|I write sometimes for a website that has nothing to do with fishing but I abuse them with fishing and hunting stories every so often. Here is one from last summer. Some of this was directed at non fisherman so beware.|
Treasure In A Creek
Camping out is just a blast when you are young, or really any age for that matter if you love nature. We found ourselves in a campground on the eastern slopes of Yosemite with two other families and a total of 5 dangerous boys age 8-11. Before breakfast there was an hour to kill and one buddy's kid was desperate to catch a fish. Rather than go to where the forest service planted hungry brookies which would eat any color power bait you threw, I decided to give the gang a lesson. We hiked up the horse trail a mile like the lost boys but keeping a close eye out for bears and cougars.
The creek was off the trail and through the woods a few hundred yards and as we neared it we grew quieter and saw a heron in a pool. The bird flew off but I told the kids it was an omen of good fortune. Moving closer to the pool I taught the kids about polarized lenses seeing through water, passing my glasses around. Creeping up slowly and observing for a big fish in the softer water was the first order of business but perhaps if there was one it had turned to heron chow. We get to the pool fed by a riffle with old logs, overhanging trees and Narnia like lushness. Before pointing to the few likely spots for fish we flip over rocks to look for caddis or mayfly larvae and check the water for nymphs. The life cycle of aquatic insects can be critical to fly fishing but not today. The center riffle is hard to cast to under a tree but the boy who wants to fish practices in the pool. A hint of movement catches my eye and I know there's a native brown lurking near the top. This fish has never been caught or even fished to before. All we need to do is make it think a yummy bug is there. Tying on an attractor pattern known as a Royal Wulff(with a pinched barb) to a miniature ultralight fly rod and I side arm back cast 25 feet into a hula hoop size spot under a downed tree. Wham! The surface fly is hit and primitive reactions from myself and this 10 inch ball of fire entwine. The fish is hooked and the boy gets the rod. The little brown jumps and thrashes but after a few minutes is reeled in. The boys fight over who nets it and a lessen in proper fish handling and releasing occurs. The boys are excited for more but pancakes and mommies are waiting so we sally back as brave conquering woodsman from a creek of wonder.
[click here to display pictures]