Friday, August 7, 2009

Lower Water = Lesser Fish

I fished my stretch on Belt Creek again Wednesday night with Scott. We fished the “Honey Hole” and the “Honey Pot” for about an hour before coming up empty handed. I couldn’t believe how much the water had depleted in only two weeks of not fishing it. One hole where a quick current once blasted around a structure off the bank is now a mere trickle of water producing half the size of the once massive toilet bowl back eddy. Another factor I noticed is that I could actually see the bottom of the holes now where before, the depth was unreadable. It’s amazing how the currents can change in such a short period of time. We moved downstream to a hole that still is very deep and now with some lower current, has actually exposed some rocks that produce riffle seams directly below them into to the minimum, 10 foot deep pool. As I decided to tie on a Double Bead Head Stonefly Nymph, Scott started drifted his Bead Head Purple Prince Nymph, courtesy of my recommendation, through the run and into the pool. Before I could even finish the improved clinch knot on my stonefly, he had a fish on. I finished the knot quickly and grabbed the camera.

After a couple minutes of tiring the rainbow out, he had him on the rocks. It was a nice 12-13 inch rainbow that fought like hell.

Scott released him after some pics and made his way back to the same run in hopes for another. I had just finished putting my camera back in my pack and was putting on an indicator when I hear, “I got another one”. Jeez! I couldn’t even get my line wet and Scott was having a hay day. The fish was smaller than the first, but still looked like a fighter. I finally got the chance to drop my line in. A dozen drifts later, no fish or hits. I looked in the air around me and saw some Yellow PMD’s floating around. The only fly I had to match was an old beat up PMD emerger that had lost all of its white mid section hackle, left only with a small vertical parachute and the yellow dubbing. I tied it on and added some floatant, then positioned myself above the riffles into the pool and began dropping the fly right off the seams. As soon as the fly moved into the swifter current along the seams, the fly would drown. After about the fifth drift as I was lifting my rod for a recast, a fish hit hard! It started to run and dive into the depths of the pool. I tugged back causing it to surface and perform a tail dance across the liquid dance floor. This guy was fighting hard, felt like a big fish.

After a short struggle, I landed him on the rocks. It was a nice fat little 12-13 inch rainbow.

I was surprised he took the beat up emerger, which without the hackle doesn’t really imitate an emerging fly, but somehow it got the job done. I think I’ll retire this fly and keep it in a special place. After all, I’ve had it since early June and have caught countless little brutes on it. After hitting a few more runs upstream, and catching some smaller fish, we decided to go back to the first two holes. It was getting dark so we had only a few minutes to press our luck. Scott came up with a nice brown right off the bat on his Yellow Humpy dry.

I got a small rainbow a few minutes later with a Yellow Stimulator. Overall the fishing has definitely slowed, fish are a bit smaller than what I’m used to, but was pleased we hadn’t gone home empty handed. In total, between the two of us we landed 8 fish. Not a bad night by any means so I can’t really complain. I’m thinking the fishing will either stay the same for the next few weeks or dramatically slow in this stretch. Maybe I’ll head up to the Riceville Bridge and hike into the Sluice Boxes my next outing. I’ve yet to fish it this year and hear the reports have been steady. I hope to bring back some great stories from one of my favorite creeks in the area, Belt Creek.

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