Walk & Wade Trip Report - Rattlesnake Creek

June 12, 2015

Date: 6/12/2015           

Anglers: Ron, Bart, Regan

Location: Rattlesnake Creek

Well, the forecast for this day was 20 degrees cooler than it has been for the past 5 days, and windy. When you are heading up into the mountains a ways, especially this early in the season, a dramatic change in weather pattern like this can slow the fishing down quite a bit. Plus, in a normal year, Rattlesnake Creek usually doesn't start fishing well until the very end of June at the earliest, and I personally don't start fishing it until the 4th of July. But this is no normal year. Snowpack is low, and the river flow was comparable to mid July. The water was 54 degrees at 9AM, and warmed up to 65 by mid day.

If you don't know about our Walk and Wade Trips, you can check them out here. A quick summary would be: walk up a beautiful creek for a few miles, cast dry flies (and maybe a dropper) at feisty little native trout, get your feet wet, and learn A TON. These little creeks have everything our larger rivers that we guide from a drift boat/raft on, but in a smaller setting.

There is:

wildlife (Garter Snake slithering up towards my backpack)










hatches (Green Drake mayfly, about 1PM these started coming off thick!)










riffles and runs











pools, seamlines, and foam

















water we pass by (but we still enjoy the hike and view!)










and of course, FISH! (some are small 6 - 8", some are larger 10 - 14", all of them are beautiful)


















These trips are a real adventure, and get you back to the basics of fly fishing, which can make you more successful in every fly fishing endeavor that you pursue. Fishing from a drift boat is easier, and harder at the same time. The guide controls the boat so that you don't have to think about positioning yourself to make the perfect cast that will get that fish. We also coach you and tell you where to place the fly. On the other hand, you, as the angler, have to make that perfect cast, and place the fly where we assume will get you the best drift. Plus, from a drift boat, the water is moving, the boat is moving, and things are going by fast. You can often hear us urgently saying "cast downstream", "mend", " a little closer to the bank", "closer to the boat", "pull it to the boat a bit", "mend", "mend"...did I mention "mend"?

The walk 'n wade trips are a lot slower paced and believe it or not you can cast at the same spot again if you miss the first time!  It sure is different than casting from a moving boat.  One encouragement that I have for you is to get a small creek oriented rod.  A lot of us here are using the Redington Butterstick or the Echo Glass.  They are fiberglass rods with tons of flex and are both fun and appropriate for small water and small trout.  It significantly heightens the angler experience when you tool down a bit for small water.  

We fished mostly small attractor dry flies in size #10 or #12 that represented a smaller golden stone. We chose these flies after observing the nymphal shucks dried out on rocks just at the waters edge. When you see these, you know they hatched within the past week or so, and it's a good bet the adults are flying around close to the creek banks. As seen in the picture above, we also observed multiple adult Green Drake mayflies, and quite a few PMD (Pale Morning Dun) mayflies. We saw fish rising to both of these flies, so once we saw the hatch get going we put on a #10 Adult Green Drake pattern, or added a #14 PMD nymph dropper to our Golden Stone Attractors. This really started to up the # of hits on our fly, and the number of fish we brought to hand. Remember, a lot of these fish are small, and they are skittish, so you aren't going to hook every one. It is great practice for getting that reaction time on setting the hook, and most of the time you can see the fish in the super clear water chasing your fly, or rising up to grab it. While they may seem easily fooled at first, you will notice after getting a few fish to eat, or landing a couple fish out of the same hole, they will stop coming back eventually, and that means it's time to move on to the next hole. We had some great shot's at some really good sized fish for this creek. A couple of them in the 10 - 14" range we could see actively feeding, and we were able to get them to eat our flies. But, 1 miss on these larger fish and they are not coming back. So, if you do see a good fish feeding, make sure to take your time and get yourself set up correctly for the best possible drift in their lane, and then BE READY for that rise!

  1. Guys, C'mon..do we really need to be kissing and telling on these nice little creeks on the flipping internet? The reason why they are so special is because they don't see the pressure that the bigger watersheds do. If you start sending everyone there, then the resource will suffer in the end. Just a little food for thought. Respectively, Steve
  2. Steve, we appreciate your sentiments very much. Hopefully the angler numbers will balance by pulling them from other creeks, rivers, and lakes. We suspect that folks will give it a go once in a while and things will even out in the end. If they like creek fishing they will most certainly explore other streams. Everyone willing to lace their boots up tight should have a chance at experiencing the fishing there. Plus there is a massive amount of water, Rattlesnake must be one of the longest fishable mountain "creeks" in the state. We have fished it recreationally not guiding, all the way up into the wilderness.
  3. Joe, I know what you are a saying about it being a nice big watershed with plenty of accessible water. I just have concerns regarding increased pressure on the creeks. Especially this year with the drought conditions. We all have responsibilities as anglers to do what is right when it comes to care for the fish, and conservation. I would encourage people to NOT fish these creeks after the end of June this year. I know that i will not be fishing the tribs i a couple weeks. Its the right thing to do. Water temps and levels are already beginning to be an issue in many spots. We all (especially outfitters) have a responsibility to act as good stewards of OUR fish. Thanks for all you guys do, and keep up the good work. Steve.
  4. Being a total novice when it comes to fly fishing I really appreciate all the information,pointers and advice that you provide. I especially appreciate your inclusive attitude when it comes to becoming educated in this sport. Its refreshing to associate with a group that realizes that the public resources in this state belong to and have the right to be enjoyed by everyone. The attitude of, let me in and close the gate to everyone else because I know how to best manage it, is unproductive and not good for the sport or the resource. After all the more people who participate will broaden the desire to care more and more for the resource hence creating a broader base of positive concern. I believe that the way everyone at Reds, that I have come in contact with, puts forth that desire to welcome,educate, and share in the opportunities this state provides to enjoy the sport will serve to ultimately enhance the experience for all. Thanks again for all you do Your the best. Tim
  5. It would be nice if the public would honor no trespassing signs, or at least contact the landowner to ask permission. Your photos were taken on private property.
  6. Dear Landowner, may I have permission to access water on your land? Respectfully, Jason
  7. If you were trespassing (and you were) why don't you take this page down?
  8. Get off my lawn
  9. The only photos I see were taken below the high water mark. Public property. Go back to CA.