Saturday, November 8, 2014

Exploring The Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve

Big Chico Creek in Fall Colors

Fishing and exploring local waters is always fun but sometimes the effort just isn't worth the fish. I'm a strong advocate of a do-it-yourself angler, going out and exploring creeks, rivers, and streams not knowing what to expect and fishing to my best abilities. Today I found that the Ecological Reserve section of Big Chico Creek isn't the best place to go to if you need to wet your line.

Big Chico Creek
The section from Bear Hole up to the Upper Boundary of the Ecological Reserve opened the first November. I've never seen this section of the creek before so I decided to go down the Ten Mile House/Green Gate hike to go check it out.

Ten Mile House Trail
The hike down took me about 30-40 minutes until I was next to the creek. I was hoping that I had passed the basalt holes similar to Bear Hole but they were scattered throughout the section I fished. These basalt holes are pretty good spots for trout to hold but they are a pain to get past and a pain to fish. From the entrance of the BCCER I probably waded and hiked a mile or two upstream.

Big Chico Creek Trout

Overall, today I believe I hiked over 3 miles there and back, not counting the boulder hopping, the slipping, and the frustration. I ended the day with only two fish. There were tons of little minnows, possibly roaches and/or pike minnows, but no trout to be found in the typical trouty holds. The hike down was easy but the hike back up was a killer, especially in waders.

I would not recommend fishing this section to anyone. It's a lot of hard work and the pay out just isn't high enough. I believe the better section to fish for trout is past the BCCER higher up in elevation upstream from Higgin's Hole. I've read about browns being the dominant fish up there and I'm just itching to catch my second brown trout. I'll have to try it someday and see whats up there.

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