Dry Creek flows above the town of Alpine, which isn't far from where I live, and I've always felt a subconscious tug as I've passed through that area. The tug came from the water that I knew had to exist somewhere around there, since the high peaks immediately to the north collect plenty of snow each year. It has to go somewhere.
Being the map hound that I am, it was somewhat surprising to me that I wasn't aware of exactly where the creek flowed or its name. A few months ago, someone mentioned that I should check out a little creek in Alpine, told me how to get there, and all the dots were finally connected. Dry Creek, eh? Sounds nice.
Well today was a great time to go and check on it and several hours of map study had been donated throughout the week, getting a feel for what I should expect to find. Granite stream bed, steep gradient, brown trout, possible brookies...This was going to be fun.
My first look at the creek had me wondering if I was properly equipped to offer the trout something they would bite.
The pools were there, but they were mostly small. The current was quick to sweep my Blue Fox away from the sweet looking spots and when I could find a good enough pool to drag it through, nothing struck or followed. Spinners would have to sit this game out while the jigs got to play.
How's this for a jigging pool?
That pool was so nice that I also tried my luck with a heavy sculpin pattern on the fly rod. It worked, although it was impossible to get down into the wash, where I wanted it. Luckily, a brown followed it out and took it right where I could see it.
Yeah, I got two fish, but covered a lot of stream before I lucked into them. They were quite focused on their spawning and seemed lethargic to attack my jig or my fly. Something needed to change, so I switched my jig to a Gulp! emerald shiner (soft plastic) on a 1/8th oz jig head.
First cast, blind catch. Perfect! It was nice to be able to cast into the wash, jig a couple of times, and pull in a fish without having to see it take the bait.
Now that I had their attention, the catch rate increased nicely. Most holes that looked fishy ended up with a fish in the hand. I even switched back to the fly rod on occasion, just to see if I could work something out. A couple more fish came from that as well.
It's a beautiful creek with plenty of good pockets.
Here's the biggest fish for the day:
It wasn't a big fish trip, just a good time to satisfy my curiosity about that little nook in the valley that we call Alpine.
The weather ended up cooperating too. It warmed up enough to melt a bunch of the snow, that was covering everything this morning.
Those peaks will be white until July.
Great little canyon. I'll be back next year, although I'll probably do a summer trip so I can hike up to the brookies.
Happy Fishing, Humans.