Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Almont Part 2... Spring Creek

Almont … Part 2 – Spring Creek

5:30am rolled around, and we were awakened to pans clacking in the kitchen and the smell of fresh Duncan Donuts coffee brewing. Dave was already in the kitchen whipping up his famous mountain pancakes, this time they included monstrous blueberries. As I lay there, I could hear the sound of the Taylor River; feel the crisp fresh mountain air mingled with the unmistakable smell of fresh pancakes, all minus the background noise we so often become accustomed to.

One look over the deck into the canyon that the Taylor River called home, found the sun peaking into the canyon and the early morning steam rising off of the water. One by one, everyone started to get up and do their morning rituals. After an amazing breakfast, we made our lunches and prepared to head towards Spring Creek. It was decided to spend majority of the day fishing Spring Creek with Tenkara rods.

The coolers were loaded with lunch and of course a cold one to wash it all down…The cabin and the trucks became a flurry of activity, similar to an ant hill that had been kicked over, as we loaded up gear. We checked and double checked our gear. We turned on the two way radios and headed to Spring Creek. 

Even with all the checking and double checking we still managed to leave a pair of boots at the cabin. Luckily, it was discovered before we were too far from the cabin. 

With boots loaded, we drove over Jack’s Cabin Road to reconnect to Taylor Canyon Rd (County Road 742) which runs along the Taylor River. We had to take Jack’s Cabin Road because CR 742 was closed to any travel vehicle or pedestrian as they completed road work. 

Road crews told us that any foot traffic on the road would result in a $125.00 fine. Ouch! This was the second year we experienced construction issues.

We turned onto Spring Creek Road and were moments away from Spring Creek. 

Spring Creek is a small tail water that is 12 miles long and originates from Spring Creek Reservoir. It has populations of browns, rainbows, and brook trout that are adept at surviving in the crystal clear tail water. 

The pavement quickly turned into a gravel road that paralleled Spring Creek for majority of its length. 

We returned to a stretch of Spring Creek that offered pools, runs, pocket water, and undercut banks that provided likely home for the Spring Creek residents.

It was a beautiful day with clear skies, no wind, and a promise of no wet weather in the early morning forecast. 

The 58 degree water was clear and proved to be challenging if we did not remember that we were on a body of water that the fish survived not by being leery of changes to their environment caused by big footed anglers in rubber pants!

Dave, Bryan, JT, and I were joined by Mike of the BDF fame, www.bigdryfly.com, as we tooled up our Tenkara rods and headed for the water. 

It was Dave’s first trip exclusively fishing with a Tenkara rod! It was nice to hear him yell “Tenkaraaaaaa…” into the radios  throughout the day letting the rest of us know that he was into his first fish with the Tenkara.

“Tenkaraaaaaaa….” was yelled into the radios by both Bryan and Mike as they dialed in their Tenkara presentations.

I was able to share in Mike’s first fish of the day!

It was awesome to be able to share the experience of the guys that had a chance to fish the Tenkara rod and land tons of fish. 

JT and I enjoyed our own success on the “Creek” using the Tenkara. We will get Jim and Pete on the Tenkara next year.

I fished with my 11’ Tenkara Iwana that had a 9’ tapper leader and two feet of 5x tippet material.

The remaining two feet consisted of a #16 bead headed hares ear, #16 ABU, and a #16 black zebra midge.

I know, I would be shunned by traditional Tenkara anglers for a variety of reasons. It works for me. 

The 13’ combination allowed me to reach areas on the stream; yet, maintain a low profile to the stream and manage the amount of line on the water.

I was able to locate fish along the undercut banks, at the head and tails of pools, and any structure. 

I am truly amazed at the fish’s ability to blend in with their surroundings. Any depth to the stream, and fish were to be had. 

Any change in depth in the stream, caused me to fish the area, regardless of its size, in multiple casts that would “slice” the deeper water. 

Adjusting for depth allowed me to coax fish to hit that were hanging out in the shelter of the deeper water; even if the deeper water was 1-2 feet deeper than the surrounding water.

I found a quiet bank overlooking a pool of fish, to enjoy my lunch of jerky and trail mix. The silence was broken periodically by “Tenkaraaaa...” over the radio.

 It was amazing to watch fish, which felt comfortable in their environment, be fish. 

To observe the slight movements resulting in the slightest rises in the current, the effortless side to side movement, the ability to remain seemingly motionless in the current, and with effortless speed in which to shoot for a safe lie on the stream at the slightest hint of danger. 

I felt blessed to be able to experience it. 

“Tenkaraaaa…”, “Tenkaraaaa…” moved me from watching to attempting to catch.

We got off the water and started our drive back to the cabin at 7:30pm. 

Pete had promised us some of his amazing brats and burgers! He did not let us down. We washed the burger and brats down with an ice cold beer and discussed the next day’s fishing…The Gunnison River.

Tips of the Trip…

Radios: Two way radios are a stable for us. We can update each other; moreover, let each other know if there is any safety concern - rafts coming down the river.

Check your gear: Check and double check the condition of your gear and that you have it with you.

Remember clear stream tactics:
Quiet approach: Approach the water quietly. Wade quietly. If you spook a fishy area, give it a rest and try it again.
Slow approaches
Use longer leaders and reduce the
amount of line on the water.
Keep a low profile: Use anything along the bank that will camouflage your presence. Lower your profile to the fish by physically getting lower to the ground or moving farther back from the spot you are planning on fishing.

Happy Nymphing!

Come back for Part 3…The Gunnison River


  1. Great pictures and story!! You just can't beat sharing the water with a few good friends for a weekend...

    1. Being able to share the experience is priceless and lends itself to lasting memories! Thanks for the positive comments and stopping by! I'm still working through your trip to Wyoming looking forward to the rest!

  2. Great job Al...nice photos as well. I'm sorry that I forgot my boots... It is great reading this story since it is a way to return to that river even though it is several hours away right now. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

    1. Hey buddy I didn't implicate you; however, I think ya just confessed to the forgotten boots! Its all good cause the river was calling and we caught it before we made it to the water! Tight lines buddy!

  3. BDF sure looks stealthy. He might have the makings of a tenkara master yet.

    The photos of the asses in waders I could do without. HA...

    1. Morty we sure missed ya! Keep thinking we are gonna time it right and get ya out here! BDF was all stealthy and was spankin trout with his Tenkara! The photo was the result of them paying homage to the river...I was just standing in the wrong place! HAHAHAHA Always a pleasure buddy! Thanks for stopping by!


Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully you found something that interested you. Leave a comment and I'll get back to ya. Happy Nymphing!