Zen and the Art of Silver Creek (Part 1)

18 October 2005 By Dan Bachman • Day-Spent-Fishing • Comments (0)

“Silver Creek is graduate school for fly fishers.”
-John Huber, guide for Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum

Superman had Lex Luther and Batman had the Riddler and at the risk of being overly dramatic, Silver Creek has been my fly fishing nemesis. The score is Silver Creek 3 and Dan 0 from our previous encounters. My last visit to Silver Creek was a little over 5 years ago. On that particular trip my dad and I missed the brown drake hatch by a day thanks to a nasty snow storm that shut down the bug activity on the creek. I think we saw a total of 3 fish rise the entire day. However with my latest visit to the creek this past Friday, the score is now a little bit different…

I arrived at the Nature Conservancy Silver Creek Preserve (Google Map) shortly after sunrise and signed in at the visitors center. There was only one other vehicle in the parking lot. The fall colors were in full bloom and there was barely a cloud in the sky. Following the trail behind the visitors center down to the creek I quickly found a pool where fish were rising consistently. The water on the conservancy section of the creek is clearer than the tap water at my house. I saw a half dozen fish sipping baetis. The glass smooth surface of the pool would not be easy to drop a line on without putting down the fish. I crossed downstream and stalked along the opposite bank. I clinched on a Blue Wing Olive emerger pattern and cast across and upstream of the pool as softly as I could. The line laid out nicely on the water and I saw a dark shadow hit the bottom of the creek from my line disturbing the surface. The feeding stopped immediately. The line drifted through the pool before I stripped it in. 10 minutes went by before the fish began to feed again. Moving further upstream I cast again with the same result. I tried several different approaches and cast to the pool over the next hour with no luck.

Wood River Valley Morning Silver Creek Nature Conservancy

Moving downstream to a section of the creek with gentle riffles I found another pod of fish feeding. Underwater plants screened my approach. Casting across and down my fly was hit almost when it touched the water. By the action on the take I could tell that it was not a lunker that these waters are known for but, it put up a good fight. The rainbow went airborn twice and not wanting to lose the only fish I had ever hooked on Silver Creek I let the fish run longer than I normally would. I was shaking when I finally netted the 12 inch rainbow. The rainbow was the prettiest that I had ever caught with a belly of bright chrome. I admired it longer than I should of, pulled the hook and slipped it into the current. Silver Creek was mine! Time had stood still! The planets had aligned!

Silver Creek Rainbow Trout Rising Trout on Silver Creek Silver Creek in Fall Colors

 

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