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Caples Creek Fly Fishing Trip Report

Gary once again dragged me away from my retaining wall project (kicking and screaming) to spend another day traipsing around the high Sierras in search of wild trout.  This time I convinced Cindy to bring Katy the wonder dog along for the adventure.  We parked at the lot just east of the Kirkwood Inn and made our way over the hill and through the woods to meadow below.  The flows were running at 50 CFS, apparently in the effort to draw down Caples Lake to make room for the spring runoff, assuming we actually get a winter that is.  We had some luck fairly quickly, with Brook Trout that were eager to take our flies.  

After fishing our way upstream a little ways I heard what sounded like a waterfall.  Having fished here several times in the past, I could not recall seeing a waterfall in the meadow.  Since the last time I had fished Caples Creek and this trip, several beaver dams have been erected in the meadow.  They must have been built during the lower flows earlier in the year.  Now with the higher flows they are causing the water to find it's own path.  This is leading to the flooding of the surrounding grass plains.

Caples Creek 08192014 1197-small

It will be interesting to see what happens to Caples Creek, as well as to Red Lake Creek, over the next few years with all of these beaver ponds having been built.

Caples Creek 08192014 1200-small

Will the fishery get better, or worse?  A few years ago I volunteered, along with some other Trout Unlimited members, to assist the Department of Fish and Game in electroshocking this stretch of water.  We found a bunch of smaller fish, as well as a lot of suckers.  I hope the trout can out-compete the other species if the water flows continue to stay low.

Caples Creek 08192014 1203-small

Some stretches still remind me of their former glory days.

Caples Creek 08192014 1208-small

In total I think I landed 6 fish, Cindy 1 and Gary had 8 if I recall correctly.  It was a beautiful day to be on the water and not moving cinder block to build my retaining wall...