Trip Report Trip Report - Shooting Gallery Creek

Shooting Gallery Creek isn’t that far from home so I took advantage of a cool morning and potential overcast skies to give it a try. I hadn’t fished it since early June because of low flows and high water temps. Once a lot of irrigation stops and with a few storms, the flows have recovered a bit and water temps moderated. As usual, a pre-dawn start had me on the river well before the sun cleared the surrounding mountains.
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As was typical, a few midges were driving the occasional early morning rises in all the usual places. These rises help pinpoint likely places to swing a small bugger as I moved upstream. Although I had my Sage XP 5 weight streamer rod with me, the creek was too low and weedy for consistency with the big streamer. The smaller bugger on the four weight was a much better approach. As I moved upstream throughout the morning, the midge activity increased a bit and more rises betrayed the presence of pods of trout. This was a rainbow and brown trout stream with a small population of large whitefish. Fish density was actually fairly high as this is a very fertile stream that always has something hatching every time I fish it.
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Today was no exception. Starting about 9AM, air temps creeped into the 60s and the Tricos started to appear. Within an hour, they were in full swing with a very strong hatch. I tied on a couple of different #16 flies and connected with a few fish, but for the most part once the trout started keying on the tiny Tricos, the larger flies just didn’t interest them. But knowing that trout are opportunistic feeders, a small bugger plopped into a pod of rising trout almost always connected on every cast. On this creek, the Trico hatch usually concentrates the fish mid-stream in deeper, fast riffles just above deep pools or on the seams of deep eddys on outside bends. At the peak of the hatch these locations are boiling with dozens of fish with the larger trout feeding just a few yards above the precipice of the pool. Also, bigger trout, especially browns will stick close to the deeper brushy banks and their tell-tale rises make a perfect target for the bugger.
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By noon, the Tricos waned and things settled down a bit. The fish were satiated and the rises diminished. I headed back to the truck after a great morning of non-stop catching of browns, rainbows and whitefish of all sizes.
 

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