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.