and a ready food source like the Rosey Cheeked Creek Chub you will find larger trout. The second creek had a few interesting attributes, the first and most notable was the swarms of #20-22 Trico’s that I was spotting at each riffle we came to, at 1pm in late September… that’s quite interesting but few trout were rising. The second notable item would be the stain on the creek that was clearly not mud but something else all together.
The final note would be that as we fished upstream we caught fewer browns and more creek chubs. I ended up loosing the one KML that had taken every fish up to that point in the day. I decided to swap to a heavy as hell #8 Hairball with a tungsten bead and nymph some deep water, then something spectacular occurred… I caught a Carp on a trout stream, on a designated freakin trout stream. It was awesome! Trout and Carp love the Hairball, my 3wt looked like I had 6lbs of Brown trout giving me hell and all from a tiny carp. This thing was so small I bet the ones on the Columbia are born bigger! This fish totally made my day and I wanted to stay and tempt more but time was running out and another hour long drive was in order so we split, and that’s how Paul and I spent the last Saturday of the season, catching many trout and one awesome carp. Crazy.