I am always on the look out for that perfect mountain stream. No matter how nice of a stream I find in know that there has to be another one out there waiting for me. A few days ago I made the run up to the Cascades with the full intention of checking out a stream that had been on my ever growing "to fish" list. However as has been known to happen with me I over shot my destination by a few miles and ended up somewhere entirely different. My first thought was to just turn around go with the original plan that I had laid out in the first place, but it just happened that my first opportunity to turn around was at a creek crossing. Of course I had to take a look at this random creek before turning around and we will just say that I really liked what I saw! With that I grabbed my 1wt and headed down to the water.
It seems that about 50-75% of the creeks in the Washington Cascades that look good and have such easy access end up being hardly worth the effort. This was not one of those. On my first cast the shadow of a trout rose from the depths of the small pool I was fishing and slammed my dry. Being my first cast and with me doubting the fishiness of the creek, this rise caught me totally off guard and I missed the fish. However on the next cast I was a bit more prepared and ended up bringing a beautiful little rainbow to hand. This pool produced five or six more smallish trout, before I decided that it was time to go investigate some of the upstream pools.
The ended up being a much more difficult prospect than I originally thought, as the creek got hemmed in by a canyon pretty quickly. However with a bit of cliff climbing I found a beautiful deep pool that screamed trout. My first few casts came up blank, before I noticed a nice sized trout working a foam line along the cliff a few feet in front of me. It took a couple of casts, but I finally caught his attention and he came up and gulped my dry. This trout had a lot of spirit and put up a good battle on the 1wt before finally coming to hand.
A beautifully colored native rainbow
The coloration of this fish immediately struck me as it was very similar to some of the isolated redband subspecies that I have chased down in Oregon and California, and was likely a product of isolation in this small stream. I managed to get one more similarly size fish out of the same spot, this time on my dropper, but that was all that this hole would give up so I decided to move on. The terrain made in impossible to head upstream, so instead I went back down and found another very fishy pool.
Where I had to work for the fish in the pool upstream, this pool was packed with willing trout and provided me with a good half an hour of fun before the bite went off. The vast majority of these fish were rainbows, although a handful of coastal cutthroat we also inhabiting the pool.
A rainbow with an appetite for a royal PMX
After covering this pool I decided to go with a change of pace and headed a nearby larger piece of water.
One wild Washington river
This river is one of the few Washington Cascade streams that still has a full fledge old growth forest along its banks and is truly wild still. No dams, no development, no clear cuts, everything is just as it is supposed to be. However every with this being the case this particular river in not known for particularly strong trout populations and is touted as a tough fishery. In the hour and a half that I fish this stream, it proved that point as one silver bullet of a rainbow was all that I could manage to find.
A silvery river rainbow
On the way home from the trip I decided to make a quick visit to one of Washington's more notable landmarks for a quick stroll in the high country before finishing my drive.
Mighty Mt. Rainier