I decided to check out Canyon Creek today. I had heard some good things about this area. I left the house about 5:30 am and finally arrived there around 8:00 am. It’s way the heck back in the hills. I noticed another truck was parked where I was which I was surprised to see anyone there on a Tuesday. Anyway, I geared up and headed down to the creek and started working my way south, down stream. The creek was pretty shallow with an occasional pool here and there. After about 20 minutes of hiking I finally caught my first brown of the day. It was a typical 10 incher but it always puts you in a good mood. I continued on, stopping at a few pools but didn’t catch anything. As I was hiking I saw a guy in a blue shirt down the creek a few hundred yards. I didn’t pay much attention to him as I was interested in fishing this small run. I was seeing fish at the bottom. As I was wading and casting I could see more fish swirling around. Then I heard this, “Hey Steve!”. The dude in the blue shirt was a fellow blogger named Brennon (check out his blog at http://www.fourcornerflyfishing.blogspot.com/ ). He and I have communicated back and forth through our blogs but have never met. What a great way to meet. Anyway, we chatted for a bit, he gave me some pointers and we went our separate ways.
One of the things Brennon was telling me about were these “sucker fish”. That’s what I was seeing in that run. Here’s a picture of one. This has to be the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen. And they were everywhere. I’m not sure what good they do but they can go in my opinion. I probably caught 4 to 6 of them throughout the day and dealing with them was more of a pain in the ass than anything.
I worked my way down this creek for probably about 3+/- miles. It was a long damn way. I was told that the fishing wouldn’t get good until about 1.5 miles in. That’s where the pools started getting bigger and deeper. I was absolutely gorgeous back there but I only caught a few small browns in that area. By this time it was in the afternoon, the wind was picking up and my back was killing me so I started heading back upstream. I fished my way back for about a mile with no luck. I finally found a small run under a downed willow tree that produced two more small browns.
I headed back another ¼ mile or so and found a small plunge pool. I dropped in a single Copper John and after just a few casts I got a strike. I set the hook strong but thought I was on a rock or something because there was no movement. Then my line moved to the right about 5 feet. I had hooked up with a huge fish that didn’t want to play my game. All it wanted to do was sit on the bottom. I was scared to death that I would loose this guy with a snapped line or lost hook so I let him just sit on the bottom while keeping constant tension on the line. Over the past few weeks I’ve lost several large fish by not playing them right. It wasn’t a very big pool so he couldn’t run very far. He would go to the bottom, raise up a little and move around but that was it. Eventually I tired him out and he started to loosen up. It took me about 12 minutes or so to get this guy to the net. I want to apologize to my friend Nate for telling him he squeals like a little girl every time he catches a big one because that’s what I did. You would have thought I was seven years old and wearing a skirt! He ended up measuring 16 ¼ inches and had some girth! After getting this brut to the net I quickly snapped some bragging photos, gave him a sincere thank you and put him back in the water. It took him a good 2 or 3 minutes to recover enough to swim back under the waterfall.
It was getting late in the afternoon now and I needed to get moving before darkness became a problem. While heading back I saw the biggest bald eagle that I have ever seen in my life. It was flying from treetop to treetop going upstream. I never could get close enough for a picture until he circled back and flew right over my head. It happened so fast I couldn’t get the camera ready but it was something to remember. Overall Canyon Creek was good. The hike was not difficult but it was very long. I’ll definitely come back to this area.
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