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Thread: Great place for a family vacation...

  1. #1

    Great place for a family vacation...

    I know my report isn't full of giant fish like LOAH's posts, but I was in Utah for a few days for my wife's family reunion and had only a few days to explore, not enough to track down all his secret spots....I found plenty of pretty fish in pretty places, some well known, others apparently not. It was a great visit!

    July 4, 2015 Near Park City, Utah

    We drove down last night for a reunion with all of Carlynn's family, renting a condo in Park City. I was looking forward to this. An informal reunion with lots of open time. And lots of open rivers. Nothing until the family barbeque tonight in Draper. I thought of the nearby Middle Provo and its 3,000 fish per mile. But with it being July 4, there would likely be almost that many fisherman per mile. I decided to head further up into the mountains to check out some small water, where I had seen numerous beaver ponds on Google Earth. And perhaps fewer people.

    As I drove up the valley, every turnout with accessible water nearby had a car or two. It wasn't looking good. Then, magically, as I reached the National Forest boundary up one of the forks, there were no more people. Several turnouts were passed without a car, and the by now creek-sized stream was sometimes visible in thicket of willows filling the narrow valley bottom. I pulled off one to see if there was a reasonable way down to the creek. Here is what I saw - now the day was looking good.
    View of the creek from the pull-out

    First hole, I immediately raised a little cutt as I dropped the fly on the other side of a log and watched the fish slowly rise to the dry and suck it in. Then I was into the stream and started up. Initially I caught just a few, one here, one there. Lots of willows on the side, overhanging, but it was open enough to fish in most places.
    Nice little run...
    With a nice little cutthroats

    The creek split here because of multiple outlets from a beaver dam just upstream. Which led to another, and another, and another. Some dams were large with the pool filling most of the bottom of the valley, others were small, just slowing the stream and creating a nice run with a little more depth. All were full of fish, and the stretches of moving water between them were at times incredible. In the little run pictured below, I caught about 20 from the sticks on the left up to the second rock. And more in the run up above until I reached the base of the next dam.

    Little run between beaver dams
    A nice brookie

    There was a good bit of somewhat difficult willow-walking between ponds and always the concern about getting stuck in deep mud behind the dams. I found my way around/through each dam after greeting a number of willing fish. Most were beautiful cutthroats, 6" to 10" long. I turned one that might have gone 12". There were also brookies, which surprisingly tended to be larger than the cutts, mostly 8" to 10". Only one rainbow without any cutthroat colorings or markings. So it was a good day, catching three of the four trout species in about 1/4 mile of creek.
    Nice cutthroat out of the shallow water below the beaver dam

    Brook trout with a little size

    Only rainbow of the day

    I had started with the Turk's Tarantula, about size 10 or 12, and various droppers, but all action was on the dry, so the dropper came off. After a lot of chewing action from the trout, the legs fell off the Turk's. I had noticed a lot of lookers besides the abundant takers, so I switched to an Irresistible Wulff, size 14 I think. Great fishing became even greater. They really liked that thing, and the upright white hair wings made it easy to see.

    After 2 1/2 hours of bliss and dozens of fish, it was close to time to head back for the family barbecue. I came to the largest dam yet, about 5' high, with the pond filling the full bottom of the valley. Fish were rising throughout. Hmm, how long did it take me to drive here? Knowing me well, the heavens sent a little reminder that it was time to go, as a dark cloud approached with sounds of rolling thunder. Even I am not crazy enough to fish in a thunderstorm, so I made my way back to the road and headed back to the car, looking down with a smile on the maze of willows I had passed through, now knowing what was hidden therein. This little gem, which gave me solitude on the Fourth of July weekend, reminded me of the little streams we explored with my Dad when we were little. It will definitely deserve another visit.
    Perfect memories

  2. Likes oldno7 liked this post
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  4. #2
    Wow! That sounds like a great outing. Good write-up.

  5. #3
    Beautiful stream! From the first couple of pics, I thought I knew where you fished, but the next string of photos proved me stumped. I love a small stream withe plenty of beav.

  6. Likes pigburner liked this post

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