Once upon a time that some days feel like yesterday and most the time the 35+ years it actually was ago I go back to the honey holes of my youth. Some of the streams or creeks names I remember others just the spot. One of the name less places was at first glimpse nothing more than a run off ditch to most. It crossed under the 2 lane road in a 8 foot culvert. In Oregon this is noting special and is overlooked by most fishermen as a waste of time.
However my father had taught me not to overlook these streams account they were usually loaded with cutthroat trout. On the down hill side of the road the creek made about an abrupt 12 foot drop. Not even the best salmon could make the trip up and nothing would survive the labyrinth of lava rocks on the way down. I parked a ways form the culvert being as incognito as possible so as not to draw attention to my spot. Let them think I was picking berries or something.
When the road was confirmed empty And there was not any sound of vehicles within hearing distance I would grab my fly rod and gear and rush through the clear cut next to the road to the edge of the forest. The Douglas fir trees would grow up the side of the mountains but usually there would be an under growth of Viney maples and other willow type hardwood trees next to the creeks. I would make my way up about 200 yards then cut directly towards the creek coming in on the right bank. Eventually I would reach a slow bent in the creek where it had been eroding the bank since the creek had been started.
The water was only about ankle deep and swift but only about 5 feet across. Washboard comes to mind when thinking back on it. Eventually about 10 minutes after the pioneers would have left their dreams and 5 after the Indians would have stopped running it widened out to a perfectly round pool of about 20 feet in diameter feed by a 10 foot waterfall. Crystal clear and ice cold. Direct sunlight had probably not seen this spot for a couple hundred years and covered in the morning dew the chill started to set in.
The Miracle of this pool was the amount of cutthroat trout that had been living in it. Nothing big 6-8 inches but fat by wild trout standards. Every cast would get at least 1 strike as soon as it would land. Sometimes the set would be missed as 2 trout would bump each other off the fly. Just a wonderful day of fishing. The fish were always beautiful and the bucks and does always in full breeding colors.
At the time I didn't save any to eat probably figured they were too small.but now I am glad I didn't. These fish have probably been closed off to new blood since the last volcanic eruption and their world was limited to a 20 foot pool which they appeared to be doing OK in.