Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hard rains gonna fall

June 8

Some things I thought I was gonna do didn't happen, others fell into place in a vague way. A bit of a window opened for take off Sat morning and the radar looked mostly not good. A single line of storms on sw to ne diagonal was looking to cross the driftless and so I figured I'd gamble on coulee hopping keeping an eye on the thunder heads and headed off for a June fish on the spring creeks. In the car at 11AM had me on the first stream at 2:30PM. I figured I'd play to hit the headwaters and watch the radar on the phone and jump the ridges looking for clear water to try to avoid being struck by lightning.

I knew that there was some H.I. bank work happening on the first spot on a largish drainage south of the sconny river, but apparently dropped in right at the top of the work. This is what spring creek bank restoration looks like when it is just a couple of weeks old.

This spot used to look very different.

Although very natural looking, in 2005 when this pic was taken it had had extensive brushing the previous season, including placing that log. The new bank work looks pretty raw. I could always get a brook trout or two from this spot - and apparently still could.
This is a brown from the next pool upstream.
Tucked into the bank and waited out the rain from an isolated thunderhead. The lightning wasn't too close.
15 minutes later 90 degrees and 100% humidity on cold spring water.

Another nicer brook trout amongst many.

Here's my June submission for the Calendar fundraiser. This is bank work that is one year old.

Another thunderhead rolled in from the south and I followed it up and over the sconny river to fish a different stream. Stopped to set up the tent, at the highest point on a little county campground, next to a dandy spring and hopped a ridge to another stream.

There was fish.

A little after 7PM the steady wind from the south stopped, and it was all perfectly still, and hot, sticky, and the sulfers started popping off the surface, and a cloud wall came bearing down the valley at about 50 miles an hour - from the north. After all this regular summer storms from the south - this had bad news written all over it. I didn't make it back to the car before the driving rain hit.
I made it back to the tent, had a couple of cheese snadwiches and drank the majority of the pilsner 6-pack and settled in with the lightning overhead and the first glo bugs of the season blinking down below and rain pounding on the tent.

Sometime in the night, I heard something a little different than the steady rain. Went down with the flash light and the creek had backed all the way into the spring head. It was topping the bridge and going over a few inches. I moved the car to higher ground and went back and figured I'd wait it out - went back to sleep in the tent. At dawn the rain had stopped and the river dropped down under the bridge. I tossed the wet gear in the back and took off driving in a non-stop hard rain all the way back to the state border.

The briefly back under the bridge river.

This is usually about 18 inches deep here and crystal clear, about 9/10 feet deep.

The sand on top of the bridge from the night's flash flood.
It rained six more inches that day after I left.

1 comment:

  1. The world is fast coming to an end. -Mr. Chakri Champion 2008 (to eternity)