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A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug...

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A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug 7-19
This is a huge post and I am not sure it will come out right but I will try. I thought some of you who don't see the Idaho board might enjoy this anyway.

A Tale of Two Creeks Part 1 Aug 10
Well, actually I visited more than two, but I only really liked (aka did well at) two out of four creeks. The other two were ok but were smaller, mud challenged, and the fish were few and small. Plus I had already gotten spoiled at the first stream. All of the creeks were ones I have visited before, but it is such great fun to renew acquaintanceship with old friends. Besides this spring drug out the runoff for so long I didnít think I would ever get up into the higher creeks. Anticipation is an appetite builder, and I always [want what isnít available right now!

I had such a great time fishing these that my biggest challenge has been choosing what pictures to use, so forgive me for bombarding you all with a mess of fish! I think I am developing a real love affair with wild cutthroat trout! Yes, I am addicted and cannot stop on my own. Where are the 12 steps when you need them??? Anyone else in the group need councling???

The first creek was one I visited on Aug 10th and it was a fun stream, but there were more people around than I expected. As it turns out The Bug was one of those other fishers. The fish were willing and plentiful, and I spent the day exploring a ways both up and downstream. It looks like the system is healthy as I caught a variety of sizes of wild cutts. Plenty of dinks and a few hogs that I missed or spooked.


The fish were both Yellowstone fine spotted and large spotted cutthroats. They were willing and eager to grab dries off the surface. I think I caught most on a small green elk hair caddis. I had several to start with, but by the end of the day I only had hooks with a few wisps of green and broken pieces of elk hair attached. A good epitaph for the demise of a fly is some pictures of the killers.

This one shows how very well these fish blend in to the stream.

The colors on these were so amazing. I am saddened that much of it doesnít really show in the snapshots.

This one was shy and did not want his secret identity known!

This was a great creek and I still want to explore more of it. I left because there were more people there than I expected, and more campfires than I could deal with. So I went to a different little stream in the same drainage. It had a lot of moss lower down and more mud sides and bottom in the meadow section higher up. I am probably doing this stream an injustice because I didnít really explore further up than I did. I was definitely spoiled by the first creek. So I camped for the night and fished a little that evening and the next morning, but I only took a picture or two. It was good that I decided to check a different stream out as I really had a ball at the next stop.

Part 2
A Tale of Two Creeks has changed and expanded to about 10 creeks so I think I will kind of do a smattering coverage of them all together. So here is the travel log:
Since the middle of Idaho has been burning up the last two weeks, I went on ďWalk AboutĒ to the higher elevations. In about two and a half weeks I have been home a total of one full day and two half days, so the fish have seen a lot more of me than my family has.
I have been to one large river and many small creeks (not in any order): So Frk of the Snake, Pine Cr, Rainy Cr, Palisades Cr., Bear Cr., Elk Cr, McCoy Cr, Jackknife Cr, Tincup Cr., Cub R, Upper Logan R, Beaver Cr, St. Charles Cr, Bloomington Cr, Montpelier Cr, additional tributaries of many of them, and one or two others.

Rainy Cr I didnít fish for very long. I caught a couple of fish, but it is a very brushy creek on a good day, and you have to walk in the creek to get anywhere. It has a lot of fast water in it right now and when you combine that with the nastiest slimy round rocks it has been my misfortune to skate on, then it is an accident waiting to happen. I had forgotten my ice cleats back in the truck and it is a fight through the willows to get either to the creek or back off of it. So I fished for a bit and then called it a day.

Palisades, McCoy, and Bear Cr were also higher than I remember from about this time last year, but still very fishable. The Elk Creek Road between McCoy and Bear Cr is an adventure. It is in good shape, but steep and very scenic. I wouldnít want to meet a lot of vehicles on it. The two or three that I did see were enough to try and get around. It isnít a drive to rush, but a very pretty one. Road between McCoy and Bear Cr.

Going over the mountain from the Cub River to Egan Basin is a bit of a rough road, but not too bad. I wanted to check out Beaver Cr as it seemed a remote and nice area up there above Bear Lake. I hadnít been there before and wanted to fish some of the waters up there.

Soon I was cussing myself that in the rush I had forgotten my GPS at home. Well, I missed the turn to Beaver Cr and ended up on the headwaters of the Logan River. It is a nice little stream on the Idaho side, and it was a pretty area, so I fished and explored around it for a bit. I liked the area a lot and the road was in nice shape.

I then drove on down into the Logan Canyon and back up to Beaver Cr from the Utah end. What a mistake! The road was an ugly rock garden, and worse than that, half of Cache Valley was on that road with me. This was not even the weekend yet and there were campers in every nook and cranny. I couldnít believe some of them had pulled 30 ft trailers up that road. Well, I wouldnít have believed it myself, if I hadnít gotten stuck between two of them on the way upÖ going two miles an hour. I swear there must not be any metal left under the back of the trailer that was in front of me. It put off enough sparks to start twenty forest fires. Finally I got up in there and drove all the way into the upper canyon.

