"Overlooked" Creek August 5-7 2011
Posted 08-08-2011 at 03:54 PM by Noiso
The gal, the dog and I took BART to Pleasanton Friday afternoon with our minimal gear. My pal picked us up and we preceded to the mountains with a couple stops for provisions.
We arrived just as it was getting dark - we were a little bummed because we wanted to fish the evening session but had to set up camp and miss out.
Next morning I woke up first around 5am, started a fire and set up just after sunrise. Caught a couple small brookies in the channel below the big pool close to our site with a #16 green elk hair caddis my 3w. I got another strike that took my fly (which happened a few times until I realized I was using a stale umpqua leader that I purchased on the cheap from Sierra Trading Post. Once I switched to a nice fresh Rio leader this stopped happening)
Back at camp had a nice oatmeal breakfast and plenty of STRONG tea and milk. Afterward I took my 3w with a #12 orange stimulator and just goofed off from the top of the big pool's waterfall, casting down stream, letting out slack so it would drift down. Near the end of the pool I hooked a fish. It turned into the sun and I saw that it was a brightly colored rainbow at least 18-24". I frantically screamed to my colleagues for a net. I could be heard in the next camps loud and clear. Naturally such a big fish was little match for my 3w and bunk 7x leader. Next time I hook an unexpected big fish in little water I will keep my cool. I was rightfully jibed for my behavior and we all laughed. It would have been my biggest fish ever! The biggest fish I ever caught in this water was a 13" rainbow and before that an 8" brookie.
The gal hiked/fished downstream and caught a couple small brookies! She was stoked as they were her 3rd and 4th fish of all time.
It got nice and warm - not too warm, nice breeze, and I alternated my activities, collecting firewood, casting for awhile, snacking, etc. I put a #14 gray Elk Hair Caddis on my 4w and cast into a hot tub sized pool in the granite next to camp just above the big pool and landed a 10" rainbow, which is the biggest fish I had caught or even seen on this water aside from the previously mentioned fish. My gal wanted to keep it, which is unusual as we are catch and release types, so she cleaned and cooked it on the campfire in a disposable aluminum pan atop a small Weber grate. She made a couple awesome tacos, my pal and I grilled a couple dogs. The rainbow had a lot of big black ants (#12) in its stomach and a couple green mayflies and or caddis nymph and adult. I tied a parachute black ant on and never got a strike - I think it was too small (#14) - but my pal had a lot of strikes with the same pattern.
After lunch we took a hike up to the ridge, enjoyed the view and target shot at a couple beercans with a 22 rifle and a 22 revolver. The dog hid in the shade behind us and watched - she was so curious and good!
Late afternoon session I fished up to the "standard" pool next to our standard camp which was occupied when we came in. Caught a little guy in there and a good one in the riffley run behind it. In the next spot downstream, a lie where there is almost always a fish I saw a rise as I approached - a quick violent rise where you don't even see the fish - just a quick tight splash on the surface. I started casting to it. It rose and kissed my #16 green EHC. Next cast I got over his lie he took it and jumped. After a nice fight I landed him - a healthy 9" brookie. He thrashed so much I thought he got hurt so I brought him back to camp. He revived and survived on a stringer - so much so that we gingerly turned him loose with confidence that he would survive.
Evening session approached and I had a plan to hike way upstream and fish up in the woods toward the small dam. My pal wanted to hike far downstream and scout for spots, and I was tempted to join him. For years I've wanted to check things out up closer to the dam - so I did that. The woods were dense and full of fallen trees that dammed up the creek and created bridges. I found a big deep hole close to the first camp in the woods. There were small fish and lots of mosquitoes. I fished down and landed 7 within an hour with time to goof off a little back at camp before dinner time.
My pal got back with some great pics and tell of a great spot downstream where three waterfalls flow into a big pool full of good sized rainbows and brookies that were biting every cast.
Cooked way too much food for dinner, had leftovers. Nearly slipped to my death when I went to wash my feet in the creek. Next mornings ate leftovers and one more session in the late morning before we left. I caught four brookies, nice. Fun trip.
I have been fishing this water for 12 years and my pal has for much longer. The fish have always been numerous - but never this big. There were mayfly hatches coming off that we had never seen - Caddis flies too. The heavy and late snows for the last few years are probably responsible.
(This was all written from memory the monday after the trip)
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