Cold Creek rainbow in his spring "apparel." These stocked fish were amazingly colorful, a
testimony to the methods used at the Nevada Department of Wildlife's fish hatchery in
The continuing weather schizophrenia we were experiencing this spring was flip-flopping from a wet sixty degrees to a warm and sunny eighty. Yesterday it rained on the way to work, and today was forecast to be glorious. I couldn’t help but set the alarm for 5:20 am and try one more Cold Creek trip before the oppressive heat of southern Nevada begins to set in.
|Feral Cold Creek stallion nipping the grass right down to the roots.|
As I drove up the Cold Creek Road in the twilight of day break I was unaware of the surprise awaiting me. Within a quarter-mile of the little Cold Creek enclave I came across my first Spring Mountain elk sighting. Another hundred yards put me into a small herd of five, right next to the Bureau of Land Management sign. I couldn’t believe my good fortune after all these years! None were sporting spikes in velvet, so I assume all were cows. Like all members of the deer family, bull elk shed antlers annually, and I am not certain when they start growing so while I think all six were cows there might have been a young bull in their midst... who knows?
|An elk on the flats of Cold Creek's high desert in the|
northwest section of the Spring Mountain Range.
|This cow elk, trotting away with its head raised, seemingly to display an attitude that says,|
"Your presence here insults me."
|I never knew elk will roam the high desert among the Joshua Trees, well below|
the timber. I assume its a migratory passage of sorts.
|A nice trout for Cold Creek, deceived by an Adams dry fly stuck into his snout.|
A close up of the Adams firmly attached to corner of another trout's mouth.
|A healthy trout taken on a nymph... a slightly used and ragged nymph.|
That was the case today as both fly anglers, Chad and Nick, had read my blog and identified me from the stories and pictures. Both had started fly fishing about a year ago, and from what I could tell they were getting reasonably proficient in their casting, each catching numerous trout. One of the things I enjoy about fly fishing is that no matter how long you’ve been doing it, your "on the water experiences" always seem to reveal new things, teach you new lessons, if you are observant and patient (which most fly anglers are by nature). It could be learning the single or double-haul cast, or how to fish a nymph with strike indicators or droppers. Even new discoveries about the nuances of still water vs. stream fishing will occasionally occur. And then, after you think you have mastered trout angling there are bass, pan fish, steelhead, and salmon. Or how about bonefish and tarpon? It is as if the learning is never ending. It’s like a perpetual adventure laced with challenges and surprises.
|A more typical stocked trout, but yet handsomely jeweled in color... a 9.5 inch rainbow.|
No matter how I slice it, today was a true gift from the Lord, a little jewel of an adventure. I savor days like today because we do not know the day or the hour.