I thought I was far enough up, but in the middle of the night several other outfits went up and I think came back down. It was similar to freeway camping! Then things were pretty peaceful until about 3 am when a group attempted to jockey a camper (another 30 footer), in between the trees just below me. The poor guys worked at it until it was light, and still hadnít gotten it in there when I left. I told them they could take the area I had been in, but they liked the other side where there were more trees. I wonder if the ever did get it set up?

If I had a camper or atv trailer and I wanted to get into that area, I think I would go up the Logan headwaters to the basin and then come down into Beaver Cr. I was just glad there were other ways out of the area and I wasnít trying to get around any of them on their way up as I was going down.

Beaver Creek looked like a nice little stream that was running bank-full right now. I think most of its beaverponds got blown out this spring, as I saw dam parts but no ponds. I never did fish it at all. There were too many campers and I couldnít stay. I think everyone was having an early weekend adventure starting in the middle of the week. Maybe they were squeezing in some off-roading time with the kids before school starts. It was certainly a nice area for that.

The scenery was beautiful everywhere I went. Everything is still very green up there. There was still a tiny bit of snow on a few peaks, and the streams are full, but not in muddy runoff.

McCoy Creek

Bear Cr Guard Station

Palisades Res -- Calamity Arm

TinCup Creek

Sunrise above Bear Lake

St Charles Creek

Near Bloomington Lakes

Bloomington Creek

After fishing Montpelier Cr for awhile I stopped by the Montpelier Rearing Pond and played with the finless wonders in there. What a great kidsí pond. I missed a zillion and one strikes because I was really watching a bunch of little kids across the pond. There were a couple of families and all the kids were from about 3 to 7 years old. What a hoot! They were having a blast watching their bobbers and reeling in fish. It was great entertainment even though I donate two pints of blood to the mosquitoes there!

The rest of the wildlife was out in full force too, including some semi-domestic ones (cows). The deer of course were everywhere. I sat and watched a doe with two little fawns for awhile, but I didnít get any pictures of them as I didnít have my camera in reach and I didnít want to scare them away. The fawns were smaller than I thought they would be by this time of year. I think spring was indeed late for more than just the rivers.

On the less pleasant side: a skunk snooped around the truck most of the night on McCoy Cr. A moose spooked me out of the willows on Bear Cr. A bull decided I was a threat to his cows on Tin Cup Cr. And I came close to breaking my leg when I waded into an unexpectedly deep and narrow crevasse between some rocks on St Charles Creek. I broke my shoe getting my foot back out of there.

Some of the fish Ė not in any order
There were Brook Trout

And Rainbows

And Cutthroats of several speciesÖ. Some of the nice ones

And some of the nicer ones Several of these were a real fight to get in. I was using a 3wt some of the time and a 4wt rod at other times, but with either rod my tippet was a 6x which is fairly light (3 lb test) since I had inadvertently run out of any heavier tippet. I did loose quite a few flies to both fish and flora. Of course anytime a fish breaks you off it is the hog that got away. Even if it was only 10 inches!

This one I only got a picture of his back. What shoulders! He made a run for it and took my fly with him.

A lot of different flies worked well and I went through a bunch of them. Earlier in the day smaller pale morning duns and adams worked well. Later on humpies, hoppers, ants, beetles, and caddis were on the menu, as well as attractors like royal wulffs and stimulators. Besides the flies that I lost to fish and trees there were a lot that just got chewed to death! Time to change this fly I think it was a yellow or green humpy. I am not really sure. It has given its allÖ.

Much as I love the high country, I am glad to be home!
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Re: [cpierce] A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug 7-19 In reply to
Great post, great country, great pics, great outing. Any idea of the elevation of these
streams? Congrats on a wonderful outing
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Re: [cpierce] A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug 7-19 In reply to
AWESOME!!!! So great to hear you hammering them out and the size...OMG! Way to go!

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Re: [cpierce] A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug 7-19 In reply to

...."May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it. ~Irish Blessing"
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Re: [pa] A Tale of Many Creeks Part 1 & 2 Aug 7-19 In reply to
I just got back, so I am kind of slow on answering this. Just about all of the streams I visited were in the 6000 to 7000 elevation range.

I went back to a couple of the streams this last week. It is amazing what a change a week or two can make in the water levels. The water level in the streams I revisited had dropped to about half. The fishing also dropped to about half. The holdover spawners followed the higher flows right on out. Still some nice resident fish in most of them though.