Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 3: Nelson's Spring Creek - Sight-fishing with.....

April 9th, I booked a spot at Nelson's Spring Creek for the first time. First waters always both excite and scare me. At least I already have some experience at its neighborhood, Armstrong's. According to the guide book, Nelson's is shorter than Armstrong's and Depuy's and also referred as the most difficult of three. I wanted to find out myself.

My first concern was the weather. It turned out to be exactly the same as 7th at Armstrong's, i.e., I used the same tactics of mine. Whatsoever, I never missed 50 mph gusts of a day before....

My first impression for this water was easy to move around because it's barely a mile for an aggressive angler like myself, especially when streamers are in my game plan. Spots were very obvious to my eyes. Upper flats and lower pools plus riffles in betweens.

I started with Doug's custom tie Home Invader as at Armstrong's. I fished deep runs and pools down-stream from the parking site, which is just about the middle of the creek. At first pool, within a first few cast I hooked one! It didn't came to my hand but gave me confidence and reassurance for what I was doing and observing. Next pool below, I got a solid hook up!! Typical spring creek colored browny came to me!! t

This is only my speculation and interests but brown's spot patterns and vividness seem different from those in Armstrong's. Maybe so. It's fun to observe and speculate these little stuffs.....

I covered lower half and moved upstream. Navigating other 5 anglers, I was still casting streamers. It was a different kind of what's called sight-fishing, spot a fish and see all the actions and reactions. I noticed Nelson's flows and structure cause more flat and slow spots than Armstrong's and Depuy's, which makes things difficult dry-fly anglers. Some take it challenging and other take it frustrating. But......who decided spring creeks have to be fished by tiny flies and 6X tippet or thinner? I'd like to say thanks to those anglers, I experimented myself and had great success with streamer. I observed Nelson's trout were so vulnerable to Doug's Home Invader, which is basically a realistic sculpin.
I kept moving trout all morning. Even small ones, about 12-inch or so, chased Home Invader and attacked! My best catch in the morning was this 18-inch rainbow, which turned out to be one of my best rainbows. I chucked Home Invader several feet upstream, swung it, stripped some, and showed him enough. As soon as he saw my fly, he made a move, swum several feet, and bit it with confidentially!!! I saw all happened!!
Here's one more for sight-fishing with Home Invader. Even with a streamer, when sight-fishing, if the hook-set is done perfectly, it sets in the middle of upper jaw. Nothing different from dry-flies or indicator.

In the afternoon, I did see some baetis and midge emergence and scarce rising trout for them. Since risers were pretty much localised, I swung my soft-hackles at wherever I could. I didn't have any actions at all.

At 4pm, I switched back to my 6wt with Home Invader. I again covered whole stretch by fishing aggressively and I moved and landed a couple of trout. At the very end of the day, I was fishing the very top end of the creek, which is a very nice pool. Probably 3 seconds before, I was going to pick up my fly for the next cast, I felt a heavy tug. A gorgeous 19-inch brown showed himself.

One more shot as I was releasing him.

Since Nelson's limits 6 anglers a day, I have found that there are comfortable distance between anglers even on the weekends. Then again, I hope rest of myself will be dry-fly purist or serious hatch-matcher who'd like to be challenged and frustrated and who would focus on certain spots and barely a few trout. That way, I can do my aggressive way all day!!

I'd like to visit Nelson's again for sure. And I believe I did great at the first time water.

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