June 1, 2012

More small stream adventures

There is a small creek just east of Rockland, Idaho that I have been wanting to fish for quite some time. East fork of Rock Creek has been described as a gin clear creek with cutbow hybrids that is generally not a fly fishing destination. Well, today I made it my destination.

Driving east of Rockland you enter the canyon from whence Rock Creek comes. It is a typical eastern Idaho canyon; trees and vegetation of the south side of the canyon and dry hills and sage brush on the north side.

Looking west, or "down canyon"

The creek itself is a mere trickle of water when compared to some of the other rivers in the region: Snake, Henry's Fork, South Fork, etc. But although it is small it still has some allure. It is one of those creeks that is densely vegetated, where casting is not measured on yards but feet. You have to crawl, literally, to position yourself to cast to some lies. Other stretches are more open, but with the water being so clear you have to have ultimate stealth or the trout will scatter like so many leaves in the wind.

I thought this would be fun water to try tenkara.

A more open section of Rock Creek
Some sections of the creek are less than 6 feet across with a quick current diving around fallen logs and under a heavy canopy. Other sections are more open with the creek spreading out into broad riffles. Both types of sections have their own set of challenges.

I used my Ebisu, but I likely should have started with my Tenkara USA 9 foot modified Iwana. The Ebisu was perfect for the open areas but as soon as you entered the undergrowth it become very difficult to cast. Still, using bow and arrow casts, shortening the rod, modified roll casts, I was able to place the fly most of the time where I wanted it. I did loose a lot of flies though.

The fish that I took were all small. Some embarrassingly so. The largest I caught was only 8 inches but I suspect that there are larger ones in the best pockets. These pockets are the hardest to get to however, due to the dense vegetation. Still, I had fun.

Not a giant, but fun nonetheless

The flies that worked the best were the Utah Killer Bug and a red/black kebari. I did try a parachute Adams later in the afternoon but it was the subsurface flies that made the day.

I will return to Rock Creek for sure, but first I think I need to get me one of Tenkara Bum's Tanago rods; maybe the 10 footer.

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