Let me start this little blog entry with a few words about the people who attended this years event who I consider to be my friends and great fishing partners!
Luke is a friend I met at work a few years back and was just starting to get into fly fishing. Now he has become a fly fishing and fly tying machine. He is also the one who volunteered to get this show on the road for this years event. So thank you very much for giving me a little break. And you did an excellent job!!! He is also the one who fishes more than the rest of us...at least for now! He also has provided some great photos of our trip. He has mastered the art of catching lots fish on really small flies.
Jessie is a long time friend of Luke's who I met a few years back, and is someone who I now call a great friend. He and Luke have spent many hours systematically picking apart all the little mysteries of spring creek. He is also the one who provided a good quantity of "meat" for this years event. He fishes hard and often goes on crazy hot streaks where he catches 10 fish in 10 minutes. He is also a very good story teller.....you should ask him about the 48" brown trout he almost caught.
James is a friend who I have known for a while. We met at church when I was first dating Colleen back in college. When I learned that he liked to fish, I knew I had found another fishing buddy. His easy going style fits right in with everyone. In fact he's so easy going he doesn't need to show up at 6:00am in the morning to catch fish! He's that good!! And thanks for helping me remove that #22 midge out of my finger!!!
Bob is the man who seems to be prepared for just about anything. In fact he has earned himself the reputation of having everything we need on our trip even when we didn't know we needed it. Don't have a can opener? Bob does! Don't have wet wipes? Bob does! Need a coffee table? You get the idea. Anyway Bob and I have been fishing together for years and he has been instrumental in getting me well acquainted with Rochester's best fishing spots.
Okay now that we have that out of the way, lets talk fishing!!!
Friday evening I met Lucas and Jessie at Spring creek for an hour of fishing before we headed back to the campsite to meet up with Bob. There were some bugs coming off, but not a lot, and there were only a few trout splashing at the surface. We all caught fish in that last hour. Most were caught on nymphs. Including a nice 15" brown taken by Lucas just before we had to leave.
The next morning we drove to the lower part of the creek in Scottsville where we searched for the stocked brown trout that had been put in weeks before. I did well fishing under the bridge where I landed 4 trout that included a nice 15" brown. But it was Lucas who had the hot fly and proceeded to take a number of trout that included 4 nice 15" fish out of a nice stretch of water above the bridge. When the action slowed a bit we all headed upstream to a "no kill" artificials only section of the Oatka. And even though there is a lot of natural reproduction throughout the whole stream, this section receives no stocking from the state and is totally dependant on natural reproduction. Here again we all got into some nice fish including a few small 5" inch wild trout that had been the product of natural reproduction. Anyway, it was Jessie's turn to have the hot hand and he caught a good number of trout on a #20 hare's ear nymph. He also told us of a monster brown trout that he hooked downstream. It was the biggest trout that he has ever hooked on the Oatka.....like 20" inches.
After a great lunch back at the campground we headed back out fishing. This time we decided to go back to Spring creek in the hopes of getting into a hatch and some dry fly fishing. Spring creek is a great little stream. It is a tributary to the Oatka and it's water temperatures remain around 50 degrees all year round. It is also nice because there are only trout that inhabit the stream and they are all wild naturally reproducing fish. There is also the chance to get a brook trout every now and then. Our evening went great. And again, everyone got into fish. This time it was James' turn as he hooked trout after trout in a small run downstream from the railroad trestle. And as I moved downstream I found my own little runs and found many willing takers. But it wasn't until Lucas and I went downstream further, did I see an amazing sight. He wanted to show me a unique spot he had fished a number of times that held a lot of fish. And boy did it. Looking into the super clear water I could see at least 50 fish holding in this pool. And at the head of the pool there were some very good sized fish. I didn't catch those fish so I couldn't tell you for certain how big they were. But, I can say with confidence they were much bigger than 16" inches! And I would even venture a guess that some would be over 20" inches. The truly amazing thing about this spot is there were two sets of currents to deal with. On the far side of the stream there was a bend that would shoot all current towards the middle of the stream in the deep parts. The tricky thing was that the main current from the center of the stream would wash over the top of that deeper part . So in essence the fish would be holding along the bottom one way and your drift would be going another. I finally found a position that seemed to work and started to catch some fish. Someday soon I will go back and work on getting the hang of that current. And then maybe I can catch some of those really big ones.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Jessie's brother Casey, who came out to join us for the tail end of our trip. And even Casey, who had never fished spring creek, caught a fish! A truly great evening of fishing. And to top off an already stellar evening, Bob managed to catch a really nice 14" or 15" brown before we headed back to camp. All the fish we caught that evening took small nymphs dead drifted along the bottom.
We then retreated back to camp where we prepared a feast....a "meat" feast. Moose, venison, pork chops, Italian sausage and a big pot of baked beans. We cooked, we ate, we told stories, we ate some more. And then, as Jessie put it, we all slid into a "meat coma." I seem to remember a story about a boat, a broken oar and 3 foot swells. But, that might have been the meat talking. Oh yeah....I almost forgot, Jessies epic fish that he hooked on the Oatka is now a 44" inch monster!
Sunday was cold, very cold. A front had moved into the area over night and I'm pretty sure it was close to 30 degrees. At least that's the way it felt! Yeah....I'm sticking to the 30 degree morning. It makes us sound more though. We new we were in for a rough morning due to the front and cold temperatures. But again we caught fish. We just had to work a little harder for them. Small nymphs and midge larvae were the key.
The whole weekend was great. We were truly blessed with great weather, and the fishing wasn't bad either. Even if there weren't any good hatches going on we all caught fish. We had to keep adjusting and work on finding what the trout wanted.
Here are some photos from the trip. I hope to get some more as I get them from friends. And when I do, I'll post them in another blog. I hope you enjoy! And don't forget check out Lukes photos and Jessies photos too.