'Secret Creek' fishing report [March 26 2006]
I'll admit, we've got a slight case of spring steelhead anxiety... we snuck out again for a half-day attempt to find one or two on Saturday this past weekend. Not wishing to spend more time driving than fishing, we headed for our closest good alternative, 'Secret Creek'. The skies were a very pretty mixture of heavy, dark, precipitation-filled clouds, bright blue sky and rainbows. Occasionally, we were struck with one of the little mist/snow/hail showers in the area, but it never amounted to more than a little entertainment. Afternoon temperatures maxed out around 41 oF (5 oC) and the water levels were down and a bit clearer than during our last outing a week ago.
We first stopped to fish a short stretch we haven't visited in well over a year. Right away we spotted a fresh steelie cruising into the darker, deeper water away from us. (That's one more than we saw last weekend.) We drifted eggs and nymphs through all the likely-looking seams and runs but caught nothing - no steelies, no trout, no chubs, no body. We waded and fished upstream a short way then headed out to the road and back to the car to try our luck somewhere else.
There were a couple cars parked at each access, but not as many as last week. We drove upstream to our favorite but difficult-to-hike-in spot where no one was parked. The sun had disappeared by this point and the breeze had picked up, so we layered raincoats over our fleece and headed into the brushy snaggy hike. We drifted eggs and nymphs through all the runs, deep bends and holes we could reach without hiking too far into the swamp. We spotted another big steelhead and saw evidence of a bit of spawning activity during the past week. B briefly hooked a heavy steelie at one of the nicer bends, but couldn't keep him on long enough to get a good look. I got a little tired of the slow action, so I switched to a sink tip and a streamer. Eventually, I even began casting into the slower water where I stood a much greater chance of hooking a chub than a steelie or a trout. Sure enough, I caught 3 big chubs before calling it a day. Certainly not the goal, but a little better than a skunk.
Fleece quotient: 1 mid + 1 heavy
Lost flies: 2
Wildlife sightings: red-tailed hawks, cedar waxwings, red-winged blackbirds, a few black stoneflies (little and medium-sized)
Steelhead: 2 seen, 1 hooked, 0 caught
Streamside landowners unfamiliar with angler/wader right-of-way laws: 1
Air temperature: about 42 oF
Water temperature: 40 oF
Did I get to use a spey rod?: Nope.
Enjoyment grade for the day: A-
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