5-16-04 - Fishing this good is almost wasted when
you're all alone....thankfully I have the pictures to prove it!
Waters Fished: Waterloo Creek, MP's Secret Stream
Fish Caught: 15/49
Outing Date: 5-16-04
Weather: Sunny most of the day, cloudy in the evening
Air Temp: 40s in the am up to upper 60's
Water Temp: MP's Secret Stream - 60F
Water Level: Waterloo receding, Secret Stream up a good 6"
Water Color: Waterloo muddy below, clear upstream, Secret Stream
was muddy, visibility 6-12"
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout
Pattern Fished: Hare's Ear, Olive Caddis, Glo Bug (in orange), Copper
Spey, Black Wolley Bugger, Tucker Nymph, and the list keeps going
Pattern Color: per the patterns
Fishing Quality: Waterloo was tough, Secret Stream was ROCKIN!
What can I say, we stayed up not too late and decided
to take it relatively easy on Sunday; started fishin at 7:30 instead
Got on down to the Secret Spot on the Waterloo...wow
it looked different. The grasses aren't high yet so the whole section
of stream was in plain view; man it felt smaller than when you could
never see the stream!
FAT, Les and the Boys set up on the prime pool
while I took Lloyd down to my favorite little run...normally we'd
see tons of fish here...today? Lloyd gave it a thorough thrashing
and yet nothing came up. In fact, where are all the resident browns?!
We kept going downstream and sat on a deep pool
that used to be covered by a stump...the entire tree was now GONE
and to be honest, I didn't even see it sitting in the river downstream.
In fact, this whole section of the Waterloo was high, muddy, and
totally REARRANGED. It was like it had been hit with a Tornado!
Normally we will at least get hits from small, naive browns, but
even they weren't cooperative...heck I didn't even see any?! Only
saw 2 medium sized browns go flying downriver as we walked past...that's
Things were tough all over, so we moved to the
upper stretches...much better here. The Water was clear, fish were
present in good numbers; this is how the Secret Spot normally is.
As usual, Lloyd and I headed to one hole, Fat &
Les worked another. Lloyd and I perched high up over a deep pool;
fair amount of suckers and rainbows, one clearly visible brookie
(that Lloyd got a hit from early on) and a couple small browns running
The water here is REALLY slow, enticing these larger
rainbows isn't easy as they have more than enough time to look at
what you're offering. Being out of Tucker Nymphs I was running the
gamut of flies past them; many got looks but none got bites...until
I figured out this rig.
For the lead fly I went with a #10 bright-ass orange
glo bug. The dropper, about a foot underneath, a #18 gold ribbed
beadhead olive caddis pattern. My luck started to change.
The bright orange proved irresistible to the rainbows;
they'd run from all over the pool to inspect it. I'm watching my
fly several feet down; I can't see the caddis but I can easily see
the glo bug among all the fish swarming around to check it out.
Then I see the glo bug do something fun...it moves UPSTREAM.
SET THE HOOK!!! Out comes a nice little wild Waterloo
Brown! I put the rig back in the water and on the next few drifts
I miss two fish that take the glo bug! Keep in mind now, the pool
is sooooo slow that each drift probably lasted 2 minutes or more!
Here's what I figured out; using the Glo bug as
the lead fly made a DEADLY indicator. I would have never seen my
hits had I just been fishing the nymph...it was far too deep and
too small even with the gold bead. Hits were so subtle that I doubt
a surface indicator would have done much good, I'm pretty sure this
pool is deep enough that I would be underwater even if standing,
and the fish were all tight on the bottom. When the fish would come
in most of the time they'd look and leave, but two times I'd see
fish in the vicinity and the glo bug would make a sudden movement;
both times I set the hook I was rewarded with BIG rainbows, judging
by their relatively pristine condition and larger size, probably
holdovers. Talk about a SINISTER rig...man this was one tough pool
and I got a new technique out of the deal.
Lunchtime back and camp again, and after lunch
Les was on his way. Lloyd was still fishless for Sunday but was
going to have to head towards home. We talked about it, and I convinced
him he should make one more stop with me...the Secret Stream. He
wanted to know the name, I wouldn't tell him. He'd simply have to
follow me and hope he didn't get separated along the way.
