Driving west from Tampico along the beautiful North Fork Ahtanum Creek with very little unposted access, I made it to the Ahtanum State Forest where both the North and Middle Forks are accessible from gravel roads that follow them. First stop was the North Fork, which appeared to still be running a bit high from the unusually heavy snows last winter, but still a small and easily wadeable stream. Starting with an EHC dry and small prince dropper, I quickly lost the dropper as the dry was all that was needed on this stream. First hole, my leader loop fell off the fly line. Quick repairs, and immediate fish by dropping the fly into the hole below.
|Another nice N Fork cutt|
|Biggest of the day from the Middle Fork|
|Fun to fish dries!|
|A stop for a little history|
|First barrier, with just enough room to crawl under|
|Alder thicket after I had made my path through|
Carefully bending down trunks to open a path, I finally found myself on the edge of a very tiny stream. Starting with a renegade, I dropped the fly into a couple likely holes with deep water, and found saw no movement at all. At the third hole, I dropped the fly into the little stream of fast water and immediately had a hit. Returning the fly to the same location, and a gentle hook set brought this little guy to hand.
|Yes, that is the whole stream in the background; twenty minutes of bushwacking for three minutes of fishing and one baby fish. But it is totally worth it!|
Next stop was a public access further downstream, where I found the stream still tiny, but with some very large, deep holes, and a few smallish fish. Several to hand in 20 minutes or so, then time to turn for home.
|Further down, the holes were bigger, the fish weren't!|