Category Archives: Brownlining

Eat Your Heart Out, Singlebarbed Survives Mass Killing Spree on the Little Stinking

Now that them Mountain Folk of Trout Underground fame have cast a pall on us “Brownliners” – I figure it’s up to me to settle scores. Rather than spend the morning searching for Bikini pictures, I hit the “Little Stinking” with rod and dry waders..

Last evening we confirmed the kind and type of fish present, while the temperatures were mild I wanted to cover some ground to see what was available.

 Dawn on the Little Stinking, Brownliner Paradise

This is an “olive” stream, Mother Nature will cloak most of the fish and bug life to match the color of the stream bottom. A fine cobble stream, with all of the cobble edged in olive green filament, ideal for spawning fish and ATV’s. Knowing the predominant camouflage color makes fly choice easy, Olive anything, with size the only real variable.

 Olive is the color of the day, Caddis

For starters I hit the same couple of spots I had tried the night before, flinging a #14 Olive Bird’s Nest to a luke warm reception. Went down to a #18 and picked up about 8 smallmouth, none larger than 6 inches.

Saw my first dry fly action, could not make out anything on the water, so I retrieved small nymphs through the rises and landed some more minuscule bass and pikeminnows. The midges that were present were about size 32, not suitable for imitation, at least not with these tired old eyes.

Olive Damselfly NymphBriefly I considered baiting TC with the “Brownliner Three Three-Oh” club, catching a fish under 3 inches on a fly smaller than 30, but if he lost he would pummel me with soft porn posts, better not…

Found some nice water about a mile upstream, small pools of 6 feet depth, deep enough to have some real fish. Switched to a bead head Pheasant Tail and thrashed about briefly. Landed a 10″ pikeminnow, which was a big thrill – 10 inches of anything is fun to catch, and these torpedos are movers, Brownliner Bonefish, they do everything but jump.

 Weed Beds and a riffle, note truck tire pier

My favorite run had a nice riffle leading into a pool dominated by a gigantic earth mover tire, easily 6 feet in diameter. Made for a nice perch to fish from – unfortunately the deepest cut was under the tire, and I spooked a pod of fast movers getting on it.

Snow White Mayfly, I dub thee a White SomethingOrOtherFound my first evidence of mayflies. A snow white #16, saw one in the air, and found one adrift in some weeds. This is sure going to be easy to imitate. The presence of the riffle water and some weed beds likely was the cause, the ecology had undergone a change with the water depth. Riffle water increases the oxygen content, and some beds of elodea added cover for more varied bug life.

I ran the riffle with a Bird’s Nest and landed about a dozen fish. One bass and 11 pikeminnows, to about 7-8 inches. Nothing quite like small fish, their aggression overcomes all other instincts, with us Brownliners reaping the proceeds.

Two hours into a stellar morning, temperatures starting to rise, and I can hear the roar of ATV’s and the staccato bark of paint ball guns flaring from across the creek, looks like the Armored Cav hit an ambush.

I beat a hasty retreat, Brownlining is fun, but when those Phantoms roll in with the Napalm, you’d best be at distance…

See you on the foam line.

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Mystery Fish, It Runs, It Jumps, It Eats Salmon

Mystery Solved, unfortunately they eat salmon

Update: It may be missing the yellow and black lateral line, but the Doctor was dead right. It puts me at a dilemma, as these critters have a bounty on their head in Oregon, $4 per fish for the first 1000, up to $8 per fish thereafter. They eat baby salmon, lots of them. The bounty is paid for a specific area, but the dollar totals some of those anglers put away is staggering. I guess they were here first, I will leave them be.

I also found a list of species for Cache Creek, among them were steelhead trout. So I have a new goal, catch a steelhead and a salmon from this little brownline treasure.

Mystery fish, slender, yellow and black center strip

Original Post: Last night’s foray into unknown waters yielded an equally unknown fish. Narrow, silver, and  a bottom feeder. I would classify it loosely as a “sucker” but it has a superior mouth, like a trout. Black and yellow lateral line, very distinctive.

