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Short Excursion

Started by Yallerhammer, July 14, 2019, 09:06:18 AM

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Got up this morning, and had a little free time, so I decided to go fishing awhile. The radar and forecast looked ominous, so I wasn't going to waste any time driving or hiking back into the mountains.

So I hit up one of my favorite creeks, one just a couple miles away from my house. I guess I could call it my home water. I've fished it for over forty years. I know every inch of it for miles, and can usually call the strikes on most stretches.

This is not a pristine mountain stream. This is a redneck trout stream with some rough edges. It flows through cow pastures, cornfields, trailer parks, parking lots of businesses, and small patches of woods. It's the kind of creek where you're not surprised to see a junk car, an old tire, a sheet of roofing tin, or an algae-covered basketball in the water. It's stocked occasionally, but it also holds a good population of wild rainbows and browns, even some specks in the headwaters. It has some huge resident browns, too. I've caught more brown trout over 20" from this creek over the years than any other stream I have fished. I know of one 30"monster that a friend of mine's uncle caught from this creek back when I was a teenager. Lots of people fish it, but very few of them are toting a fly rod.

Not a crystal-clear backwoods creek. But a good creek. A creek with a personality and some balls. Comfort water. If streams were food, this creek would be a bacon cheeseburger with a side of greasy fries. I like it.

When I got there, I noticed that the creek was a bit high and roily from the recent rains. Perfect nymphing conditions. I rigged up with a big Pat's Rubber Legs and a #10 Tellico.

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The first fish I caught was one of these:

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I would catch several more of them during the morning. Stonerollers, AKA hornyheads, are pretty fascinating fish. Right now, they are busy building huge half-bushel basket-sized piles of pebbles in the shallows to lay their eggs in. Swarms of brilliantly-colored shiners share the piles, sneaking in to lay their eggs on the pebble piles that the stonerollers have worked so hard to construct.

I am easily distracted from the task at hand. I spent about twenty minutes watching a stoneroller carrying pebbles in his mouth to build a rockpile. Very fascinating. Schools of bright scarlet and yellow shiners hovered over the pebble pile, while brilliant little green-sided and Tuckasegee darters hung around the edges, maybe just curious about all the activity. I tried to take some pics, but it was dark and cloudy, and they didn't take.

A goldfinch getting a drink:

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Ohio spiderwort blooming at streamside:

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Yes, I carried it out.

I caught quite a few little wild rainbows:

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I also caught about a dozen stockers, but I didn't dignify them with pictures. I did catch this 11" recovering stocker that put up a good fight. I wish him/her well.

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The wild browns were hitting good. I caught quite a few:

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Thunder rumbled in the distance. I hiked across a cornfield and hit one last stretch.

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As I was wading into the creek, another guy was getting out. He was decked out head-to-toe in fly-fishing gear, and was carrying a high-end fly rod. He was fishing with live crickets. Not something you see every day. He had him a mess of fish.

I caught three or four stockers and a few small rainbows. Then, in a deep run beside a rock and sunken log, I hooked a brown in the 18"-20" range that rolled over on my tippet and broke me off. I said a dirty word.

I came up on a good deep run with a guardian tree limb and sweeper fallen tree in the water. I lucked a good cast back into the head of the run that went under the limb and barely missed snagging the tree trunk, and as my line drifted downstream, my leader twitched sideways. I set the hook, and was seemingly hooked to a Polaris missile. I put the fish on the reel, and it pulled drag as it hit the swift current and left the run for the next one downstream. It completely launched itself out of the water six or seven times, trying to shake the Tellico nymph that was fastened in its jaw. I chased it downstream as it bent my 3 weight rod nearly double. I finally worked it into the shallows and into the net. It was a thick wild rainbow with a huge tail that taped a fuzz over 14 1/2". Rainbows like this used to be fairly common around here back in the 70s and 80s before the proliferation of otters, but are scarce as hen's teeth these days. This is the best wild small-stream rainbow I've caught so far this year. The pics don't do its color justice at all. I was happy.

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After I took a couple pics, I eased the fish back into the water. As it leapt out of my hand and took off like a rocket in a swirl of red, green, and black, I smelled ozone. A bolt of lightening streaked down from the heavens, and heavy raindrops began falling. I took a last look around, and started the wet hike back through the cornfield to my truck. Not a bad couple of hours on a lowlife creek that many folks wouldn't even look out the car window at as they ride by on their way to a more glamorous fly fishing destination. My little trashy trout creek did me good this morning.

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Women want me, doughbellies fear me. - Little Debbie Prostaff


Dassa mighty fine wild bow, Yaller.  'c;

I also have a couple of "home" streams like you described within a few miles. Cheeseburger streams. Yessir.



Damn nice report and thanks for sharing   'c;   My home creek is like that also. It runs through farms and houses and the occasional meth lab.  14 1/2 inch bow is a helluva creek fish and on my favorite nymph-- (Tellico)
  Good stuff,Sir !!!



Pretty sweet, Yaller. High five!
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " -Oddball, 1970

"I don't wanna go to hell,
But if I do,
It'll be 'cause of you..."
Strange Desire, The Black Keys, 2006

Big J

I can let a trashy stream slide if it produces fish like that. Nice work


Very nice - good for you 'c;  bd;0  'c;  bd;0  'c;  bd;0

Woolly Bugger

 /'/  :banana026:  <-;:  you are rocking the TRs  bd;0
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!
me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.
My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

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