I don't know exactly what it is about small streams and the trout that inhabit them, but once you catch the bug it is hard not to keep coming back for more. Sure there is always a bigger more famous river or stream down th road and sure the trout are likely to be larger as well, but when I have a day free I find myself heading for the smaller waters. Part of the appeal of these waters is simply the fact that they aren't famous, meaning that once on the water you are unlikely to see another angler. Then there is also the fact that many of these waters flow through some of the most stunning country around. The trout, while generally small, tend to be willing, wild, often times even native and almost always about as beautiful as their surroundings. Simply put things on these smaller waters tend to be just as they are supposed to be and it is this that keeps me coming back.
All of the reasons listed above are what led me back to my favorite little mountain creek a few days ago. This time my buddy Gus joined me and with a little more summer-like weather flows had dropped considerably, putting the creek in prime condition.
Gotta love the smaller things in life...
In fact within about fifty feet of where we started I had landed six fish and risen several others, within a hundred feet I had just flat out lost track already, making for a good start to what would be a very good day.
Native and willing... What more can you ask for?
Just about all of the likely looking pools and pockets produced a few fish, all native westslope cutthroat. In the standard cutthroat fashion, the fish in the creek had eyes for the sky and a sweet tooth for bigger attractor dries and flying ant patterns.
Gus admiring a beautiful little cutthroat
As is typical with these types of streams, as we worked high up into the drainage and further from the "easy" to get to spots, the size of the fish began to increase on average. In the very last section of the creek that we hit, I got my fish of the day a beautiful 12" cutthroat, which put my 2wt to work before finally coming to the net.
A great fish to end the day with
With that fish and our flies tattered from the relentless attacks of the rising cutthroat there was really no reason to continue fishing so we made our way back down stream, refreshed and ready for the next outing.