June 13, 2015 Somewhere in Eastern Washington
With Rob leaving for Peru on his mission for 18 months, it was time to say goodbye to one of his most faithful and reliable friends. For 25 years, The Creek has been there for us, ever since Rob moved to Wenatchee and discovered this little gem. It could always be counted on to deliver an abundance of beautiful redband rainbows. Some years the stream was fairly open with easy fishing; lately it has been filling in with grass, severely limiting the ability to fish. A big flood this past winter did a good job of washing away a lot of the grass and opening the water back up. It also washed away a lot of the fish, though still leaving plenty to keep things interesting. Based on past experience, it will only take a year or two to return to the normal abundance.
We (Rob and Rick) arrived about 10 am and found no other vehicles in the parking area above the canyon. That was a good start. Rather than walking the old road and starting at the crossing, we decided to start down in the canyon pools, hiking the steep, but scenic trail.
|Parked above the canyon|
|Starting down the trail|
|That is the water we'll be hitting|
Once down in the canyon, it didn't take long to find fish. Rob had the first one on while Rick was playing around taking photos. Deep pools, waterfalls, and a fish or two in most of the holes. This was a beautiful start to the day. The waterfall hole has really changed. I never knew it was so big as grass had previously lined both sides of the bank with the creek flowing in the channel in between. The floods took out all the grass, leaving a big pool that stretches from one wall of the canyon to the other.
|Rob with the first fish of the day|
|A typical rainbow|
|Nice canyon pool|
|...with a trout below the waterfall|
|The new waterfall hole|
Leaving the canyon, we continued upstream through a much more open stream. Only one or two fish found in most holes rather than the typical five to ten, but it was pretty constant all the way up. Just below the crossing, I cast over the top of a fallen log about six feet above the water and high-sticked it to get a good drift. You could see the fish darting up to the fly and back, running in circles, but never hitting it (I was fishing a dry dropper, with a Turk's Tarantula on top that they had been hammering). So Rob tosses his Renegade the same way, and as soon as the fly hits the water, the trout comes flying 18" straight up out of the water and down on the fly. Crazy! And so it continued, some slowly rising fish, some darting out from under the grass, some appearing seemingly out of nowhere to take the fly down.
|This section was a mat of floating grass last year!|
Five hours after starting, we had fished higher than I had ever been in the creek, past the bubbling spring, past the side creek that comes in, sometimes pushing through grass that covered the creek, but always finding another stretch of open water beyond. And in most every stretch of open water, another beautiful little fish or two. If Rob hadn't had family pictures that evening, I probably would have kept going until it was dark, taking joy in each new hole and the fish encountered therein. But Rob did have pictures, so five hours and 1.4 miles from our starting point, we climbed out and started the long walk back to the car. We maybe even gave Rob enough memories to last him through the next 18 months...Don't worry, Rob, I'll post more pictures next year when the fish have grown even bigger!
|Looking down the valley as we start back to the car|