Carol gave me a pass on new-puppy duty today, so I spent a few hours on Rock Creek. The weather is beautiful here in Montana, with clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70's. I was expecting crowds on the river, it being Sunday, but found it rather sparsely populated. Maybe the rising water levels have people thinking the river's unfishable. This is actually my favorite time to fish Rock Creek. With high water, the lower river turns into a braided stream in several places, and fish will move into these smaller side channels to get away from the raging current in the main stream. In addition, these side channels reduce my chances of drowning in a stream notorious for its spring wading conditions. You can usually find wadable conditions along with nice fish.
The rising water of the past couple days does seem to have the fish "off their feed" compared to what I experienced last week, but some hunting revealed several nice pockets and seams holding fish. Actually, two fish I caught today were the largest I've landed this season (photos below).
I continue to play with tight-line nymphing and find it enjoying to try something new. I've not invested in specialty gear yet, opting to simply cut the head off an old floating line I had lying around and tying 20 feet or so on Maxima Chameleon on as my main line. Also, the raves about how productive this technique is seem to be true. Because this is a close-in technique, I find I have to pass up some productive water that I could fish with a conventional setup where I'm able to make some longer casts. I also find myself watching the wind forecasts more closely, because strong wind is a killer. I always throw a reel with my conventional line into my vest in case water or conditions make me want to change away from the tight-line.
A pink rubber worm tied on a jig hook was the "fly" of choice today. Typically I use two flies, with a mayfly nymph above my worm, but once I figured out the fish weren't interested in anything but the worm, I took the second fly off, saving myself any frustration from dealing with two flies.
That's it, except for the fish photos: