Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plunge Pools All Day Long

Fishing for small wild native rainbow trout in mountain creeks is not for everyone, it takes a certain person who is willing to put up with bush whacking and descending steep unstable terrain for a 6" trout. Last Friday I finally got a break from guiding to sample 3 of my favorite creeks in Eastern Plumas County; Jamison, Gray Eagle, and Frazier creeks. It's so much fun to drop deep into one of these creek canyons and completely loose yourself for 5 hours, total solitude; Only the birds, bugs, and beasts know you're there.

The wild rainbows of these creeks are beautiful, colors so vivid, and for their size they put up a good fight on the 3wt. Effective flies were Club Sandwich Hoppers, Orange X-Caddis #14, and Yellow Sally stone flies #16. Hatches were light with the Yellow Sally stoner being the most prolific. Terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants will be of the up most importance in the next few months.

All the plunge pools were major homes for the trout, often having a dozen or more fish occupying the area. Water temps ran 54-55.6 degrees! That is what I love about high mountain creekin; Crystal clear cold water. This is where one goes on a hot day to escape the furnace in "The Central Valley", though this summer so far has been mild as was last years was - Climate change is real.

I'm not sure of the name of these spiders but they construct their webs across big boulders right above the creek making a perfect trap for flying aquatic insects. Their web is so strong and gives some problems to fly anglers as these webs block off casting areas. It takes a few casts to punch through the sticky fortress, and thankfully these trout will rise even after you have flogged the water while cleaning out the cobwebs.

This creek at it's head waters is a spring creek with many channels that are deep and full of timber making it very technical. This is a brown trout fishery, the flow is slow and the banks have a barrier of high grass. These fish are spooky and very tough to catch. The brownies range from 6-18". I hooked two that day after some serious stalking, they both spit the hook and that's fine with me; Conservation releases are better for the fish as you do not have to handle them.

This brown trout is tough to see but these were the conditions that you had to deal with; So technical! This brown trout was rooting through the grass knocking off back swimmers and very small aquatic beetles. Wearing camo clothing is a must. This isn't just fishing, your hunting for a wild animal.

If your looking for adventure, solitude, unbound beauty, wild critters, polished granite, and lush foliage it's time you take up Creekin with a small light weight fly rod and your favorite dry flies. Always remember to carry lots of water, the ten essentials, and let someone know what your plan is for that day. You're also going to want to get to the gym are at least be in good shape for this style of fishing as you're not just sitting in a drift boat puffin on a cigar; You'll be where the wild things are, and if you're lucky you will lose all sense of time...


  1. Awesome photos. This is one of my favorite types of fisheries, too. Just didn't know it was called "creekin'"! Love the boulder hopping, the sound of the water falling into little pools, the scenery & solitude (no one else seems to be up to the challenge). Hubby & I spent today on Cole Creek, each catching 9 fish on a SHWAPF water boatman. Watching the fish dart out from under a submerged boulder to hit the fly is a kick!

  2. Right on Sherrill! thanks for your comments, and I agree with you on the solitude - Jon.


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