Monday, July 16, 2007

Another trip to Secret Creek -- author spotted!

Another beautiful day up on Secret Creek (tm) with Letlee.

This pool was one of our destinations, it's depth apparent in the beautiful turquoise green color of the water. The water in this creek is so clean this time of year (no glacial melt) that anything less than 3' deep is just clear -- no color at all.

The fish in this creek aren't large -- back up, let me rephrase that. The few larger fish (11"+) in this creek are very hard to catch. I have in years past caught them, but so far on these trips we've just had them rise and we missed the strike, or we hooked them only long enough for a patented LDR (Long Distance Release). The LDR is a technique patented by my good friend Stud Farmhand (I'll have to do a portrait of him soon so ya'll know who he is) to release fish without ever having them come to hand or net -- very very ecologically friendly. Letlee and I practiced a whole lot of LDR's on both of our trips to Secret Creek this year.

You will notice a decided lack of Luna the Dog this time. By the end of the last trip Luna had the lowdown on these wriggley, intensely interesting things we were pulling out of the water. They looked *tastey* too. One of us would have to hold the dog while the other brought in a fish, or I fear there would have been an incident. So -- Luna stayed home on this trip for the Trouts' protection.

Here I am being mysteriously cordial with my little trout friends -- "would sir like a little bit of fuzzy fur and feathers that looks like a big juicy stonefly?" They often obliged, a testament in this heathen day and age to the power of courtesy. I have no idea what the hand-behind-the-back move is here actually, maybe to help my balance or concentration. I'm not used to being photographed while fishing, and don't know the standard poses. Fly fishing is just too engaging to stop and "look good" for a photograph, I tell you.

I'm holding this little cutthroat trout (none of these fish were out of the water more than 10 seconds) in such a way that you can see the red markings under its gills and nice orange-with-white-tipped bottom fins [click on the picture to get a closer look]. He looks a little snakey and long for his age, which tells me Secret Creek isn't crawling with food. That is typical for mountain streams, the fish hold on best they can and have good years and bad years. The water slows down in the flats at lower elevations and gets fertile and food-rich, and the fish generally get fatter and fatter. All the other trout we caught were well proportioned, but none of them were the tubby football shape that trout take on when the food supply is extra abundant. These are scrappy little survivors, and we love em.


CtheG said...

love the day in the life photos up at the creek. helps me see how you live, and I like how you live. For a few moments I can hear the water, and feel the breeze and I can smell the Oregon green. ahhhh. gotta come out and visit soon! After the wedding thing. We will do an Oregon trip.

Bpaul said...

I look forward to hanging out with you two and chillin' Portland style. Very much so.

CtheG said...