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There’s no fish in that creek!
As I asked around about a predominant creek that looks like great fishing all I heard was “that there are no fish in that creek, and if you do manage any they will be dinks!” I have been working around this little piece of water for about 10 years now but I never fished it. I have driven along it many times and it looks like it should be in Alaska and not here in Colorado. It sits nestled in between 14000 foot peaks that look down upon it like giant sentinels guarding its secrets. I have never seen anyone fishing this creek with anything other than bobbers and worms, and when asked how the fishing is people usually just kind of grumble about this or that but no one ever seems to be knocking them dead. Well enough was enough and I finally decided to give it a try.

I woke up late and scrambled to get my gear ready. It seemed that every thing was spread out and nothing was ready. After what seemed like an eternity I was finally gassed up and on the road and about an hour later I was parking. I love fall days and this one was exceptional. I got geared up and I was sweating by the time I was ready. The sun was so hot it felt like it should be July not early October. I just wanted to get into the water it looked so cool and clear. After a short hike through some golden aspens I was finally there.

The creek runs through a thick mixed conifer forest. In places it is a fast and powerful thing for its size. It cuts and erodes the banks and brings down trees and boulders as it scowers its way through the forest. In other places in just babbles along tranquilly flowing down the mountain, while in other places it bends back and forth carving its way through high alpine meadows. The character of the creek is as varied as the forces that have helped to shape it and I was excited just to be standing there.

I decided I would try the old dry dropper and set out methodically searching the water. After about 30 minutes I had tried several flies but nothing seemed to be working. Ok I thought what are you missing? “There’s no fish in that creek” Popped into my head. No it just looks to good I thought, there has to be fish! Well after about another 30 minutes I was really starting to get frustrated. You see I am not an expert fisherman by any means but I can usually manage a few fish. I was just about to go to plan B for the day, which required an additional 20 minute drive to another creek I had yet to fish. I was just about to give up but decided that this creek just looked to good not to have fish. I decided that no matter what I was going to stick it out on this creek. I decided to just walk up the creek to see if I could spook any fish and maybe get a better Idea of where they were holding. I walked for about 10 minutes and didn’t see any fish. There’s no fish in that creek! No it just can’t be my gut is telling me there has to be fish so I went a little further.

I came to a place where the creek had cut the bank deeply and the water was deep blue. It was over hung with branches and shadowed. I thought there has to be a fish in there. I switched to a double nymph rig and started dredging the hole. After a couple of casts I had my first fish of the day. It was a nice little 5 inch brook trout. Now realizing where the fish were holding I started to just hike my way up the creek working the deepest holes and cut banks with my nymphs. I started managing a few fish first a couple of nice browns, then a few more bookies and a couple of nice rainbows.

My day was turning out alright. After rough start things were looking up I was catching fish in an amazing area. The foliage along the creek was painted with fall colors and I was the only person on the creek. I was excited to see more of what this little creek had to offer.
I rounded the next bend in the creek and the sound of the water increased. I do a lot of white water boating and I could tell that there was a decent obstacle in the water a heat of me. As I walked up on it I was amazed. The canon walls turned to rock and were pinching the creek between them. This formed a tight little chute and all the water was pushed into it. Over time this had caused the ground below to be scowered out and a deep pool had formed. I cast my flies into the water falling into the pool and let them sink. Once, twice, and then a third time and a take. I caught a very nice brown my biggest fish of the day. I repeated the process numerous times but with no luck. Really I thought? There has to be more fish in this pool.
I changed flies and added a ridiculous amount of weight. What the hell I thought the pool was deep and had fast moving water going into it. I more or less lobbed this setup into the pool and waited nothing. I tried again casting into the pool just a little to the right of my last cast. My line came up tight and my indicator went under. I set the hook and wham, a prudential fish. My flies were stuck in the bottom of the pool. After some creative rod waiving my setup came free. I checked it and could not see any damage to my line. So I cast again, just a little to the right of my last cast. At about the exact same point in my drift again my line came up tight and my indicator went under. I slowly loft my rod tip so as to not resnag my flies, as the line came tight I was slowly aware of energy in the line. As the fish realized it was hooked this energy was released. It came in the form of some violent headshakes and a bull dog like pull. The pool was deep but not very long and the only place the fish had to go was down.

I was not expecting a fish like this or for that matter really any fish after all this is the creek that doesn’t have any fish. Yet here I am with my three weight rod bent in half applying only as much pressure as my 6x tippet will allow. After about five minutes I landed an amazing 17 inch hen rainbow. She was beautiful and looking at her in my net I realized how fortunate I was to be in that moment.

I continued fishing my way higher and higher until it was getting dark. I was just about to leave but said one more hole. I was getting ready to cast into a hole when I saw a fish rise near me, right next to a down log. I quickly tied on a favorite pattern and started to cast to the fish. As my fly floated into the area of the last rise I was again filled with hope. Would the fish take? My fly drifts by and just as I was lifting it to cast again the fish took. Well this was by far not the biggest fish I had caught, but it was just as exciting. I was holding a little 5 inch cuty. He was all fiery and I was surprised because he still looked like he had spawning colors. I was happy to have hooked him on a dry my only fish on a dry all day, and I released him just as the sun set behind the peaks and started back for my car.

As I walked back to the car I realized what I had done. I had just gotten a Colorado Slam on a creek that for all intents and purposes doesn’t have any fish. I almost left the creek in the morning and never would have had such an amazing day, but something made me stay. I sure am glad I did. If you are curious about some water go check it out. You may not discover something new but then again you may just discover that there’s no fish in that creek!
 

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It shows that there is almost fish in all waters of Colorado. Just take persistance and sometimes a m-80...... ;D
Nice report!
Bob
 

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I love them small cricks...I have a few guesses in mind, I'm thinking in a ski town if it is between 2 14er's and you work alongside down below. Plus, so many people skip by those resort town creeks and head to the more famous waters nearby.

But hell, keep it a secret and make it your retreat from the routine. Take your grand kids there and tell them about how nobody fished it back in the day b/c by then, it'll probably be hot with dudes tossing line.
 

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Such a great read... Thanks man, I was hoping you would take me to a little creek on Monday (no worries, the Ark killed!)! Maybe next time.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
 
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