It’s great to get out and camp. Sitting outside as the hot summer breeze cools and feeling the darkness wrap all around you. Nothing like watching the stars burning bright, far away from the glow of any large cities. Breathing deep as clean mountain air slides down the valleys with the thermal transition of dusk. Waking up with chill of cool morning air this time of year is refreshing.
Knowing that within a few hours the tall summer sun will have things boiling again, the damp air of dawn is especially nice. Stoking up the gas stove for a cup of joe, and listening to all the birds and critters as the day kicks off is better than any morning tv chat.
There has been a lot to see around Silver Creek my last few visits. Deer, elk, and moose have been common sightings. Those are some of the big game animals that are a treat to see any day.
Time in the water of Silver Creek is therapeutic. Patience and keen observations are rewarded on this delicate spring creek. As much of the fishing here is closely connected to the hatching activity of specific insects and the fish are especially aware of their surroundings, taking care to move quietly and carefully are important. Watching the water, anglers search for signs of feeding fish. A rise from a large fish may appear as subtle as a tiny droplet of water dripping on the glassy surface. Shaded banks with overhanging grass are likely areas to find solitary rogue fish.
I was lucky enough to spot this fish in a narrow slot between rows of submerged weed structures. He slid back and fourth on occasion, indicating that he was feeding on nymphs and unaware I was stalking within range behind him. These fish on Silver Creek don’t like to see any fly line or even leader, so casting up stream here is not the ideal approach. But there was no way to get to a position to drift a fly down to him, so I opted for another technique. By tossing a hopper just behind but not above the fish, he would see the fly before the line. The hopper hit with a splat about a foot to the right of his tail. The fish swirled to inspect the commotion, and seeing what he wanted to see (a big stray hopper) he scooted up to the surface and raked my fly off the surface film. I snapped this image just before slipping him head-first into my net, unhooking the fly and turning him back to the cool clear water of the creek.