Birthday Overnighter

Originally posted on August 7th 2014

It took me a month, but I finally got back to the stream that treated me so well at the beginning of July. This time around I planned for a weekday off hoping to get the place to myself. It worked; I didn’t see a single person fishing the entire trip.

Despite the thunderstorms that had been popping up all weekend and threatened to continue I geared up and headed out on Sunday afternoon. On the drive up I noticed that the downstream portion of the drainage was running high and dirty. This is an area that I’ve only fished very little and hoped to put in some time. Given the high water and continued thunderstorm threat, I decided that fishing this lower stretch of the river might not be the best way to spend the remaining daylight hours and decided to concentrate on getting camp setup.

Soon enough I found a great spot and had my new Hennessey Hammock setup in no time. I was glad not to be doing the setup in the dark though as figuring out the right lashing knots took a bit of practice.

With camp setup and some time to kill I had a bit of a hike to forage for firewood and snapped a few mildly interesting photos. Frankly the area was overrun by cattle and wasn’t that scenic but hey, it’s only meant for an overnight staging area and it beats anywhere in West Valley.

After dining on freeze dried beef stroganoff (unexpectedly good) and polishing off a few Coors afterwards I turned in. It rained hard on and off all night but I stayed warm and dry. Hammock camping is definitely comfy and I was very happy to be up off the muddy ground.

Got up as first light was imminent and fired up the stove for a breakfast of instant coffee and oatmeal. The rain was holding off for now, good sign.

Striking camp took only a few minutes despite everything being wet. I was headed for the stream about an hour after getting up. I opted for a lower stretch since the road to the upper reaches that were so good to me last time are a bit sketchy and I was worried they might be washed out. Or worse yet, might become impassible if heavy rains set in before I could return to the Jeep and drive out.

This stretch is a much broader wash and there’s a lot more growth along the banks. Once you left the stream you might not get back in for a while because it’s just too dense. Yeah, casting here can be a bit challenging but I was working big attractors on short leaders so didn’t need too much room.

Only a few fish came to play, all on the smallish side. Some of that might have been weather related.

A few miles in and the fish got bigger but I didn’t manage to land any of them. I understand all too well now that I have a lot to learn about playing and landing the fish I do hook. By then I had lost my net to the willows, anyway!

It was getting along toward mid afternoon and now thunderclouds began showing up. Once I reached a good place to hike up to the road I took the opportunity to beat the rain.

Despite the challenging fishing and even more challenging terrain it was a terrific trip and won’t be my last visit.

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