Burney Creek – More than just the Eighth Wonder of the World
While most commonly visited by tourists anxious to see what Teddy Roosevelt dubbed “The Eighth Wonder of the World”, the water flowing over 129 foot Burney Falls offers much more to the fisherman than just a spectacular waterfall. If you bring your rod along, you can potentially have some additional views of beautiful trout.
During a recent afternoon outing on Burney Creek I was surprised to see just how rich this little spring creek is. After hiking a ways downstream from the waterfall we climbed into the crystal clear, cold (42 degree), spring water. I was immediately greeted by a small horde of caddisflies and several rather large (#12-14) light colored mayflies. The big surprise however was stumbling upon some gigantic stoneflies bumbling around the streamside vegetation. These weren’t the huge Salmonflies of May/June, nor their slightly smaller cousins, the Golden Stone; these looked nearly identical in shape and size to the Salmonfly but the coloring was much more olive/brown, lacking the orange hued underbody of its mammoth relative (I’d be very curious to know exactly what species of stoneflies these are if anyone is familiar with them). We did get a few halfhearted inspections of our dry stonefly imitations but were most successful imitating the emerging mayflies with a #14 peasant tail nymph. After hooking and releasing several medium sized trout it was time to get back on the road, leaving us looking forward to more thoroughly exploring this little gem in the future.
The primary source of Burney Falls originates a short ways upstream of the falls where it boils out of the ground providing an estimated 100 million gallons a day. The falls and stream are very easily accessed by well maintained trails along the creek allowing one to hop into the inviting water just about anywhere. Although we didn’t hook any large fish, considering the streams productivity and connection to Lake Britton, I certainly intend to spend more time in the near future plying the water below the falls for some larger Browns and Rainbows. Burney Creek also receives fish plantings making it a great location to just catch some trout. It is also conveniently located between its more famous neighbors, Hat Creek and The Pit River, providing an interesting and easily accessible alternative.
Considering its phenomenal scenery, accessibility, productivity and general ease of catching fish, Burney Creek offers a solid fishing destination and one that I plan to revisit in the near future.