Another close-to-home trip, my intentions this week were to get to Deer Creek to try and find some perch and whatever else I could wrangle in.
Of course, while stopping for supplies at the mouth of the canyon, I couldn't help but check the river in the area, where ongoing construction has changed a few holes that I used to really like.
After about 20 minutes, a few bites, and one small brown to hand, I was satisfied (though slightly saddened by the changes) and continued my drive up the canyon, where the river's seduction, once again, took hold and more stops ensued.
Across the highway from the turnoff to Springdell, I hit the pull-off and smacked a pretty good one for that stretch:
After that, the next stop that tugged at me was the area around the Olmstead Diversion, where I usually fish the downstream side of. This time I did that for a few minutes, then carried on upstream to test the special regulations (artificial flies/lures only) section.
The AFL section is usually a spot I bypass because the regs require all fish over 15" to be released and I tend to stray from keeping trout that small.
Since it's the spawn season, keeping any was far from my mind and I had a lot of fun working that first marabou jig until it wasn't much more than a string on a jighead.
Quite a few fish came in with some being quite small and others, mid-size.
Getting up to Deer Creek was still on my mind, so I wrapped it up with that spot and pointed my nose upstream again.
Once again, the river called and I answered, pulling over at Vivian Park.
"Just a quick stop," I thought to myself...
Well the fishing was equally as nice in that stretch of river, especially in the deep run, just downstream. Wading out to the edge of the drop off and bouncing my jig (now on my 2nd) along the bottom, many bites were missed and some resulted in fish.
One fish was a real hog. She grabbed my jig and took off, pulling drag up and downstream for a minute or so.
I had her really close to me at one point, where I could see how massive she was, but right after that, she somehow shook free. Inspecting my jig, the body and tail slid freely up and down the shank.
She would have been my biggest brown to date, but it apparently it wasn't meant to be, this time. Needless to say, the experience piqued my interest in remaining in that stretch for awhile longer. Deer Creek faded from my agenda.
Catching fish is what I had set out to do and it was happening, so I saw no point in leaving. It was good to pay the river back for the skunk it served me last week anyway.
The males are getting pretty colorful right now too.
As the sun worked its way down to the horizon, I concluded my day upstream from Vivian, missing more good strikes and landing a couple of smaller browns near "Jump Rock".
Happy Fishing, Humans.