12-05-04 - Pet Fly Post Fish - Break out the Centerpin
on these scrawny Iowa Trout!
Waters Fished: Bear Creek, Spring Branch
Fish Caught: 1/2 + 2 foul
Outing Date: 12-05-04
Air Temp: 40's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low and clear
Water Color: clear
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph, Trout Crack
Pattern Color: as per pattern
Fishing Quality: tough
It's the day after the Smackdown. Fred and I have
concocted yet another hair-brained plan that might pay off big or
go bust. We wanted to revisit Bear Creek, the stream we had first
found earlier this year. Hopefully, this time, there'd be fish.
After all the PFS participants had made their way
out for the day, Fred and I headed south. The plan was to drop my
Camaro at the top of the hill; the last trip had been trecherous
and that's no exageration. Well, I was watching for the point where
the road gets bad and started going downhill on the steep, one-lane
road. Surprisingly, I made it all the way down without incident
- they've redone the road!
Towards the bottom of the hill, we ran into a hunter
who was out for the day chasing deer. He had two buddies up on the
ridge and two more at the base. I asked if he minded us fishing
at the river; he was more than gracious in saying it wasn't a problem
at all, just that we should head downstream to stay away from his
buddies and out of the line of fire.
Looking back I almost feel bad we even bothered;
Bear Creek was extremely low, clear, and fishless. Fred hiked way
downstream only to come up saying that he had found some kind of
fish, holding under ICE. RATS!
From here, it was a tossup of where to go. Considering
it's on the way home, Fred and I headed to Spring Branch. Just as
our fellow Smokin' Tahoe had reported yesterday, it too was low,
clear, and not a lot of fish were around. True, I did see all three
trout species, but nowhere near the numbers that are normally around
the Manchester Hatchery. I'm not sure if they'd moved upstream to
spawn or if all the fish had started hitting that magic 14"
minimum size for harvest, but whatever the reason, Spring Branch
was devoid of fish.
I had been fishing the centerpin all day, in part
to show Fred how it worked but also in part just to see if I could
get a fish on it! To my surprise my first two fish came in fouled...the
float would go down and I'd set the hook...apparently the current
had dragged my flies into the sides of the fish. No good!
I finally managed a fair fish landed, a rainbow
trout less than 7" in length. Fun but not real fun. I think
unless the rivers are up and really flowing, the centerpin is a
"bit much" for Iowa Trout, especially on a spring creek
small enough to jump over!