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06 March 2006
'Secret Creek' fishing report [6 Mar 2006]

'Secret' Creek 3.5.06Six weeks have ticked by since our last fishing outing. Six weeks. Sunday's afternoon trip to Secret Creek was way overdue. The day was beautiful - mostly sunny, calm and the afternoon air temperature was a comfortable 42 oF ( 5 oC). We last fished on January 22 - that trip was also to Secret Creek. At that time, the water was running quite high from recent rain and melting snow. On Sunday, even with a little snowmelt, the flow was back down to the low side of normal - maybe 100 ft3/s.

We arrived at our first-choice access spot at about 2:00 PM. We layered on fleece and waders, rigged up 6-7 weight rods with indicators and nymphs and hiked and waded upstream toward some likely steelhead holes. We split up and each fished a familiar and favorite stretch. I quickly got the feeling that the day might not yield as many fish as our last trip. The water levels seemed a bit lower than optimal and, after 30 or 40 drifts through a hole where I should've caught at least a little brown trout or two, I hadn't even felt a nibble. Hmmm. Well, it was nice to be outside enjoying the sun, the air, and the relatively intense bird action along the stream.

Tree ornamentation - this is how you know it's a good fishing spotI changed flies a couple times, then hiked and waded further upstream to fish a couple more stretches. I made my way well upstream of the furthest point we normally reach. During my hike, I gave up on the steelhead possibilities and switched to a streamer and a small sink tip for my return trip downstream. I tried to slowly swing my black egg-sucking leech over all the deeper spots and likely fish stations. Before long, I hooked a little 9" chub - not exactly the target of my efforts, but a little tug on the line is mostly a good thing. My anti-chub sentiment illustrates that trout fishing is not without classism. Chubs, a member of the carp/minnow (Cyprinidae) family, are generally considered to be the 'trash' fish of a trout stream. They're slimier than trout, they've got a less discriminating appetite than a trout and so are easier to fool with a fly, and they're often found in the slower moving, schluckier parts of a trout stream. They're just not as pretty as trout either - if I may be granted temporary permission to judge nature based solely on arbitrary physical features. OK, I'm done.

The sun was disappearing over the western horizon. I continued swinging my streamer and wading downstream toward where I had left B earlier, and I shortly found her. She reported catching 3 trout - browns and rainbows. The biggest was about 12", which is pretty nice for this little stream. We headed downstream together and swung streamers all the way back to the road and beyond, toward a nice bend with a deep hole. I reeled up and watched as B casted her wooly bugger up against the overhanging branches on the far side and swung it slowly across and down through the entire deep bend. No takers. I noticed, in the tree above my head, evidence that a lot of fellow anglers considered this particular spot to be extra fishy.

Fleece quotient: 1 mid + 1 heavy
Lost flies: 0!
Spills, mishaps, slip-and-fall accidents: 0!
Wildlife sightings: cedar waxwings; downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers; Canada geese; sandhill cranes, sparrows
Air temperature: 42 oF
Water temperature: 38 oF
Did I get to use a spey rod?: Yep, my little one.
Enjoyment grade for the day: A

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