Fished just a couple hours in the later evening with a friend of mine after an excellent bike ride through bluff country. I typically don’t get many opportunities to fish the evening hours and as such I was pretty stoked to get to the creek. We washed the sand from our bikes and headed to the creek, in my haste I did something I’ve only ever done once before… I forgot to toss my rod in the car (note we did not take my car otherwise it would have been a non-issue because my rod lives in my car). So creekside I’m grabbing my gear, I reach for my reel and it hits me…no rod. Well, given the excellent day I’d had so far and the fact that I brought my camera I wasn’t too upset. It was, after all, my fault and it was just too nice out to get frustrated. We had also decided to explore a section of creek I’d never fished before and knowing it was going to be smaller water one rod seemed adequate.
The creek was stained on arrival (approx. 6:10pm) from the previous afternoon rain storms that soaked me and my friend as we rode from valley to valley so I was expecting the creek to be alittle off. Clarity was perfect for streamers and flashy nymphs. I didn’t see much in the way of rising when we arrived so on went a flashy streamer. The airtemp was perfect, had to be approaching 70degrees with the sun. The rain/sun combination made everything so green and vibrant, almost unnaturally green. We missed the first handful of strikes working upstream to water I had only seen from the roadside trading the rod with each potential spot. Lots of gnats lingering around the creek which I hadn’t anticipated at all. Calm, warm, comfortable…these are the words to describe the two hours we spent wandering upstream in search of willing trout.
It took a bit but eventually we came across a couple very cool sights, first off a trout hole that was deeper than 10ft, legit. An 8’6″ rod was sent to the bottom followed by a fully submerged arm to see if the bottom was reachable, it was not. The possibilities of what one might find at the bottom of that hole are mind blowing. I should note not a single fish was seen in this spot, the stain on the water combined with the depth hid anything in the creek. With a hole this deep it’s going to take some time to figure out how to best fish it with a fly rod, how to find where the fish lay and what it’s going to take to get a fly infront of them. This spot was truly jaw dropping. I should also note that a rather large, basketball sized, snapping turtle was the only living creature seen stirring in that spot…I wonder if there are any trout in there at all? My guess is yes, lots but I didn’t see any so I can’t say for sure.
Upstream a bit further and a few smaller fish were surfacing. At approx. 7:20pm a #16 Adam’s was employed, well dressed and skated. Multiple splashy strikes followed. The dry fly had its moment but the vast majority of opportunities on this small tight creek screamed mini-streamer. The further upstream we got the smaller the creek got yet at every turn there was a perfect little pocket just waiting. He took turns nailing several brook trout with a mini streamer patter I had tied up a month ago. We walked off the creek at 8:20pm with the sun completely out of view and darkness setting in.
Photo Credit: The Driftless Exposure