As you probably know, I went fishing on the ranch last Wednesday and I wanted to give you a quick report and say thanks for the opportunity. I fished Big Creek from about one mile above the lunch area up to the gate (never went into the meadow). Of course, I didn’t have time to fish every pool but I stopped and fished some of my favorite spots. I landed (and released) a total of 34 trout (26 rainbows and 8 browns). The size ranged from 10 to 21 inches and brown trout tended to be a bit smaller. The rainbow trout in particular showed good representation of several year classes. In general, the fish appeared to be in good condition after the past winter.
Observations on aquatic insects revealed good numbers of Baetis tricaudatus (blue-winged olive), Paraleptophlebia heteronea (blue quill), Pteronarcella badia (little salmon fly), Hydropsyche cockerelli (tan caddisfly) and a variety of midges. These and other insects should create some great hatches this summer. The fish condition also reflected the abundance of aquatic insects. The presence Pteronarcella badia was additionally informative because this species is known to be a good indicator of favorable water quality and riparian habitat (it has been disappearing from many streams in the west).