Slick Rock 5-23-12
I had orginally taken the day off work to finish up baling hay but, since it fell a flood the evening before I thought I would salvage the day and hit Slick Rock creek. I'm just a sucker for punishment I guess. The clouds were still thick and dark looking when I arrived and I thought that I was going to get soaked but, it held off and made for some excellent conditions. I could not have hand picked a more perfect day or conditions to successfully land the elusive browns of Slick Rock creek. The water was stained but, not muddy with almost a perfect flow. I hiked until I reached the 4th river crossing and started fishing and let me tell you it took some mental toughness not to wet a line in all those "lower" pools but, I knew where I wanted to be and I stuck to my guns. On the way up I passed a tent and I heard people talking inside but, I couldn't understand what they were saying. This will be explained later on.
I entered the water and went to work with a green weenie as this is the "go to" "bait" for me on browns. I fished pool after pool that just screamed brown habitat but, to no avail. These pools were deep, with over hanging branches that made them dark and ominous.. in other words the perfect ambush location for a big boy. At one point I had to leave the river to go around some deep fast moving water and as I was coming back down the bank to enter the river I saw a trout, then another and another. They were all holding in the very (8" or less) shallow water at the end of a big run out in the least shady spots. Bingo, I was moving past these fish without even giving them a shot. I eased closer to the river with the stealth of a leapord about to make a kill. With a camo shirt and hat and earth colored vest I thought I was invisible. I eased the rod out over the water and only allowed only the weenie to touch the water. Instantly a 9 inch brown raced to the surface and devoured the green bug. After I unhooked the little guy I admired his wonderful coloring, let out a big sigh of relief and released him back into the water. I only managed to land 1 more brown which was only slightly larger than the first but, I did loose a "good urn" on a yellow never sink.
I had proven myself wrong and there were still browns to be caught in Slick Rock creek. It was getting on up in the day, the sun had came out making it very bright. I was getting tired and not looking forward to the walk out in those heavy wet wading boots anyways so I called it a day. I had just stepped out on the trail and when I looked up there was a woman. She startled me as much as I did her and I politely appoligized if I scared her and she just looked at me. I said something else ( don't remember exactly what) and after what seemed like forever she said "I see you" in a weird almost mentally handicapped kind of voice. Thinking that they saw me as I passed their tent I said "yeah, I was trying to be quit so I would won't bother you when I passed the tent". Again she said "I see you" but this time a little louder and her eyes got real wide. I was thinking to myself, this chick is crazy. Finally, I saw a guy coming behind her and when he got there she went to gibbering in some language that I couldn't understand. The guy was trying to interprete what she was saying but, his english wasn't the best either. After some time and with both o f u s t a l k i n g like this we were able to understand one another. The woman was visiting from Italy and they were hiking and back packing in Joyce Kilmer because they wanted to see the old growth trees. The woman in her Google search for places to see in Joyce Kilmer and surrounding areas while at her computer in Italy mind you, found Slick Rock Creek and many pictures of it and guess who she saw a picture of holding a trout on Slick Rock creek. Yours truely. The guy helped her out and she spit out the works "I see picture of you". We done our best at chatting for a bit before they took a picture of all of us together and with his help again the woman said "I friends not believe" I just looked at her and said "Yeah, mine won't either."
I told my wife this story and I have to agree with her. What are the chances of someone from half way around the world seeing a picture of you holding a fish on a little known creek in the middle of now where and then on the very day that they come to visit that same creek they actually meet you AND remember seeing your picture.
Yeah, it is hard to believe.
You got me beat, but I've got one close. Years ago I was going to fly out with a couple friends to fish Silver Creek and the Henry's Fork in Idaho. I happened to run into the lady that ran the mail dept at work. Bennie D--- was an avid hunter and angler, so I told her where I was going the next day. She said she had an ex husband somewhere in Idaho, but did not recall the name of the little town. I knew she and her husband had both worked for the TWRA at one time. I asked her what his name was and she said Travis D---. I told her that if I ran into him I would say Bennie says hello. Next afternoon found me putting on my waders in the parking lot at the cabin at Silver Creek. My buddies struck up a conversation with a couple guys leaving the stream. I heard one of my friends say that he saw from the TWRA sticker that the guys were originally from TN. I thought maybe the guy knew Travis D---, so I asked him if he knew Travis D---. His eyes got real big and he said: "I am Travis D---. I said "Bennie says hello". What are the odds on that one.
About 15 years ago, I also had a strange happening in Joyce Kilmer.
I was on a backpacking trip with my friend Denise. We were camping at Bob's Bald and then would meet some friends at the big trees the next day, and they would camp anopther night with us and shuttle us back. We ran into a group of several Europeans, and I pointed them towards the spring at the Bald since they couldn't find it. We finished our trip just fine (minus Jenkins Meadow trail:eek:).
Two weeks later I was backpacking with my buddies Vince, Mike, and their friend from Ohio and we were in Slickrock creek. After hiking several miles we ran into a beautiful woman who was one of the Europeans I had seen 2 weeks earlier. She proceeded to tell us of a copperhead that was right ahead. When I questioned her she said she had been in the wilderness since I saw her the first time:eek:.
It's really cool the people you run into. Thanks for sharing, and hopefully Jay B's kids will have a pic of that big brown you were chasing:rolleyes: if they post a report (hint hint)
Wish I had read this right before I went out, I would have tried a green weenie instead of my caddis dropper. Congrats on the fish and the awesome story!
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