Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday on the Creek

This is my first post/report in a while so please forgive me if my jubilant enthusiasm doesn’t come through. Its been several months since I have caught any fish of quality. My trips have been far and few between compared to the usual 2 or 3 times a week. Paying bills and a new gig have kept me driving past water rather than fishing it. On with the post…

Sun was melting the ice flow on a nearby creek. It was one of those unexpected bursts of heat that knocks the ice down in heavy sheets or small clumps. As more water flows the entire sheet seems to break up and clear water is open for fishing. The chain reaction of melting and shifting ice will often drop trapped or dwelling creatures into the water. The fish will often react by feeding more aggressively than they did just a week or two ago.

At least that is what it felt like when I approached the water last Sunday with that sunshine beaming on my face. I could see where water was coming out of a culvert in volume and tossed my spinner out a few times. Third cast was perfect landing right in the riffle with the bail of the reel flipping over all by itself to manage the slack instantly. As soon as my hand started reeling there was a heavy tug on the end. It was a spastic flurry of action that was almost foreign but so familiar. My heart was pounding as the fish ran upstream in a quick burst of speed.

“Let him run…don’t try and horse him.” echoed the voice in my head. Even though this was a small fish by most standards, the principles are pretty much the same. Once it got into the shallow pool next to me it was finished. One quick shot and release. A quality rainbow (cutbow actually) for this slip of water and man it feels good to get the skunk off my back. Seriously…I have been carrying this thing around since October 2008.

The rest of the trip got a little tougher. A small brown trout and two more smaller rainbows (we are talking 6, maybe 7-inches tops here guys…if you want to brag about big fish you don’t fish here) was about all I could muster out of many pools, riffles and cutbanks. Some areas were blocked with ice or had chunks to fish through but most of the creek was open in the lower section right there in town after being locked up for most of the winter season. Beautiful day to get out and get in a few casts. This guy had the same plan, different attack and working a gorgeous section of water.

The fish seemed to be under medium to mild pressure and willing to hit the smaller spinners and rapalas. Getting very close to the structure was most crucial. Even though I saw signs of small hatches, surface strikes seemed to be nil and all of the fish were locked tight to the bank or other structure. Fishing the areas that receive the least pressure were the only areas that seemed to cough up any fish of size. A few spots really surprised me.

Patterns that worked the best were the 1/8 and 1/4oz spinners in silver as well as the small rapalas in brown or rainbow trout. I didn’t notice any preference between the two lure types other than what was tied on when I threw the first few casts. The main factor here was going with as small of a lure as possible and getting it to run through the spot as best as possible. Had to try a lot of spots but effort is often rewarded.

My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.

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