Cold Creek remains one of my fondest places in spite of it becoming overrun with private development and RV campers. Maybe it’s the memory of the delight when I first discovered the place back in the late 1970s. There were no cabins then as the land was owned by the Bureau of Land Management. The creek gushed mysteriously from the cave at the end of the arroyo, and the little jeweled trout seemed to thrive in the creek despite its diminutive stature. I became so enthralled with the area that my college grade point average dropped a whole tenth of a point during my final semester because I frequently ditched the early evening classes so I could explore around Cold Creek in the early springtime. As I mentioned in previous writings, I caught my first trout on a fly in Cold Creek when I was attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, forever capturing my sensibilities and birthing the fly fishing passion that still haunts me today (see November Cold Creek 2006 blog).
Nowadays the area has the activity of a small rural town, complete with commuters who work in the valley. Weekends bring the RVers with their all-terrain-vehicles, or ATVs. I can’t blame them, really. It’s not their fault Cold Creek is such a treasure to the Las Vegas community… but there are so many of them. Still, I find that if I steal away from the office on a weekday afternoon, before the commuters are returning to their reclusive cabin homes, I can frequently get the Cold Creek pond all to myself, and on a bad day might share it with only one or two other fisher persons.
This particular Friday I had blocked out the day to go fishing, but a department meeting with my boss encouraged me to change plans. Besides, wasn’t it just a week ago that I was fishing Wayne Kirch; how much fishing does a person need after all? And then there is my office and the mound of neglected paper accumulated over the budget season, a season of particular concern with the economy sliding into recession. How could I justify the escape?
And then there are the personal issues that can weigh a person down. Friends with severe illnesses, some terminal and some that are attacking young adults that should not have to endure such things in the springtime of their lives. There are the demands of children, both those at home and those on their own, and of the foster children. Decisions are needed about homework, preparations for college, career choices, and even basics needs such as getting the rent paid and fixing broken cars. Add to that the pressure of the adoption decisions pending over the foster children and, well, the trip to Cold Creek eventually won-out after lunch. So off I went to Cold Creek.
Although I had to share the area with an early RVer (obviously “reserving” a spot for the rest of their party), no one was fishing. The pond was high, and the water pretty clear. A few trout were rising, but they were, for the most part, down deep. The pond had been stocked late in March, but numerous trout remained. I was able to catch seven trout in a couple of hours, most of which were nine inches or so, but I did land one that was over eleven inches as measured against the fly rod’s cork grip. The fishing was real slow the first hour, but I finally figured out what they liked and the depth of their feeding.
In the last hour, around 3:30 pm, the rest of the RVers started to show up with all their accoutrements. It signaled the time for me to secure my tackle and start the forty minute drive home. But I did stay long enough for a herd of nine wild horses to make its way to the pond for a drink and frolic in the water. The stallion was particularly frisky, braying and stomping around.
I don’t believe that I need distractions like fishing Cold Creek to cope with the stress of life. I believe that God will take care of my concerns. In Jeremiah 29, God says: “I say this because I know what I am planning for you”, says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!” I do find relief and pleasure in the diversions of nature. After all, He created it for our pleasure. But I know that no matter what, God would provide and care for me, now and forever, even if I was too old or infirm to experience places like Cold Creek.