Trip Report "Silex Creek": River 2 of 3

Friends of mine purchased a dream cabin on “Silex Creek” and have been generous at inviting friends to stay in the comfortable outbuildings, a tremendous upgrade from sleeping in my tent on the ground as I would do on rivers 1 and 3. Either gravity is becoming stronger or I’m getting too old for tent camping. The late spring and recent thunderstorms produced water flows that were almost twice their seasonal average. This would limit where we could fish and would limit where I could cross the river and apply my southpaw casting to the fish along right bank of the creek.

But with my friend Tim’s local guidance, we did find some very productive waters to fish. Without a significant hatch, dry fly fishing was slow during the day. But like “Garnet Sands River”, the fishing comes alive in the evening. This is a well-known river and we were here over a weekend; so, we would have competition for the better fishable spots in the evening.

But for two evenings, we managed to catch the shift change between the afternoon fishers and the evening fishers and had access to a very nice section at just the right time. Let’s call it “The Big Blowdown” site.
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We waded a side channel upstream to the tailout of a nice pool. It was still hairy wading along the central spine of the run, waist deep and with a significant current.

The fish were holding primarily along the right bank, with a few surfacing for feeding lanes a few feet out. There were more caddis swarming over the river in the evening, but my elk-hair caddis did not elicit any attention. The fish were really into PMDs; the hatch wasn’t heavy but the fish were focused them. I tried a commercial tie at first, but it wasn’t doing it. But, they were into my biot-bodied PMD parachute. This fly sits really flush with the surface and it has slim, segmented profile. The biot body isn’t durable, but it is worth it if it is that much more effective.

And it was worth the effort. Precision casting a dry fly to rising fish is one of my favorite ways of flyfishing. It took lots of casts to produce a quality drift in the feeding lane that fit the timing of the fish. But I loved it. Both evenings, I caught four types of trout: browns, cutthroats, rainbows, and hybrid cuttbows. My friend Tim caught a brookie along with the four types that I had for the “Silex Slam”. The bigger fish, 13’ – 15”, were a handful and a half in the stiff current. My 4 wt. was bent almost double. As we headed out, nighthawks zoomed over the river to glean some of the newly-emerged bugs.

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Of course, the wildflowers here were in bloom as well, both natives and invasive species, a legacy of the prior grazing in this area.
Musk thistle
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Nootka rose
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Sticky geranium
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Streambank globemallow
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Seed head of western salsify
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On one of our daytime searches for fishable water, Tim indicated that we would be passing a small pond that the local calls “Moose Corner”. And low and behold, a juvenile bull moose was in the pond grazing algae off the bottom. I did not see a leash or a hobble keeping the moose in the pond for the benefit of visitors…
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I’m looking forward to exploring this creek more in the future.
Steve
 

Kilchis

WFF Supporter
Great report! I have to ask.....what is the yellow loop protruding from under the vest, and what function does the binder clip serve?
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Great report! I have to ask.....what is the yellow loop protruding from under the vest, and what function does the binder clip serve?
The yellow loop is a float for my underwater camera. When I'm fishing chironomids in lakes, I use the binder clip to weight down the chironomids to set the depth on the float.
Steve
 

bozo

Active Member
Nice write up Steve. Mike, Nick, and Alana stopped by for a few days and struggled a bit but all caught some nice fish. Still lighting up in the evening but fish are getting persnickety. Took Simon out on that stretch of water that we couldn't get to and he had a banner evening with the "Silex" quad slam and half a dozen fish over a dozen. I'm in WA now but heading over on Friday with Deary hoping to catch the spruce moth hatch which hadn't really started when I left last Tuesday.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
With the water dropping, you would certainly have more options. As I mentioned when we were out there, I would need a bigger net if I fished "Silex Creek" more often. I hope that you and Deary have a wonderful August and September.
Steve
 

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