What's Up @ Rocky Ford?

dflett68

WFF Supporter
i have a lot of great memories at rfc with my family, so i still feel pulled there once or twice a year. decided to take a day off and drive out monday night and arrive late so i could night fish and then fish in the morning tuesday in relative solitude. instead, i got almost total solitude. but it looks like there's a reason for that, besides just being a weekday.

first sign something was off was my night fishing scout when i got there. never seen the paths so over-grown. creek looked about normal for this time of year, but i saw more beaver and muskrat at the upper lot pool than trout. saw 1 fish just below the bridge, a pair of beavers hard at work the whole time. walked to the dock to scan the water, saw nothing. i didn't bother to fish, just watched and then retired to the middle lot to sleep.

at 6:30 i woke up and headed back to the upper lot and looked around again. no fish. then i went back to the middle lot and walked to the creek and scouted the normal spots - zero fish. zero wallowing backs/rises out in the flats. and zero pelicans, which would make me happy if it didn't seem to indicate there are no fish.

so i got back in the car and headed to the lower lot. walked to the bridge - nothing. crossed and walked down scouting usual spots as i went - nothing. here i did see some pelicans, but no fish, and no signs of fish. no wallowing, no rises, no cruisers. got down to the lower spillway where the stream gets more freestoney/creeky and walked and watched - saw nothing. i noted that the stream is in a new channel in this section - out of the rocky channel, very narrow, very weedy. it's a different creek down there now than it normally is. then i caught some movement and zeroed in on...a carp as long as my lower leg and twice as thick. troutiest water i've ever seen a carp in. saw two more of those, then headed back up.

at the upper pool, i located the one fish i saw the night before in the same spot, holding below the bridge and feeding. i worked on him with this and that for a while and got some looks and refusals, then wandered around just enjoying the sun and bird sounds for a while. came back and gave the one fish one more cast with a fly he had already seen, and he pounced on it. good fish, looked clean and healthy, fought well. i was worried about over-tiring him and tried to get him in too quickly, picked a bad angle and broke him off. was about 21" i'll guess.

i know the creek goes through cycles and so does the stocking, but i've never seen it remotely close to being this barren. seemingly devoid of trout. i'm guessing from the overgrown paths all over the creek that it has been like this for a while, cause no one is walking those paths. i guess the good news is if you like it there, now's your chance to enjoy it in solitude. i know i did.

in recent years i'd guess i normally see several groups of a dozen or more pelicans up and down the creek. yesterday i saw 1 pelican near the upper lot, and a group of 4 down by the lower hatchery. that was it. maybe with covid limiting angler travel they decided it could be a good chance to let the pelicans empty the cupboard and maybe abandon the creek?

i hit another unnamed spot after leaving the creek and connected with a couple of fish, landing one. equal to the first section of my rod, so ~25" and clean as a whistle.

bigbow.jpg
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
I have not fished RF sense winter before last (I moved to Oregon).
This is what I know.
The new hatchery owners did some wheeling and dealing with WDFW and got the stocking requirements changed.
The last time I fished RF the fish were smaller, like 12 to 16", but willing to bite and good fighters.
If the pelicans are not there in numbers, than my guess is there are not as many fish
 

Irafly

Indi Ira
WFF Supporter
I fished it last week for just under 40 minutes. Not as many fish as usual. I did carefully stock and hook one of those carp by laying a scud on a rock and waiting for a pod to move up the creek a bit. That fish fought quite well down the creek until a bend in the creek and undercut bank gave it enough slack to pop the hook.

I headed up to the riffle section and found a couple of fish scudding, but I really didn’t have more time to fish or stake things out so I threw out out a large streamer and was rewarded with an instant break off. Bad knot. About 5 casts later I hooked up again, landed the fish, reeled and left.

BB2AD88C-CC76-4CA3-99DF-00EB26D9F05B.jpeg

My short time was due to coming back from Urgent care in Moses Lake to where we were staying at Park lake. Some nice hand swelling from some sort of infection.
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Fast Action Freddie

Having a drink in The Buff
I fished it last week for just under 40 minutes. Not as many fish as usual. I did carefully stock and hook one of those carp by laying a scud on a rock and waiting for a pod to move up the creek a bit. That fish fought quite well down the creek until a bend in the creek and undercut bank gave it enough slack to pop the hook.

I headed up to the riffle section and found a couple of fish scudding, but I really didn’t have more time to fish or stake things out so I threw out out a large streamer and was rewarded with an instant break off. Bad knot. About 5 casts later I hooked up again, landed the fish, reeled and left.

View attachment 249197

My short time was due to coming back from Urgent care in Moses Lake to where we were staying at Park lake. Some nice hand swelling from some sort of infection.
View attachment 249196
I had a hand that looked like after getting mosquito bites all over. It was swollen and warm. I went to the dr and they said it was fine, just a reaction to the mosquito bites. No reaction on the other hand.

Skeeter Syndrome
 

Irafly

Indi Ira
WFF Supporter
Infection or an allergic reaction to something? Like maybe an insect bite?
Benadryl didn’t touch it, thus the drive in to Moses. Anti booties after 5 days brought the swelling down.

With that hand? The soap lake girls would be all over him. Then if he tells them about the carp? Game over.


Thus the reason why I kept my hand well hidden while driving through the Lake of Soap!
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
About 50 years ago or so Me and my BIL went camping up close to the Skagit. I was sleeping in a mummy bag and only the one side of my face was showing out side of the bag. The mosquitoes had a field day on my face.. When I woke up the next day my face was swollen. And I was in pain from all those little blood suckers stings. I don't rightly remember what I used on those bites. But it took a few days for the swelling to go down.
 
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