Cold Creek in December

The northwest edge of the 10,000-foot Spring Mountains provides a contrast to the high desert flora that is unique to the western states.

I seem to have this unfulfilled fantasy of fishing in the snow. There’s something magical about how snow blankets the trees, shrubs, and rocks, hiding their intimate details from our vision. I especially enjoy how it can muffle sound, especially during a calm snowfall. In late November 2013 I tried to fish the pond during an early season snowfall, but instead I became a participating witness to a coyote who was hunting a jackrabbit, a rabbit that seemed to use my truck as a defensive barrier. Of course, my fantasy conveniently ignores the effects cold snow has on my comfort, particularly toes and fingers… but that’s part of the effort-reward transaction that usually comes with any great outdoor adventure.

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Cold Creek Getaway in Fish Taco

The Tacoma with its new Lear 100R shell, including head liner, drop out cab-side window, and a three outlet, 12V power block near the rear lift window.

Okay, I admit that I’m having a man-crush on my Tacoma.  I feel like a little boy who got the Christmas present he had been harassing his parents for since Halloween. I could easily succumb to the temptation to run away to distant places every weekend.  Maybe that’s what happens to a truck owner after driving Dodge Dakotas for 18 years.

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Fish Taco on the loose in Cold Creek

My new Toyota Tacoma SR5 4×4 (a.k.a., the Fish Taco) visiting the Cold Creek Pond for the first time.

Those of you familiar with my blog might recall I affectionately referred to my 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4×4 as the “Trout Truck.” Although it was my daily driver, its underlying purpose was to get me in and out of the destinations where the trout angling was better than average and where inclement weather, which is often good for fishing, can make passage difficult. I had gotten stuck a few times in my previous 4×2 Dakota, but the 4.7L V8 4×4 never got stuck which was a great comfort to me and certainly increased my angling time. 

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Fall Stocking Completed at Cold Creek Pond

On a day with temperatures in the low 50s and just a gentle breeze, I was very happy that I had but one other angler to share Cold Creek on the first Friday of December 2017.

A few weeks ago I read in the local paper the Nevada Department of Wildlife was scheduled to plant trout in the Cold Creek pond.  Today I confirmed they did.  One other angler was fishing bait, but he was doing it well: small hooks enabling him to catch and release five trout that I noticed.  As for me, in about an hour I landed four, but had hooks pulled out of three others.  Awesome weather there today.  I was surprised but thankful only one other angler was on the pond.  Enjoy the photos. 

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Fishin’ in the Rain… at Cold Creek

A healthy 9-inch rainbow trout landed on a custom 8-foot, 5-weight fly rod built by FisherDad.

Due to warm conditions late into the fall of 2016, the stocking of Cold Creek pond was delayed until the last day of November.  Adding insult to injury, early December turned very cold, freezing over the pond sooner than expected.  My last fishing day of 2016 was the 6th of October, so I’ve been patiently waiting for warmer weather to melt off the ice, on Cold Creek and all my other favorite reservoirs. 

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Six Foot Rod for Twelve Inch Trout

A crisp Cold Creek morning, despite all the sunshine. The pond was somewhat murky.

Okay, I admit to having had such a good time fishing my 7.5 foot, 4 weight rod at Cold Creek last week that I decided to return with my little 6-footer today. I’ve written before that I’ve built two 6-foot fly rods in my life primarily because of Cold Creek. Catching wild 7-inch Rainbow and Brook trout in thin water (or the more obscure trout like Golden, Bonneville, or even Redband wherever they are found) is not much fun on an 8-foot rod, but can be blast on a 6-foot rod. In the early 1980s I built my first small-creek fly rod from fiberglass specifically for tiny water like Cold Creek and Beaver Dam Creek, and replaced it with a graphite version in 2009. I’ve used the new graphite rod to land 16-inch trout and 12-inch bass on Haymeadow Reservoir in the Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area (it has more backbone than the fiberglass). I was very, very pleased and impressed by the performance of that rod, although as a 3 weight it can’t cast well the larger flies that I prefer on the big waters of Kirch… even the 7.5 foot, 4 weight has difficulty with larger weighted nymphs.

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Valentine Trout at Cold Creek Pond

Looking to the east from Cold Creek Pond

I am one of those outdoorsmen who has always enjoyed the solitude of the experience. Whether fishing, hunting, hiking or whatever, going solo with nature creates a certain tranquility that is healing.  It creates a “white space” to clear thoughts, communicate with the Lord, or to simply regain the peace within you.

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The Cold Creek Salve

Austin and his grandfather Ron, stalking the trout  of Cold Creek Pond

In Robert Redford’s 1992 movie, A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean is beguiled by his fiancé and family into agreeing to take her prodigal brother Neal fishing.  The family’s transparent hope is that Norman, a preacher’s son, might be able to set Neal on the right path.  Norman in turn solicits his brother Paul to come with them, likely because he realized the enormity of the task his fiancé’s family laid at his feet. Not only isn’t Neal much of an outdoorsman, he’s falling behind in the fight against his own set of demons.  Neal shows up at the river with the town prostitute, inebriated.  Norm and Paul leave Neal with his new-found “diversion” to fish the river on their own, only to return at the end of the day to two naked, sunburnt slabs of flesh.  Insult to injury was they only caught one fish between the two of them (fly anglers always have their priorities in order).  When Norman and Paul got Neal home to his family after dropping off the working gal at the town outskirts, there was some real emotive, verbal and non-verbal, communication going on since the influence of preacher’s son didn’t produce the anticipated effect.  It’s at this point that Paul looks at his brother Norm and says, “Why don’t we go fishing again tomorrow and wipe this day off the books.”

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2014: No Shortage of Good Days Here

The north-western ridge of the Spring Mountains and its mirror image on the pond.

I am a John Gierach fan, have been ever since I discovered his “Sporting Life” column inside the back cover of “Fly Rod & Reel” magazine. I started reading him about the time that Nick Lyons stopped his “Seasonable Angler” column in the identical location inside “Fly Fisherman” magazine (at least that’s my recollection of the timing). I now own about five of his books, which are really compilations of essays on angling for trout and a bunch of other things to do outdoors. I will own all his books someday, but for now I have enough to re-read them every year or so.

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Veterans Day Salute to Cold Creek

Cold Creek pond at sunset… looking northeast at the Sheep Mountain Range. (Note older fishermen, leaning on truck bed, discussing important things.)

For those of you who read FisherDad for notice about the fall and spring trout plants in Cold Creek pond, you will be pleased to know that it was recently stocked as evidenced by my trip on the eve of Veterans Day. Speaking of which, I pray the Lord bless all of you who have, and continue to, protect our liberties by serving in the military. 

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