Monday, November 15, 2010
Cow Creek- Gila National Forest still continued
Quickly enough I saw trout,and not particularly small ones either,given the very tiny stature of this stream. The water was low. It's been a dry, warm fall. The oasis like creek bottom still had a bit of summer left in it: green grass and the streamside alders still leafy and green. I hobbled along downstream casting into the deepest pools.Unfortunately, the fish were only in these pools, and they were clear and still as glass. I've seen this before on other small streams during the fall and spring dry outs. The fish will not venture out of the deepest water. The approaches made me feel like some clumsy giant along a Lilliputian river. Somehow I managed a few hook-ups,and finally a healthy 8 or 9 inch trout. It looked much like the hybrids I've caught in Sapillo Creek: mostly like a rainbow,but with some Gila trout showing through. I didn't get very far when I realized I needed to pack out.I had fished for 2 hours that went by like 10 minutes. I had a long hike ahead and an even longer drive back to Las Cruces. I knew I couldn't go back up the ravine I'd come down( there were several pour offs that would be very difficult to climb up and around). Luckily, I found a deer path that led up the grassy ridge. It was steep, but I made great progress initially. As I looked back on the dry,dry juniper studded hillsides on one of my many air breaks, it seemed hard to believe that any kind of permanent stream exists in this corner of the Gila, let alone one with a trout population. That's what made Cow Creek a magical place. Despite the difficulty, I couldn't definitely say that I would never go back.