After the bite shut off on Georgetown I meant to head home. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I was driving back into Philipsburg and I figured with the gorgeous day it was that I would check out Upper Rock Creek. I headed to Gillies Bridge for a look-see.
The flows have been up but were on the decline till Friday when the meter broke and the charts became worthless to predict the weekend. Either way, the flows were going to go back up with the stellar temperatures.
The Creek looked great! It was certainly high but it was super clear. Visibility was awesome. I rigged up with a 10ish foot leader and two Rubber Legs nymphs and a bobber.
A quick view above Gillies:
I did have all the wading gear on but I stuck to sure footing.
I started nymphing some likely water and all I managed were whitefish. The typical whities of the day:
I did hook some trouts on the nymph rig but none came to hand. Both were browns near "woody" structure in deep, dark water (they are, after all, anti-phototropic).
I knew the cutthroats were in there so I changed up the rig to a Chubby Chernobyl... I lost the original, shop fly on the first cast to a log jam... clearly overconfident.
I threw another one on and found some slower water. After about 12-15 drifts and 10 takes I knew I was fishing the right bug. The downside, though, I didn't hook any of them solidly... all came unpinned fairly quickly.
Up to this point I was fishing side channels the hefty flows had created. I moved to a little heavier water (mapping out my path CAREFULLY) and looked for slower flows. All takes that I had in the mainstream of the Creek originated from the bottom. I received 10 takes and NO fish to hand. The fly had all it's integrity. The hook sets were firm. The angler may or may not have been, but definitely was, trigger happy. About 50% of my sets got pinned then I blew it somehow. The other 50% were premature hook sets.
A little deflated, I headed back to the truck (after the fake, Chubby hatch turned off). I hit up a side channel where I received some promising looks. I am glad I did because I got some confidence back. While walking I was reflecting my bass hook set days in Nebraska. They require giving the fish some time to get the bug in the mouth. I could hear in my head "God save the Queen." That was my phrase before setting the hook on a bucketmouth.
I ran my fly threw some promising water and BAM!, [God save the Queen], set the hook and FISH ON! She headed down in the current and put up a good fight with the weight on the water helping her. My only cutthroat of the day came to hand:
She came out of this fun little run:
I have A LOT of confidence in the Chubby Chernobyl - even only after one fish to hand. My own chernobly's have let me down in the past but I like the Chubby's alot. It seems that they float better with the poly-yarn wing yet sit a titch lower in the water than my homemade standard chernobyls.
It was a good day on the Creek. I had some excellent time fishing. I had some good time thinking while I drove, too. It's hard to beat the scenery of this part of the country.
Now, I just need to save for the deposit and first month's rent and I will have this lovely place to stay on the Creek:
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