Peninsula Fly Fishers

Even a Blind Chicken Finds a Few Grains of Corn OR When I Fished Hat Creek

I'd been to Hat Creek several years before. The Powerhouse 2 parking lot looked like Costco?s on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and there were so many people in the creek that I didn?t think there was room to fish even if I could wedge in. Casting?casting?blind casting. Sure, sometimes something worth doing is worth overdoing, but come on! That was not my first experience with spring creeks, though. My very first season flyfishing, I journeyed to that other Mecca, Fall River. One look at that clear water and I knew that I wasn?t good enough to grace its gentle waters. I took a boat to Ahjumawee for the day instead. Saddened, I hoped someday to be able to present a dry fly to wary beauties.


My fishing bud and I drove straight to Hat Creek Power-house 2 before checking into our hotel. We took bets on the number of cars that would be at the parking lot. Even at 7PM there were still twelve cars there; at least that many people were in the water. There wasn?t a hatch on. So we waited until the next day.

Before I tell about Hat Creek, a few words about the Pit. With the aid of a guide, we lost nymphs like crazy, but missed catching poison oak. My ego was damaged when I took the Pit River baptism. The guide kept yelling at me, "Do you still have your rod?" I knew his real concern was for my safety, but you know some guides--while able to show empathy when you land a fish, aren?t necessarily able to express themselves in other ways. What he didn?t know was that I?d lost my footing trying to free my fly from a snag. "DAMN right" was my reply. My rod wasn?t going anywhere. My sensitive nature was restored however after he took two dunkings while moving back and forth across the river. The key lesson from the Pit is always keep your weight planted on one foot and pivot on your heel. I never thought I?d find a use for Tai Chi in fishing!

Now on to the Hat. As usual with most fishing spots, everyone was congregated near the parking area. Again the constant casting even though there appeared to be no hatch. We walked downstream towards the bridge, casting to the snags along the opposite shore.


We would cast that trout candy, mend, and drift the fly fifteen feet or so. I had two hits in the same drift--one on the mend and the second right after that one. The guide said, "Did you see that?" Man, I hate it when guides do that. My next cast brought in a strong sixteen-inch brown.


There are other marvelous things about the Burney area: the mirth of the local fly shop owner; Burney Falls; ospreys, eagles, kingfishers, and ducks; butterflies galore.

Fishmaster?s note: The hatch on Hat Creek often doesn?t get the fish rising until the last half-hour before sunset. You can get several fish in this time if you?ve got the right fly. If you don?t, it?s mighty hard to change in the waning light with splashy rises all around.

Leafa Fiore

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