The morning sun broke the brisk chill that hung in the canyon and we sat in the sun trying to get warm. After thawing out we headed to the water to see if we could bring some of those trout back out from the depths, I missed to fish after about an hour and a half of fishing and Jake had a monster break him off after taking his dry fly. Around that time as if someone had turned a switch the wind started picking up and within 15 minutes it was impossible to cast.
We made the hard decision and decided to pack up our gear and hike out of the canyon. Even though we had another day and a half planned to stay, there was no point if the wind was going to blow and possibility that we might run into other anglers was not especially appealing. The hike out was rugged and the truck never looked so good. We took the washboard road back to civilization and after a little bit of strategizing decided to hit some water that would be a little bit more sheltered than the canyon streams that are so typical in Arizona
As if to validate our decision to switch water, a beautifully colored brown took a parachute adams on my second cast to the dark side of the first pool. The upper portion of this creek is dominated by rainbows but the occasional brown does find his way into the swift plunge pools.
The foliage is nice as it breaks up the wind, but it can make for some casting issues. Roll casts and side loops are the name of the game.
If we played our cards right and dropped soft enough flies, wild rainbows would eagerly take parachutes out of the film. The creek was skinny but healthy and the mayflies, terrestrials, and midges were out in full force.
Jake and I both stuck with a parachute for the bottom part of the stream and had great success in fooling fish. We continued to hike and fish higher and the water kept getting smaller and smaller, but the rainbows kept getting hungrier and hungrier.
This creek started to get very shady the farther up we fished and I switched back to a bright orange mini-hopper in order to follow the fly in the fast plunge pools. Another brown showed up to play.
Losing count of fish numbers is always a good thing. It seemed that each fish was unique in its colors and spots. A good day, all in all, out of the wind with not a soul in sight. Bushwhacking through brambles and over downed trees had us working hard to access the small upper reaches of this stream.
We wound up back at the truck with a little bit of daylight so opted to hit up one of the local places for dinner. Potato skins with bacon and onions always tastes better after a day or two with only Clif bars and Easy Mac. With a burger in my gullet and a couple of hard miles on my feet, I was out in no time and slept hard through the night. One more day in store chasing wild trout in the Arizona high country…