It may have been the change in weather, or it could have been our change in setup, but either way, today was a better day at bringing fish to the net than Saturday was! We started the day off with our standard setup, a Hotwire Prince underneath a Stimulator. Unfortunately, that wasn't producing. From holes that we regularly get strikes we got nothing. Finally, one little guy decided to take the nymph and we had one! Now we just need two more.
Providence maybe, we had a strike at the Stimulator and missed setting the hook. Suddenly the entire rig was wrapped around a tree limb too high for us to reach, nothing else to do than yank and hope at least one fly makes it back! And one was all we got back, the Stimulator. We decided to try a Brassie. Again, nothing. We were beginning to think that we need to change the "Rule of Three" to the "Rule of One!" From where we were there was a bridge that crossed the creek about 100 yards further upstream, we decided if we didn't get any strikes on the Brassie by the time we reached the bridge we would change to something else.
We also worked through some new sections of the creek and this also paid off big time! It's possible that this section of the creek doesn't see a lot of action, there were spots in the creek that it would have been near impossible to get out from the "bank" and there was no way we were going back down the way we went up. It's in places like those that it should be remembered that Big Cottonwood Canyon can kill you if you're not careful! The only way was to keep going, eventually there would be a place to exit the stream, right?
Either way, the path into uncharted waters well worth it! We found old monsters that had probably never seen a fly. The average fish for Big Cottonwood Creek is in the 6-10" range, with most in the 8" or 9" range. However, in these hidden pools and riffles laid the old ones of the canyon. Every fish was over 10", a few were hovering right around 13".
We got him to the net and stood in awe as we watched him as he laid in the embrace of the net and the cold winter water. He was battle worn and had scars to prove it. His entire body was slashed and marked white from rubbing on the boulders and rocks through his long life in the creek. At 13.5", he was a true elder, a chief that ruled his stretch of the creek!
Finally, at another picnic area, we were able to exit the stream and work our way back to the car. By the end of the day we had brought at least 10 to the net. It was a great day on the river and being lucky enough to stumble upon these old monsters was a treat!