Well just made it back from a wonderful weekend deep into the backcountry of deep creek. We made an early start friday morning and started our 6.1 mile hike back to the campsite. The hike wasn't nearly as bad as last week on the hyatt ridge trail and we made it to the campsite by about 10:30. We quickly set up camp and made it on the water by about noon. I started off with an abrams creek searcher nymph with a tellico dropped behind it, while Justin started off with a royal wulff. Justin took the first hole and quickly landed the first fish of the trip, a small brown. After fishing this hole and moving to the next small run, we spotted a large 16-18" brown about 10' upstream. Somehow it didn't see us so justin made a cast and the fish come up to take his dry. Unfortunately, fate wasn't on our side and the hookset was a little off, but boy was it amazing to watch a fish that size come up and take a dry. We continued upstream a short ways with justin quickly amassing a lead on me as i couldn't seem to catch a fish while he was reeling them in. Just a short ways upstream, we again stumbled across a nice fish, only this time the fish was 20"+ easy. We were dangerously close to this fish but once again somehow he didn't see us. This fish was hanging out in the shallows on the side of a run in about 2' of water and was actively feeding. I made a few casts but nothing would come of it. Justin made a couple casts but i think i may have spooked him with my last cast. By this time, we were both amazed by the quality of fish we had already seen. As we moved upstream, i began catching some fish and justin continued his assault on them. We were pulling out mostly browns, but some rainbows were mixed in. We were pulling out quality fish, too, as the average was about 10" with plenty of 12" thrown in there. Justin had the fish of the day when he pulled in a solid 14-15" brown that succumbed to the royal wulff. We continued fishing until about 4:30 before calling it quits. We easily pulled in at least 50 fish between the two of us and were greatly anticipating the next day of fishing.
After a noticeably colder night than the night before, we woke up saturday morning and made it on the stream by about 9. We decided to start out at campsite 58 and fish up to our campsite since we fished upstream from 57 the day before. It was still rather cold at this point and the fishing reflected that. We couldn't seem to get them to take anything until about 11 when, once again, justin managed a few on the royal wulff. While wading through some very skinny, slow water, i did manage to spook another 20"+ fish, although this time it was a rainbow, what a hog! I tied on a yellow caddis and dropped the abrams creek searcher nymph behind it and began catching a few by about noon time. By 1, we had managed about 10 fish between the two of us as we approached a very slow, deep pool. The pool appeared to be about 8' deep and had basically no current to it at all. We carefully eyed the pool when we both spotted a massive fish.......then another........then another! It was unreal! There were three fish in this pool over 20" and one of those looked to be as long as our arm! This isn't even counting the other two "large" fish that we saw in there that looked to be 16-18". We were in awe at this point and just stood there amazed and commenting on the fish. We figured we had nothing to lose so we both tied on our respective streamers and gave it a shot. We didn't figure we didn't have much of a chance in such slow water and we were right, but we had to try. We continued upstream still not having much luck when once again we spotted two monster fish. While wading through pocket water about 12" deep, i took a step and right next to my foot a torpedo shot out of the water and went flying upstream. As soon as i realized what it was, another fish came from the same spot just a inches away from my foot and shot downstream towards justin. I looked back towards justin to watch him jump as the massive fish swam between his legs and scared the crap out of him! Both were 20"+ easy, but the first fish that swam upstream was another one that looked to be about as long as our arm. I tell you i wouldn't believe it if i didn't see it myself. Back to actual fishing, i switched my dropper fly to a small pheasant tail and started picking some fish up as we moved upstream. Justin managed a few but they really seemed to key in on the pheasant tail. We again stopped fishing about 4 30 and although the fishing wasn't nearly as good as the day before, we managed about 25-30 between the two of us.
After a very restless night (there's not much to do after dark with the campfire ban) we woke up bright and early this morning. We had decided the day before to pack up first thing and hike out back to the trailhead and fish near there that way we would be fishing when it was a little warmer. We made it in very good time on the way back, clocking in 6.1 miles in just a tick over 2 hours. We fished close to the trailhead for about an hour and a half until something came up and we had to go. During this time, we managed about 8 fish, all on dries, and managed to spot one nice fish about 16".
All in all, i was definitely impressed with our trip to deep creek. The fishing was good, especially on friday, even though the water was low. Seeing those big fish definitely was icing on the cake. Even though we didn't catch any of these large browns, it was such an amazing sight to see them and get to watch them and their tendencies, i definitely feel that i learned alot just from watching them. I still can't believe that we saw that many large fish, it was unbelievable. I believe at last count we saw 9 fish over 20" (with two of those being "as long as your arm") and 5 fish that looked to be in the 17-20" range. To me, that is truely amazing and i am still in awe of it. We will definitely be planning a return trip to this watershed in the upcoming year.
Well, hope the story wasn't too long and i didn't bore you. Here are some pics, enjoy!
Justin reeling in the first fish of the day, he let his dry drift back into this log jam.
About the average deep creek brown
Here i am with a decent sized rainbow that fell to the abrams creek searcher nymph.
Justin with a better sized brown
A closer look at the fish