Saturday, April 01, 2006

Snake Creek Rainbows

Go with what you know.

That's a good rule of thumb - especially when you are talking about fishing.

I was out on Salt Lake City this week for another business meeting. This one was held at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird up Little Cottonwood Canyon in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Here is the view out my window:

This location was a skiers dream and other activities were available for our 1/2 day of teambuilding including snowshoing, snowmobiling, and a day spa. I'm a team player but another activity has a greater appeal for me than any of these - guess what?

I took two companions - the "Two Joes" and headed out for the Heber Valley as soon as we could scarf down the box lunches provided at the lodge. I had volunteered to organize a guided experience for more people but since we had to be back for dinner there wasn't time to get several fishermen outfitted with gear, drive to the Provo, and get in any fishing time. There was time for the three of us to skeedadle to the Heber Valley and try a couple of spots. We went first to get Joe E. a fishing license at a fly shop near the Provo River outlet of the Jordanelle Reservoir dam.

Since we were so close to water we decided to give it a try. Joe R. had his flyrod and Joe E. & I had ultralight spinning rods with Roostertails. I also had an assortment of flies and streamers just in case they were needed.
We saw hoards of flyfishers along the river on the way to the fly shop and many were coming out as we walked in (not a good sign). We fished for about an hour with no luck other than losing some lures and decided to pack up and head to Snake Creek.

We tried the first hole and even though we got some strikes in the pool nobody hooked up. Joe headed downstream and began catching some small browns that were rising to an apparent midge hatch. He was using a #20 black gnat behind a #18 parachute with a nice white post for visibility.

I moved down too and picked up a nice 14" rainbow in the riffle below the pool.
I was using a 1/8oz glow-in-the-dark RT which was a pale yellow. I picked up a couple of these on my last trip out West and this was the first time I've had it in the water.
I found some of the small rising browns and tried to interest them in a spinner but they weren't taking. I knew where there were likely to be some rainbows and headed down below the RR tracks. As I suspected, there were some fish rising and I first tried the RT and then an olive sculpin streamer I had purchased in the fly shop but to no avail. I finally switched to fishing some dry flies behind a clear bubble and picked up this small brown on a #18 mosquito.

I had several fish rising near my flies and tried several combinations of blue winged olive, pale morning dun, griffiths gnat, and associated nymphs but couldn't get a good drift with the bubble. I was casting up and across and the current would grab the bubble and drag the flies along too fast. I was considering moving to the other side of the creek and fishing downstream to slow the drift but instead decided to change back the to spinners.

I tied on the 1/16oz white roostertail with the propeller spinner and cast it to the far bank. As the spinner came across the channel I hooked up on a nice 18" chunky rainbow.

Photos by Joe

It was a thrill to hook and land such a fine fish but it was even sweeter to do so as your buddy was walking up to tell you it was time to go. Also, there's nothing like having someone there to take the picture - Thanks Joe!

After getting the big "bow" back in the creek, I cast again just for good measure and caught another rainbow almost identical to the first one! What a great way to end the day.

Joe E. didn't get on any fish but I think he enjoyed being out on the water. Joe R. caught seven and I'll say I caught four. I won't count the long distance catch & release I practiced on a couple of small ones!


eatmorefish said...

Nice fish.. Looks like you are giving that Trout Bum hat a workout too!
Roostah strikes again

obawana said...

Hey, Sure hope this team building catches on. Have you ever considered hair braiding, or basket weaving? Both reinforce the teamwork dynammic!