Thursday, April 27, 2006

Upper Snake Creek

I think I may have found a new favorite fishing hole.

The other day while fishing on Snake Creek in the Heber Valley, I met the landowner (who will remain anonymous). We had a nice conversation about farming and fishing and I thanked him for allowing us “bug whippers” to use the creek that ran through his property. I explained that I was much more comfortable fishing small water with no people in sight than the big river full of other fishermen.

His reply was one that will warm the heart of any angler. “If you like this spot, I have another one that you will really like”, he told me with a straight face. He had confessed to me that he was an avid fisherman as a boy but hadn’t fished in years. The place he referred to was also on his property and was the same creek as the one by which we were standing but further upstream.

After catching the large browns on the lower end of the creek earlier this week, I suspected that they had been washed downstream from the high spring flows due to more rain than average and from spring runoff.

I decided that I would have time to check out the new spot early on Wednesday morning before catching my plane back to Houston.

I got up well before sunrise and drove to the place where I had been instructed to park. The creek was visible from there and it was running high and swift. I decided since I only had a short time to fish, and because the water was up, that I would only take the UL and Roostertails and would leave the fly rod in the car. (mistake #1)

I walked along the creek and cast where ever I could but got nary a nibble. The creek looked promising with undercut banks and small runs, riffles, and pools and lots of brushy banks to catch a hook on. It looked like it would be fishy when the water flow was normal. I was getting the idea that my time was rapidly slipping away and that I would probably go home fishless today.

Then I saw the beaver.

At first I thought it was a muskrat as I have frequently seen them on the lower section but when it passed within three feet of me I could see that it was definitely not a muskrat – or a nutria – but a full grown beaver. My first thought was, “Where there is a beaver there must be a dam”. And we all know where there is a dam there is a beaver pond and that means slower deeper water. I suspected that if I could locate that spot I would find the fish.

I continued to follow the creek down through the pasture and there it was near the end of the property. The small dam had backed up a small pond and the flow spread out over a larger area before continuing downstream.

I put the sneak on the pond through an opening in the brush and eased out to a place where I thought I could cast to the deeper part of the pond. “This is perfect!”, I thought. I cast twice to the most likely spot I could see and - nothing. Not even a flash or a bump. I cast again & again but no takers. I was just about to leave and throw in the towel when I heard a fish surface downstream from me. I looked up and saw the ripples widening and knew that it was worth another cast or two. I dropped the white RT in the general vicinity of the rise and was rewarded by a good sized fish taking a swipe at it but refusing it at the last moment. Hey – that’s better than nothing!

I hooked and landed a 14” brown on the next cast.

“Maybe I needed to get out a little further”, I thought and took a small step forward. (mistake #2) Just as I took the step, a big trout flushed from under my feet and went streaking across the pond leaving a big “v” wake in front of me as I stood there with my mouth open.

I cast a few more times and was about to leave (mistake #3) when I decided to cast a couple of times back upstream near the mouth of the pond where the creek emptied its load into the flat calm water.

I hooked a nice fat brown trout.
He gave me a great fight before coming to hand.

I cast again after the photo shoot and caught another in the same run. I learned from a previous outing that once you catch one nice fish from a spot keep fishing!

In all I caught 5 browns and a rainbow between 15” and 18” and also a few small ones.

Brown #2

Snake Creek Rainbow

Big Boy

Another Chocolate Colored Brown

This would have been a perfect spot for the fly rod as long as you are proficient at roll casting. There was no sign of other human activity – no tracks, worm buckets, trash, etc. The fish were gullible but feisty. One brown jumped continuously until I got him off the hook.

I moved upstream to try once more before I was to be squeezed by time and caught only one more small brown. It was a great spot especially that time of day. I saw a small herd of deer on the way in and a couple of kingfishers along the water in addition to the beaver.

What better way to spend the morning but outdoors enjoying God’s creation?

1 comment:

eatmorefish said...

That place looks great. I think you are right the perfect 4wt spot. I can't wait to get up there and wet a line. Anticipation......