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View Full Version : Big Hat Creek Brookies and Bonus Bow (pics)



Marinpaul
07-14-2012, 09:19 PM
Well, Jake and I headed off to Hat Creek with a bad internet map and dreams of big Brook Trout. Here's a photo to give you a sense of the size and beauty of the creek:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/004b3567.jpg


The day started off slow as we poked around the river, driving and hiking to try and find some quality holes. After catching small planters periodically, we finally found a honey hole were we pulled out these three beauties:


First big one of the day on a Panther Martin:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/90db2541.jpg


First larger Brookie for Dad, on a small plastic:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/49b8a911.jpg


One more for Dad from the same hole, also on a small plastic:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/7741893e.jpg


After driving downstream and hiking a ways, we found a beautiful hole. Jake quickly spotted a big Brookie holding on the bottom. After a few casts he rocketed up from the bottom, hit my offering, and turned back toward the depths. I set the hook, hollered a bit, and landed this chunky fish:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/8d556928.jpg


We then hiked upstream for about 1/2 mile to another honey hole where we spotted three more large Brookies hugging the bottom. We tried for about 20 minutes to get one to bite, but to no avail. I then told Jake I was going to hike further upstream. He decided to stay put and persevere. About 10 minutes later I heard Jake yelling at the top of his lungs. I went running to find him battling one of the most beautiful trout I have ever seen.


Jake holding a gorgeous Brookie:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/6b3b85ad.jpg


Close up (looks a bit like a Tiger Trout):


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/d3f4d723.jpg


After getting tired of hiking in the heat, we made a quick decision to make the 80 mile trek back to Dunsmuir that we enjoyed so much last week. While it wasn't quite as good as last trip, Jake was able to entice this big Rainbow to bite on a Panther Martin:


4 lb Upper Sac Bow:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/daefdef6.jpg


Close Up:


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/97c84617.jpg


All fish except the first one (bleeder) were caught and carefully released. For those that may be interested in fishing Hat Creek, we fished the several miles just below Old Station. We did not fish the Upper Hat (catch and release only) that is quite a few miles away, but plan to do so next trip.

robonthefly
07-14-2012, 09:34 PM
Hey guys I haven't been up here latley or even on the sniffer much recently. I really enjoyed you sharing your great pics and trip with us . Looks like a BLAST!!!!! Congrats Jake and Dad . U two ,made a memory that will last forever. Thanks - Rob

Captain Compassion
07-14-2012, 10:03 PM
My but you guys sure get around. Those are absolutely beautiful Brookies. I was up there a couple of years ago but was with the wife so I didn't fish much. The bonus bow was also a beauty. Thanks for the report.

CC

O.mykiss hunter
07-14-2012, 10:22 PM
WOW! Absolutely beautiful, thank you for sharing, that was awesome!

CAL.NDN
07-14-2012, 10:36 PM
OMG. WOW!!!!!! I DONT GET JEALOUS EASY BUT I MUST SAY I THINK I AM THIS TIME!!!!!! Best looking brookies i ever seen i usualy dont even have a intrest in brookies when catching them because to small for my liking. But you got me curious now +1 awsome beautiful great job guys and nice bows. I must make it up there and duncmir one day now. Thank you for sharing ...... PS I KNEW U WUD SLAY THEM BUT HAD NO IDEA YOU WOULD LAND THEM BEAUTIES ..

shasta_steve
07-15-2012, 02:45 AM
Nice trout. Makes me homesick. I grew up down stream from there just outside of Cassel. I fished that area a lot with my dad when I was a kid.

RideNfish
07-15-2012, 07:02 AM
Holy C... batman!!!!!

I knew you guys did good but WOW! Juat amazing fish. You and Jake know how to do it. You both have that special bond and that hobby that both of you have a HUGE passion for. I just smile the whole time I look at your pics. But it's not just cause of the fish, it's because I recognize what you two have and how it will be remembered.

Good job Paul and Jake,
Doug

Marinpaul
07-15-2012, 07:04 AM
For anyone considering a trip, it is not as far as you may think. It took us 4 hours to get from from Fairfax to Old Station. For comparison purposes, it was 3 hours 50 minutes to get to Dunsmuir. And the trip from Hat Creek to Dunsmuir via Hwy 89 was beautiful, mostly straight, and took 1 hour 10 minutes. Here is a picture of the McCloud River we took on the way (we did not fish). I understand that there are beautiful falls in this area that we will explore next time.


http://i937.photobucket.com/albums/ad217/Jakesandwich/Hat%20Creek%20071312/f3b975cc.jpg

siskiyoufisherman
07-15-2012, 07:04 AM
Great trip. What a mouth and head on that brooke, 5th pic down. All nice fish. Hey I recognize those plants in the last pictures. Tell us how the fight is on the brooke compared to a rainbow, they look pretty mean.

Marinpaul
07-15-2012, 07:17 AM
Hey, Siskiyoufisherman! We almost called you, although we only fished for a few hours. You probably recognize the hole where Jake got the big one (thanks again). As to your question, the Brookies fight very well for their weight, and a bit like a bass. They make less long runs than a Rainbow and tend to pull hard toward the bottom. What surprised me is that the bigger fish really hug the bottom and it's hard to get them to make a move to your lure. I'm used to small Brookies in little streams where they will kill themselves to get to your spinner!

Marv
07-15-2012, 07:45 AM
WOW im shocked, I thought we only had dinky brookies in Ca. when you read online most people make a trip to Canada for brookies that size. You and Jake are on fire :) thanks for sharing and also giving me new targets.

shasta_steve
07-15-2012, 01:59 PM
WOW im shocked, I thought we only had dinky brookies in Ca. when you read online most people make a trip to Canada for brookies that size. You and Jake are on fire :) thanks for sharing and also giving me new targets.


Those are way bigger than any brook trout we used to catch. If you go downstream from there they have the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery at Baum Lake. They have some huge brook trout there for brood stock. They grow up some of them pretty big before releasing them too. It is a great place to take young kids. They have dispensers you can buy fish food and kids love to feed the fish. Baum Lake can be some pretty good fishing too. I used to ride my bike down there almost every day when I was a kid.

CAL.NDN
07-15-2012, 04:59 PM
Those are way bigger than any brook trout we used to catch. If you go downstream from there they have the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery at Baum Lake. They have some huge brook trout there for brood stock. They grow up some of them pretty big before releasing them too. It is a great place to take young kids. They have dispensers you can buy fish food and kids love to feed the fish. Baum Lake can be some pretty good fishing too. I used to ride my bike down there almost every day when I was a kid.

Them were the good ol days. All i ever needed was my bicycle my pole an bee bee gun and off and running after school or all summer. Good times

insearchoffish
07-15-2012, 09:31 PM
Thanks for sharing!!! I just got home from a trip and now you got me wanting to go on another!! Maybe next week?????

crazyfisher
07-16-2012, 08:03 AM
very nice guys...great picture and report. I might have to venture out over there soon. Those brookies do have large mouth! Looks mean. haha.

isdaann
07-16-2012, 11:08 AM
nice pics thanks for sharing. Are there any good access for senior citizens like me and my wife?

Marinpaul
07-16-2012, 12:40 PM
isdaann, there is at least one good spot. Check your PM's.