Well, about 2:00 we arrived and I told Lloyd to
bring out the insurance policy; he had my last two Tucker Nymphs!
We got on the stream and found it to be MUDDY, which I totally did
Apparently the mud didn't matter, and even fishing
a #18 Tucker Nymph Lloyd hooked up BIG TIME, I mean BIG TIME. He's
sittin' there practicing & refining his roll cast and his line
starts moving...I don't think it registered with him right away
as there was this pause that hung in the air forever...one of those
slow motion moments. I snapped back into reality...I think I shouted
"SET THE HOOK" even though he had already done so.
We got a good look at the fish but Lloyd was playin'
with 2lb (I was expecting the usual gin-clear water so suggested
that). Definitely couldn't horse this fish; a good solid wild brown
about 15-16". It gave us several good looks and I totally blame
myself for not having a picture of Lloyd with this fish; I definitely
waited too long before getting in position to help land this fish.
Lloyd had it subdued and at the surface...as I crouched it made
one last head jerk and the Tucker Nymph flew out of the brown's
mouth and into the trees overhead. G@#$()*@#$
Lloyd did manage to land a chub and had a few other
hits, and I got to show him what stocker browns look like, but as
the afternoon wore on he decided he couldn't fish longer. I told
him "just two more casts"...he gave it three and then
decided it was time to go. He almost made it all the way home without
finding out the name of the Secret Steam, but he ended up figuring
it out..DRAT! At least he knows the name is never to cross his lips.
So Lloyd you may want to stop reading the report
here and consider that your day ended well, having tied into a 16"
wild brown on the Tucker. I swear, don't read on....trust me.
I had put Lloyd in the absolute best spot on this
river to catch fish and he had done alright. He's currently walking
back to the car, so now it's my turn to take a crack at it. Right
now I think I was 1/1 and it was probably 3:30, maybe 4:00.
First cast into the designated spot I hook up and
lose a fish. 2nd cast I land a stocker. 7th cast I land my first
wild brown of the afternoon, one of those tailwalkin' berserk wild
browns that fight like rainbows (as in you'd think you hooked a
BIRD they're in the air so much). MP's Secret Stream is the only
place I've had browns go truly nuts, Skamania Steelhead style, and
it's a fairly regular occurrence!
Sorry I got sidetracked, I'm still counting casts.
I'm in the 20's when I change drifts to focus a bit downstream and
I get another tug (I've lost a few between my 7th cast and where
I'm at now). I get yet another tug and this time it fights back
hard....then goes ballisticly airborn...MY GOD that's a HUGE BROWN!
I'm on four pound so I can fight him well....when it's all done
I get a few pictures and thought about creeling him but then remembered
what I ask all of you to do...let he wild browns go. He's back there
for you guys.
This fish blew my mind, I had been counting casts
but after a fish like that I totally forgot where I was in the count.
It didn't matter though, as the next cast (ok maybe 2 or 3), same
exact drift, I get another FAT TUG...and another BIG ASS FAT BROWN
goes skyward. SIMPLY UNREAL. Get it landed and it's back in the
stream as well.
The day just kept on going like this, I really
never moved more than 10 feet from my general casting position.
Before 6:00 or so I had hooked 40 fish and landed 10! And you wonder
why I keep this stream a secret?! One of the highlights was a plump
stocker rainbow. I also got two smaller ones, not really worth the
pictures as we have plenty of stocker 'bow pictures already. Got
pictures of most of the wild browns, many of the 9-10" last
year are now 12" at least.
Between 6:30 and 8:00 the action just shut down...I
had lost my good flies (Hare's Ears #12 and #18) and had struggled
to find anything else in my box that would be productive. Tried
dries as the fish were feeding on the surface everywhere around
me; the problem was that there wasn't any discernible hatch going
on, and I think that at least some of the feeding fish were chubs.
I worked hard but ended up with 2 more fish + 2
hits, rounding out my time on the Secret Stream at 12/44! Honestly
wish I had converted more; something must have been off as on a
good day I land about 50%. I honestly was torn between continuing
and leaving, but the dark skies and rapidly dropping temperature
lead me to count my blessings as I made the long drive home.