For several years, I had planned on taking a former work colleague to one of my favorite fishing destinations. Weíve talked about going there for a long time but were not able to make it happen due to conflicting schedules or inhospitable stream conditions.
Last week, I watched the stream gauges with great interest because it looked like we might catch a break and actually get to fish there. There was a line of thunderstorms headed that way on Friday night, but we decided to meet and fish there on Saturday.
The stream in question is a very scenic mountain freestone stream with wild browns and brooks. The trout are not large, but they are extremely colorful and there are a lot of them. We dropped his SUV at a spot several miles upstream, then drove my car to spot on the lower part of the creek, assembled our gear and walked in.
The stream was high, and the current was fast. You can see by looking at the banks how high the water had gotten. The stream had changed quite a bit from when I last visited it. On previous occasions, I was able to catch a lot of trout there in shallow water. But yesterday the trout were pooled up and hit almost exclusively in calmer water. The fishing was slow as we combined for only 10 wild browns in the first hour. Tim also slipped and fell on a rock but thankfully was OK.
The second hour was really slow. I only caught two trout to Timís three. We continued upstream, and though I considered leaving the stream to go elsewhere, I wanted him to see more of the stream. The fishing started to pick up a little for me, though Tim went through a long dry spell. I caught 7 wild browns and missed several others.
Then, while stupidly trying to descend a steep bank, I slipped, fell hard, and skidded down the bank into the creek. I scraped my elbow and bruised my backside. It shook me up a bit because I realized that it could have been much worse. It took me a little while to adjust and focus on fishing.
A short time later, a bee flew in between Timís sunglasses and stung him above his eye. It wasnít a bad sting and Tim is not allergic. He insisted he was OK, and we continued fishing, though I again considered leaving for another stream.
Tim had a long troutless stretch where he missed numerous trout but broke the spell with an 8 inch beauty. After that, his fishing picked up. We took our time wading around the fast water and steep banks but arrived at a beautiful waterfall and its tumble pool. It took us 4 Ĺ hours to reach that spot. In that time, we combined for 40 wild browns; 22 for me and 18 for Tim. The biggest was a 12 incher that I caught in the tumble pool below the waterfall.
We climbed above the waterfall and took a break to have lunch. We resumed fishing and the action was much better. All the trout we caught from that point on were brook trout, and they were particularly beautiful. Spawning season is approaching for the brookies, and their colors on this day, were simply amazing.
We fished quite a ways upstream, past even where I had fished before. Tim was doing particularly well and was having a blast. I really enjoyed seeing him do so well. He caught 54 native brookies in the 3 Ĺ hours we fished the upper water. I caught a comparatively modest 40. The natives ranged from 3 to 9 inches.
It took about 45 minutes to plow through the woods to Timís vehicle and though we briefly discussed fishing another stream, we both decided to call it a day.
Tim caught 72 trout on the day, which he told me is the highest number of trout heís ever caught in a day. 54 were native brookies and the remaining 18 were wild browns. I believe his largest trout was an 11 inch wild brown. I landed 62 trout for the day; 40 brooks and 22 browns. My largest trout was a 12 inch brown. We both had a lot of trout hit and get off as well. Despite the setbacks early in the day, Iím glad we stayed and had a great day.
High water mark
Wild brown with vivid red spots
Tim fishing a deep pool
Tim above the waterfall
One beautiful spot after another
Tim with an especially vibrant brookie, with close-up
Tim fishing a productive spot