October 7, 2011

Cold Creek Pond

Cold Creek Town
9,950 foot Willow Peak glistening in the background from a very early fall snowfall
After experiencing the hottest August on record (average high temp was just under 106ยบ), and with September not providing much more relief, the sudden thirty degree plunge last week triggered the autumn fishing twitch within me.  Waking to Las Vegas temperatures in the fifties and highs barely reaching sixty, not to mention the clouds with their needed precipitation… well it was all more than I could withstand last week.  So I planned a quick one-hour visit to Cold Creek in between dropping Evan off at high school and feeding Emily breakfast (thank goodness Emily is a late morning riser).

Trout Truck, disguising itself behind the weathered juniper tree
I’ve been pondering a trip to Wayne Kirch or southern Utah for October.  September is usually tough because it marks the return to school for our boys, and this year was impossible what with back-to-back weeks of extended work travel.  And so my sights were recalibrated to October knowing I’d have to maneuver around Denise’s birthday.  But waiting longer still with such crisp weather at hand was torturous. I wanted to cast upon the water of a cold Friday morning even if it was more about the ritual of fumbling with my equipment than of actually catching fish.  There is something soothing, even ceremonial about the stringing up of my fly rod and inspecting the leader, repairing where necessary, and tying on a small, weighted nymph.  There is the therapeutic casting of the rod, feeling it ebb and flow with each thrust of the back and forward casts, and then shooting line to the target.  After watching the line roll out as planned, then starts the anticipation as you start to strip the line in, awaiting the tug of a strike.  I’m sure I’ve saved thousands of dollars that would have gone to a therapist or shrink, so I guess I shouldn’t be too concerned.

If fishing is my vice, I am only thankful it’s not too destructive because I have a hard time resisting it when it starts sweet talking me.

I knew they had not yet stocked the pond, so action would be slow, if any at all.  I have long believed that trout can’t survive the heat of the summer in that pond, not to mention the low oxygen levels from weed growth in the diminutive, shallow pond carved 5,900 feet into the high desert slope of the Spring Mountains.  I have still yet to catch a trout in the fall preceding the October stocking, and this Friday proved no different, although I did see the occasional surface feeding rings that seemed more like a trout than a trash or exotic fish would have made.  Still, nothing conclusive was learned on Friday, especially since I went without catching any trout or feeling any trout-like strikes.
Feral horses arriving for a morning drink
When I arrived at the pond there was a man sleeping in his SUV right next to the pond.  Just after I started fishing he emerged from the vehicle, inspected the irrigation channel inlet, and then drove away.  I became the sole beneficiary of the pond for the next hour, with a sub-forty degree temperature to go with it.  It was breathtaking, even though I have experienced it for over thirty years now.  The "gift" came with feral horses all around, and the stallions seemed especially frisky and energetic (in which season do wild horses mate?).  I could feel their energy, and it felt invigorating.

Even though it was only an hour, it was a wonderful hour. 

McFarland Peak, rising 10,744 feet in the background

3 comments:

FlyFishin'Trev said...

I really enjoy your blog and have been checking it to see when you would post again. I am a fellow southern nevada/utah fisherman. As far as fly fishing goes if there was a category under novice that's probably where I would fit in. Anyway, I am looking forward to the colder months and the trout fishing to follow. Do you ever do any ice fishing? And do you have any upcoming trips planned? Thanks again for the blog.

FisherDad said...

Thanks for posting the comment. I’m glad you like the blog, but it’s mostly therapeutic for me. As to your questions, no, I have not ice fished. I know folks who have, but as you might have read my attraction to fly fishing for trout is that I’m in constant movement (probably remnants of childhood ADD). Don’t think I could sit still for ice fishing, especially in freezing weather. I am planning to fish Cold Springs in Wayne Kirch this weekend; if I go I’ll likely post a blog for that trip.

I’m pleased that you’re trying fly fishing, novice or not. I am happy to dispense what I know if you have questions. There are some interesting “conversations” in some of the commentaries to prior blogs that might be of interest to you.

All the best.

-- Mark

Anonymous said...

Ah the inronic curse of living in Southern Nevada and having the itch to fish! Too bad that absent a 2 hour plus drive to Southern Utah, Cold Creek Pond is the only good trout fishing in the area (I don't count the urban ponds)! I call the Lake Mead hatchery at least once of week waiting for the sweet anouncement that cold creek will be stocked. Hopefully we'll have some good news within the next few weeks!