Monday, September 28, 2009

A Tale of Two Creeks. Part 1

Two creeks on opposites sides of the drainage, about 15 miles apart as the crow flies. One a familiar haunt, the other scouting new water.

The first flowing from the west to the east, through a broad valley. Thick pine and fir on the north facing slopes creating a deep black forest. Cottonwood and willow in the valley floor, and juniper on the south facing slopes.

The second smaller and braided. Locked in on either side with thick willows. A 15 foot cast on this creek was long. Flowing to the west through a tighter valley, colder water and the toughest casting conditions I have faced in years. Technical casts to fish holding in deep pockets, hidden below branch, root and snarl. Small pockets around every bend, behind every drop and under every snarled mess of limbs.

Both replete with native snake river and yellowstone cutthroat. Cutthroat that smash a hopper at times, and at other times follow it for a while and slowly, agonizingly slowly try to sip it in. Causing a twitchy fisherman to pull the terrestrials out of hungry mouths.

These fish are not too wary, but will usually spook after the a second take. A fish rising for a third drift is rare. They love hoppers and beetles. I can't say which took more fish, the stone flopper or the unsinkabeetles (Plural as I lost a few, some to trees others to fish). But after loosing my last unsinkabeetle the grumpy frumpy (in a couple 3 flavors) also pierced its share of lips.

This is what happens to a hopper that has been nibbled by countless fish (many much too small to actually ingest the fly, but they try anyway) and eaten by over 3 dozen cutts of good size. Cutthroat are toothy critters.


mike doughty said...

sounds like a killer day

cheech said...

Dude! I can't believe I didn't see this before now. Those are killer pics. Looks like fun.