View Full Version : Labor Day Weekend

09-02-2008, 05:33 AM
We had planned on doing a trip to upper Hazel for Labor Day weekend, but the low water made us change our plans several weeks ago before Faye. Anyways, we decided on going to a rugged area of the park for our trip and hope we didn't run into anyone.

We started out at the trailhead saturday morning and we were not looking forward to the hike. We made it to the top of the ridge in pretty good time but it sure was a heck of a climb. It took it out of us but we took a small break and then proceeded back down the ridge to the campsite. After quickly setting up camp we had our gear ready and started upstream about 10. We decided to hike up stream a good ways before we started fishing to get further up, so after almost an hour of a little wading and mostly rock climbing we started fishing. Immediately, we were into good numbers of specs and some good sized ones as well, in the 7"-8" range. I started off with a dropper but quickly realized the dropper wasn't necessary and just stayed with my ehc. After breaking for lunch about 1, we had already gotten into tons of fish and new this was going to be a great day. We continued pressing upstream after lunch only to find the fishing to still be as hot as it was before. They weren't hesitating to come to the top for our flies. We decided to start back to camp a little before 5 after countless numbers of fish were caught, a bunch over 7" and several pushing 9".

After a grueling and taxing hike back downstream to the campsite, we were both worn out. We found someone had come in and set up camp during the day and he was waiting for friends, who ultimately didn't come until the next day. I would have been mad.

The next day we headed downstream to fish a tributary hoping that the fishing could come somewhat close to what it was the day before. We arrived at the stream about 9 and pressed upstream, again immediately getting into some nice fish and good numbers of them. This time, i started out with a beetle while justin stuck with his ehc. I found the fish liked the beetle just as good if not more than the fly i was using the day before. This stream, while no where near as large, provided some tough wading due to it's steep banks and deep plunge pools created by the steep gradient. I took several spills trying to climb cascades and up small waterfalls. I didn't realize how much of a toll they took on my body until i got home and discovered all the cuts and bruises. Anyway, the fishing stayed hot all day long and was even better than the day before. We made it about a mile upstream and once we got way up the fish got smaller, but for the most part the average spec was just a tad smaller than the day before. We caught a good number of 7" and a few 8" fish. We decided to head back a little earlier that day to give our legs a good rest for the hike out on monday.

The hike out proved a bear as well. The humidity had increased dramatically overnight and the hike up the ridge proved to be difficult to say the least. We made it though, and that biscuits and gravy I got at Dairy Queen on the way out never tasted better!

Hope everyone enjoyed the great weather and fishing this weekend. Here are some pics.









fly fisherman DK
09-02-2008, 09:18 AM
What campsite did you stay at?

fly fisherman DK

09-02-2008, 10:04 AM
Sweet pics!! Sounds like the hike was definitely worth the trip. I'm jealous....

09-02-2008, 12:32 PM
absolute butiful fish, I wish I could have been there.

I would love to hear the answer to Fly Fishermans question. :redface:

09-02-2008, 01:31 PM
Nice report Craig. Really enjoyed the pictures. I hope to get a waterproof digital camera soon and begin taking some pictures myself. Enjoyed the report, keep them coming.

09-02-2008, 04:30 PM
Great Pictures!
Thanks for sharing them with us.
Wish I was there.

swipper 74
09-02-2008, 04:31 PM
Nice report C. I can't wait to see all of the pictures. Hopefully, I can get to go there someday if my old legs will handle the hike you were telling me about! Glad you had a great trip!

09-03-2008, 09:30 AM
Thanks for the compliments on the pictures. Actually, some of those pics came from my dslr that i lugged back there with me. Definitely makes for a heavy pack but the pictures are worth it.

As far as the stream name goes, not to be rude or anything but i'll leave it as is. There are some hints in the report that will help give it away. This is one of the few streams in the park that is blessed in it's obscurity and the fishing definitely reflects that. If it was any other stream, i'd give it up, but i think i'll keep this one nameless. I think the people that have been there and recognize where i went from my report would appreciate me keeping it that way. I would love to help out in any other way possible, though, if you're looking for a place to take a trip to or anything like that.

09-03-2008, 10:10 AM
nice craig,

love that creek

Dancing Bear
09-03-2008, 08:12 PM
I always look forward to your reports and photos.
A fishing buddy and me are doing the same trip you did starting on Friday in a couple of weeks. We are thinking of fishing the tributary first and the main stream on Saturday. Would you do that or do it the same way that you did it? We are both a little longer in the tooth than you are. The tributary sounds a little rough on the body.


09-03-2008, 09:48 PM

I really appreciate your view on this area. I hiked in this area years ago when I did more hiking than fishing. I plan on wetting a line in those waters in the near future.

As always, great report and awesome brookies.