Wow, what a day I had on Saturday! For the last five years, I've known of and wanted to visit a creek that isn't even very far from where I live. For some reason or another, I just never got around to it. Well yesterday I finally made that happen.
Part of a grand water conservancy project, Sixth Water Creek is heavily supplemented at its upper reaches by a tunnel that channels water from Strawberry Reservoir, into a completely different drainage system. Sixth Water flows into the Diamond Fork River, which doesn't appear to be much more than a small stream until its confluence with several other tributaries.
While making my way to the West Portal, where the tunnel spills into the canyon, I couldn't resist pulling over a few times to fish Diamond Fork and also to do some sightseeing. The river is a tough one to fish in its lower reaches, but higher up, the gentle pools are easy to exploit.
The higher elevation stretches of the river are mostly full of cutthroat, but brown trout and rainbows can also be found. Most of the cutts are rather small, but it's always fun to fish for them.
It's a beautiful drive through marvelous terrain. Pity I didn't snap a few more photos of the canyon, which transforms dramatically from its headwaters, to its confluence with the Spanish Fork River. Cool place.
Finally reaching my parking spot to get to the West Portal, I walked down the closed road that leads to the initial pool where water collects before tumbling down the many ledges of the canyon. The flowers were in bloom and the wildlife was running about.
Arriving at the spill pool of the portal, I saw many small fish swimming around and started casting a Lucky Craft Pointer in hopes of hooking into a big brown that I hoped was hiding out of sight. It never came, but a few small rainbows bit the lure, which was almost as big as some of them.
After a short while, I thought it best to get going downstream to seek out the large browns I'd heard and seen photos of. Getting downstream, however, proved to be quite the task with the steep canyon walls, loose footing, and sheer cliffs.
It's a really neat canyon though and I love that the water drops from shelves into deep pools and so on.
After having to take a leap of faith off a ledge that was too high to get back up, I knew I'd just crossed the point of no return and that getting out of this canyon would be tough. It was tough enough just getting from one hole to the next.
Great looking water though. Every pool provided bites from tiny rainbows and I started to notice a trend. Was I too high for the browns? I knew most people fished the creek from an access point a bit further downstream. Maybe it was the method I was using.
Every pocket looked like a gold mine, but I was still only catching dink rainbows. Finally, I switched to a trusty Blue Fox on a whim and the bites were really coming in. I'd caught about 30 small rainbows for the day so far and not a single brown, but at one really big hole, allowing the lure to sink a little bit in the deeper holes brought my first brown of the day.
Prior to taking the chance of sinking the lure, I was worried about snagging and losing my gear. Add to that, the current made getting the right presentation difficult. Nevertheless, sinking the lure in the wash was what I focused on at that point and my catch rate increased greatly, and with more variety and size.
I was already having a good time toying with the tiny rainbows, but now it was just sweet! That big hole by itself consumed over 2 hours of my fishing time and it occurred to me that I need to start contemplating an exit strategy for this deep canyon. Of course, working my way back upstream required some more fishing in the holes where I'd only used the Lucky Craft before.
Getting out was really hard as I ascended the hairiest hillside I've had to take on in a long time. In retrospect, I should've followed a small trickle of water that I'd seen earlier, up to the top, but I somehow made it up the barren hillside, using the small clumps of dirt from a landslide as hand and footholds. There were many times where my anchors crumbled out from under me and I was lucky to flatten myself against the hillside before gravity could take me down.
Beaten, scraped, and elated, I made it back to my truck and started driving home. I couldn't resist fishing some small pools on Diamond Fork as I passed by though. Those little cutts couldn't resist.
So as any incredible day should be, mine was full of adventure as I fished a new water and caught probably over 60 fish. I'll definitely be back to find the hogs, although I may try a lower section of this awesome stream.
Happy Fishing, Humans.
The Southern Belize Fly Tying Initiative - Placencia Session - *(If you missed the first post in this series, please circle back and start with the Hopkins Session before continuing on.)* The next morning we were up ea...
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