December is here and the salmon runs are about done in most our local waters and a drive to eastern WA is much dependent on the pass snow conditions along with timing. The rivers are blown out for steelheading. What’s a fisherman to do?
Fortunately Nisqually Spring Creek is just 45 minutes away. By now a serious case of cabin fever and too many holiday obligations has taken its toll. It was long overdue but we decided to make a go of it despite the snow on the road and icy conditions. Heading south we saw several on the side or rollover vehicles. The clouds looked ominous and the snow more evident as we entered the southern convergence zone of Tacoma and Fort Lewis.
Outside temp was 32 degrees but we steadily and smoothly rolled on towards our favorite winter fishery. While Rocky Ford is another option this time of year we didn’t want to spend 6 hours driving and burning the equivalent of a tank of gas to only fish for a few hours. Ching W. and Jeff H. Would answer the call of the trout and agreed to go as they needed some trout time as well.
Upon arriving things didn’t seem right. I started at the north end of the creek and methodically worked the waters without any such luck. There were reports of otters and a diminished population of trout but we continued to worked the waters. Finally, I had bobber down halfway through the pond and a nice 17″ trout came to hand. Next cast… Bobber down a 15″ large spotted specimen. The fish were hungry and I was able to nab 6 before I summoned Ching and Jeff to come over.
I had another rod rigged up with a full intermediate line and white rabbit fur leech, I primary use this as a searching pattern but after some observation the fish have plenty of biomass in the creek including swarms of water boatman that were visible near the duck grass and in the weed bed edges. Also noted were numerous newts and or salamanders which surfaced often for air and insects. According to the owner the water temp regulates at 50 degrees year round.
In the afternoon our host invited us to view the trout farm operations. What a great operation! Clean, organized and efficient. They use the natural spring water and raise the trout with a combination of trout pellets and the fish eating the chironomids and other biomass on the creek. What a fantastic day to be on the water with a couple friends. The sun shined, wind was calm, and the fish mostly cooperated.
Rod: Redington Classic Trout 9′ 5 wt. and Winston LT 9′ 6 wt.
Reel: Feathercraft SCLA3 and Abel 2
Lines: Airflo Ridge WF 5 wt and Cortland 6 wt slime line
Flies: Bloodworms, Snowcone Chromies and white and olive rabbit fur leeches.