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Driven by irrational exuberance.
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Mom's been in a care center in Spokane recuperating from gall bladder surgery, then falling in the hospital and breaking her arm. So I've been zooming over to Spokane recently. As I drive by an I-90 off-ramp on each trip, I would look up the road, and wonder if my favorite secret stream still had any fish in it. This is the place
I caught my biggest trout ever, and I don't think I've been back in 30 years. On the way back from visiting Mom Tuesday, I just happened to have my fishing pole with me, so I pulled off I-90 to see. I drove about five miles, and there was my intersection. It looked like a new house had been built there a few hundred yards downstream. But there was no creek! Just a swale that had been disked over. I thought my little creek had been obliterated! So I drove a little further upstream to look for water. Soon I realized I had been in the wrong valley entirely. About five milesfurther, I found the correct road intersection.

It still has some fish in it, even though it is tiny and ignorable. No one except me would drive 40 miles out of Spokane to find this creek. And I think the locals ignore it too. The little stream persists even
with little protection. Very little shade. One section the cattle have been tromping the valley bottom and spreading the stream. Above the fence is a section between wheat fields where the canary grass chokes off the channel. I drove a bunch of deer out of this section, and the buck turned and growled at me. I'd never heard that kind of sound before. I also saw coyotes and great horned owls.

For some hydrological reason, the summer time flows never get below 2 or 3 cfs, and the water temperature on this hot afternoon was 60F. The mainstem of Crab Creek in these parts is too flat, slow and warm for trout as far as I know.

Spring run off must carve some deep pools. I could sneak up on this open water and slap a hopper down if the cast was accurate. Each pool seemed to contain one top-of-the food chain trout, a veritable big fish in a small pond. Rainbows only, didn't see any browns. But I also dap a hopper straight down onto little skylights and have them drift into tunnels of canary grass. I had a good hit doing this, and I couldn't get the fish out. Nothing real big, but one was a piggy, red sided 12". But this is the kind of fishing that started it all for me as a kid from Davenport.

I liked the fish I caught at nightfall. As the thin crescent moon came up, I saw a big swirl below my hopper, knew it too big to be a squawfish, and knew he was thinking, "Shouldn't all the hoppers be asleep by now?" I put on a elk hair caddis and picked him up.

I've been thinking too about stopping by Hog Canyon on one of these trips to Spokane. I've never been down in there, but remember 30 years ago some talk about small stream fishing there.
 

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Very nice story. I think everyone has one similar to that. My personal story is fishing a small tributary of the Animas river. This creek is so small that nobody gives a thought to fishing it. I finally ended up fishing it and caught several stream-bred Snake River Cutthroats, the biggest being 12 inches, which is pretty good for a stream that is 2 feet across. Does anyone else have a story like this? :AA
 
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