A number of years ago I stumbled across a stretch of creek that I named the 5S, that would be the Super Secret Sexy Streamer Stretch, the 5S. Today, I found a second 5S. The water is bigger, it’s marginal, it’s snaggy and it’s brilliant. No one fishes this kind of water around here and certainly not in June. The weeds were over my head most of the way. I stumbled through dense foliage, burning nettles as thick as I’ve ever seen, parsnip too, over downed trees I couldn’t see to get to this place and it was totally worth it. I got lucky too, air temp in the 60s is the only thing that made today possible. Mosquitos were bad and if it had been hot and humid out I would have been pushed to my limits standing in thick weeds roll casting as my legs are burning from the nettles but as things would be it was only 64degrees with cloudy skies on this later June afternoon.
I had scoped this site from the road a few times but hadn’t thought much of it. Parked at a bridge and hiked upstream in the creek as much as possible to avoid the jungle around me. The water was stained with visibility of a couple feet down, anything deeper than that and all I could see was an occasional flash from trout turning on my fly. Tied on a lightly weighted #10 Black Bugger and roll casted my way upstream. First fish I hit was not what I was expecting, a creek chub. What I know though is that where there are creek chubs in abundance and trout in the same spot there will be large brown beasts roaming. Second or third cast into the first of many deeper runs brought a 16in brown out, he fought hard and given the snaggy water I was glad to have tied on 3x for my tippet. Pulled a couple more out from that run and moved on.
Got caught out a couple times, fishing marginal water will typically mean long stretches that are slow, muddy and almost un-wadeable. Found myself stumbling through the bush a couple times just wanting to get around the next corner in hopes of a faster reach that would allow me to stand on the waters edge. I eventually got to the mother hole, landed two smaller Browns and a couple creek chubs before I lost my fly to a seriously aggressive trout that launched fully out of the water after my fly. Decent sized fish too, maybe 18. Next couple casts saw nothing and just before I was about to move upstream a 22in fish comes sauntering up slowly trailing my fly, no commitment from that one and back down to the dark it went.
I moved upstream to a disappointing sight, the creek slowed, deepened and muddied to a point where wading was not an option. I wanted to press on but the bank was untouched without even the slightest reprive of a deer trail through the nettles, parsnip and other head height weeds. I opted to call it an afternoon, it was bike race night and my legs were feeling good. I hiked back to a field road and cut to the gravel. My thoughts drifted to the fall and then winter, hiking through the snow will make this spot a special place indeed. Gravel under foot, I’ll be back here again. Perhaps not this summer but this fall for sure.