Back Deck Fishing
Birds chirp about and a dove coos in the yard’s fir tree. A dog is heard barking in the background. I can hear the neighbor mowing his yard across the street. Occasionally a few vehicles pass by but no sounds are overbearing to distraught my thoughts. The sky is a mixture of pale swirls of clouds that appear to move at ease below the blue atmosphere. The sun sets behind the tree line and an accumulation of cloud thickness holds back the hot suns rays. In shorts, a ‘T’- shirt, pen and paper I try to recall the outing of the Sunday before Memorial Day.
It was a morning I really didn’t know where I wanted to fish. Well, not really ’wanting to fish’ but more like where I can go out for a short while being I had to be back by 4:00. The morning was a chill so I elected on being somewhere near 10:00, on a trout stream, preferably away from a crowd or noisy campers. It wasn’t until I packed the van, and feeling the weather, I decided to take the near hour drive to the delayed harvest section of Oil Creek.
Upon arrival there was some kind of Memorial run/walk for cancer I believe. The parking area was filled with cars, canopies and even a radio broadcast. What did I know? I followed the road down to the gate of ’no further’ where only on other vehicle was parked.
I didn’t know what to expect of the water conditions or any hatches so I took my caddis boxes, nymphs, dries and streamers. I selected my custom made 4wt fast action rod created by my good friend Skip of Mile Creek Custom Rods. It was a kind of dream I had of having a custom rod with a cigar theme. I sent him a Don Tomas Coronitas Cigar band and asked him to match the colors. I selected him mostly because of his craftsmanship and exquisite custom made cork grips. It was interesting as he showed me samples of cork, hardware and reel seat daily as he started the build. We discussed thread color and added detail all through the internet with pictures. When he handed it to me my eyes lit up with amazement and pride. The first time I used it was like an extension of my own arm. I even show it off now and then. The cost was minimal compared to the craftsmanship and use I have gotten out of it thus far.
Out on the creek there were only two other fellows. One was fishing a spinning outfit while the younger fellow was nymph fishing with a fly rod. They were fishing the faster riffles that were about 3 to 4 feet deep that left me in the slower current draw. Though it was deeper it had much more surface visibility for me and the fish below. The creek was running low and clear so the area we selected I felt would be the most productive considering the conditions.
I started out with a Woolly Bugger before turning over to a dry Caddis once I seen a rise. A few caddis were fluttering about but not many were seen on the surface. The younger fellow was catching trout now and then on a nymph in the riffles. One was a good sized brown. I succeeded with one brown trout myself on the dry before the two fellows decided to leave.
I moved into the riffles and stood knee deep just off the bank. A few more caddis were appearing and with that a few more trout began to feed. For the next hour I pleasantly cast my own caddis imitation to every rise and would cast in the slower seems when no risers appeared. I caught a good selection of rainbows with a few brown trout mixed in before the caddis quit coming around when the bright sun sparkled the water.
I tried a good selection of nymphs before hooking into a curious rainbow. He was a bit frisky in the stronger current but I got him near and shook the hook loose as it barely set in the skin of his lip. After a few more unsuccessful tries I pulled out my last cigar, a Don Thomas Candela. I decided to knot on a green rock worm dropped below an emerging wet fly. This is when the fishing got interesting again.
The first grab was a sharp tug at the end of the drift. I played the fish carefully more as to wanting to see which fly the trout took than to just get a picture of him. The rainbow fought in the current and splashed the surface a couple of times before I got a closer look. He took my simple rock worm pattern. Ok, and I did get a picture after all.
The next trout grabbed my rock worm with a dead stop of my fly line as if I got a bottom snag. I pulled back and the trout did likewise taking line upstream in the faster shallower current. It splashed about before turning towards the deeper section down creek. After a fruitful battle another trout came to the glove.
The one that got away was a good hook set but he took me deep behind a visible submerged boulder. The leader came entangled with the boulder and within seconds my leader broke with both my imitations gone. I think I caught two more rainbows on the same setup before I started to feel the heat from my cigar near my fingers. I quenched it in the creek water and put the soaked nub inside my vest pocket with the others. From that moment I moved down stream, from the other fellow, and began to fish my way down creek. Without any more excitement I latched the caddis hook into the hook rest and headed back to the van. There a fine Carolina Cigar Company cigar awaited me. The special 4 year aged long filler and Colorado Red wrapper was an excellent treat for the drive home.
In the distance peepers mimic each other as the light fades. The orange glow of burning tobacco draws closer to my fingers. The sound of a riffling trout stream reoccur within my thoughts as small puffs of smoke vanish into the night’s air!