Never seen these before, they fought well and ate anything thrown their way.

They’re Hungry and I’m all Wet

Birdsnest VictimExperience has driven home the lesson Never Predict Anything, just when you think you can’t miss, fate finds a new way to humble you.

The converse is true when some terrible calamity happens early, like forgetting your fishing rod. Then all hell busts loose and the fish commit suicide, with you grinding your teeth, and some other angler the beneficiary.

I should have known something was going to happen when I pulled on my waders and saw my pants leg where my waders should be. My own fault, as I had grabbed an old set not knowing what I was going to be wading through.

I was about a mile and half from my house on the maiden foray into “Effluent Creek”, figuring evening would be a good scout trip. This is actually lower Cache Creek, it doesn’t resemble much where I fish it, but it’s close, has water, and may hold something with fins.

I had done the initial investigation last week, mentioned in an earlier post.

Now I was equipped with a rod, and a fist sized hole in my waders, about 18″ up the calf. It was about 100 degrees out, so the left pants leg full of water was welcome.

With about 30″ of water under the far bank, I started flipping nymphs under the alder branches. I spooked some large carp in the process, figuring they would be fun to catch. After leaving a couple of nymphs in trees I felt like I was really fishing.

A 10? smallmouth is my new best friendAfter landing the first fish, I felt even better, smallmouth bass, about 5″ long. Smallmouth? This creek shows promise…

I have a bonafide fishery in my backyard, and victory smells like a #14 Olive Birdsnest.

Say hello to my little friends, I was wet – but they were hungry.

  Bluegill? That’s a bonus 

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It’s what I got

The “Purple Mountains Majesty” missed my subdivision by a wide swath, but Getting Bit is just that, throw a fly in anger and hope that you get something with fins that’s receptive.

IMGP0035 This is what I got to work with and I’m approaching it with both caution and optimism.

Caution because with any stream in the rural-urban interface, you’re as likely to find a corpse as you are to find a pristine riffle of hungry steelhead. Both are equally remote, but you just never know.

Optimism, because I saw about 60 salmon here a couple of winters ago. Anything that can support a run of salmon can support something that bites flies year round.

This is your typical effluent enriched central valley farm creek. Access is spotty, but in casing what’s here I have managed to scare up carp, black bass, suckers, a couple of lawnmowers, and a chest of drawers. Gravity got the better of the drawers.

IMGP0021 Mid-August means the water is at it’s lowest, allowing me to see where the deep channels are, where the source of the dirty water is, and avoid the ambushes from the EPB (Eat Paintball, Biatch) guerrillas that live in the cane breaks all weekend.

The source of the dirty water was easy to find. It had been diverted through a  half dozen farms and a horse stable, so getting above that was the first step.

Midday is a poor time to inventory bug life, but it was what I had. I scanned the bridge abutments and any spider webs that I came across, to no effect. Saw the prerequisite damselflies and dragonflies buzzing about, but checking the underbrush yielded nothing.

Not wearing waders limited my access to underwater objects; a cursory check of submerged rocks and sticks revealed snails, minnows, and tadpoles. I found a wing from something in a web, but couldn’t tell whether it was a caddis or a termite.

Someone had been there before meIMGP0032 – another optimist. Found two discarded hook packages (snelled #8), one worm container, and half a clam shell. The clam shell would have been used for catfish or carp, the #8 hooks were consistent with the clam-as-bait theory.

Given the spent paintball rounds I saw, I might have been tempted to slide a red one on that #8 hook, even if I missed the strike – it’s likely that fish would’ve farted crimson for a week or two.

None of this is my idea, it is part of the perils of the Internet. Reading blogs like The Urban Flyfisher and Carp on the Fly is the fishing equivalent of luring underage school children across state lines.

With a two week vacation looming on the horizon, I will be returning with the appropriate armaments; crossed bandoliers of chilled beverage, and  a flyrod. At minimum, I will piss off the folks driving to work on the bridge above…

So what’ve you got in your backyard, Mister?

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