Currant Creek with Family

This week, the family and I set out to check on Currant Creek Reservoir, hoping that it would treat us as well as it has in the past. It was actually a hard decision to make, considering the possibilities within our range. In the end, keeping the gas $ to a minimum seemed like the best option and it worked out a little better with the late start on the day we tend to have as a group.

In the past, we've always taken the road east of Strawberry Reservoir to get to the lake, but we thought it best to try the Co-op Creek Road, which opens up much later in the year. Supposedly, it shaves off a good chunk of time compared to the usual route.

Turns out, it does save time and it winds its way through some beautiful land, eventually dropping down from Upper Currant Creek and passing some fun little beaver ponds along the way. Of course, I had to stop and pick on the locals.

Several of those little guys came to hand and there were plenty of other little ponds that I could've spent all day on, but the main destination was just down the road and I was excited to see what awaited us at the beloved Currant Creek Reservoir.

Our first stop was at the north end, where a diversion of the Duchesne River is piped in. My wife fished the lake with her standard worm/bubble rig along the channel while I explored up the river inlet with my Blue Fox.

The area where the water spills in from the tunnel is where I've had some good luck in the past, so I make it a point to try it every time I can. This time wasn't meant to be though and I left that area with only a bump and chase from what looked like a good sized tiger trout.

On my way back to the lake (a short walk), I couldn't resist fishing the downstream side Low Pass Creek's culvert.

It's a pretty good hole and every cast provided about 10 flashes behind the lure, quite a few of which connected. Nothing big, but it was fun to have fast action anyway.

Once I rejoined my family, it appeared as if the bite was off for the area and it was also pretty shallow outside the channel. Not much happening there, so we left to find a different area to fish.

The lake was packed with people and we didn't want to be in the midst of a crowd, so it was hard to find a spot. Eventually, we found ourselves at the dam, walking across to the far side.

Unfortunately, everywhere we looked was plagued with thick weeds extending far enough that fishing was going to be difficult. Even so, we proceeded and ended up lucking into a few smaller fish.

My wife even got into a few rainbows. Good for her, since she hasn't caught anything for awhile.

The Blue Fox got me a few as well, which broke up the monotony. Sadly, my minnows didn't produce anything but a couple of bites that were immediately dropped. Strange day for those, that's for sure.

Despite the slow fishing and swarms of biting flies, it was still a nice day for the most part and we were happy to get out into the beautiful country.

Happy Fishing, Humans.


Small Stream Cutthroat (Monsters on the Manti)

Lately, I've been daydreaming about one of my favorite creeks. It flows on the very fishy Wasatch Plateau, known locally as "The Manti", due to its close proximity to the Sanpete County hub of Manti. There are dozens of fishable lakes and reservoirs on the Manti and hundreds of ponds and streams.

This area is one of my main destinations every year for fishing and I've spent hundreds of hours of map-hounding its many obscure waters for future exploration. It's surprising to me that I hadn't even visited this year, which I would have done several times already, most other years.

The drive up Fairview Canyon to the summit is something I have always thoroughly enjoyed. Though covered in snow throughout most of the year, its summertime beauty truly cleanses the soul. I call it the Healing Grounds.

This week's creek was a "curiosity spot" of mine a few years back, where I decided to walk in and check it out while traveling between some popular reservoirs. As a result of that fateful trip, I was rewarded with some beautiful wild cutthroat in my hand. Since then, I've made plenty more stops along its banks, but never really dedicated a solid day's effort to uncover its true potential.

Not until this trip, at least.

My first stop was the spot where I'd missed a bite from a giant cutthroat, last year. Though I wasn't fortunate enough to find that bruiser again, I got the usual treatment of a couple of pretty little cutts before I'd spooked the hole.

Trophies in their own right, but not the size I was looking for. No matter, it's great fun and I could already tell the fishing would be great. (Much needed after a couple of recent skunkings, elsewhere.)

The next stretch I had in mind was where a smaller creek flows in, but it required navigation through thick brush and some rather swampy areas to get into it. I got wet, scraped, and filthy, but earning my right to fish this confluence was well worth it.

Notice on the left, the crystal clear water flows in and mixes with the slightly more turbid water of the main creek. In the middle, a nice deep hole. What could possibly be in there?

Well, my first cast across that hole was uneventful, so I let my lure sink a little bit on my next cast and immediately after cranking, the battle was on with something big and strong.

Twisting and shaking, a large cutthroat resisted arrest, but I was finally able to subdue the beast and bring it in for questioning. What a pig for such a small stream! Over 20 inches long!

Now I've caught plenty of fish over 20 inches, but doing so on the Manti is something to write home about. There are typically only a couple of places on the mountain where the 20 mark might be broken, and those are reservoirs with a lot of available forage.

Come to think of it, I don't recall ever getting anything over 19 inches from anywhere on the mountain, despite missing a few hogs that continue to haunt me to this day. Nevertheless, I was very pleased with my catch.

Not yet feeling like I had worked that honey hole enough, I continued to cast through it and along the seam between the two waters. A couple of smaller cutts and a rainbow came to hand, this one being the only one I pulled out the camera for.

Two other large fish swiped at my lure, but wouldn't come back for more. I vowed to return to the hole with a different lure tied on after some upstream exploration of the small clear creek that flowed into it.

There weren't too many spots conducive to fishing along this side stream, but I was able to drop in between some branches and pull out one fish with a bad eye.

Judging by the looks of "one eye", he can still find plenty of food in this fertile system.

After him, I could only spook fish from the other holes I found. It was time to go back for the other hogs in my honey hole.

Back at the hole, I was prepared for the larger fish with a Lucky Craft Pointer minnow tied on. Knowing the fish had already seen my Blue Fox, I felt it necessary to give them a look at something else, plus utilize their predatory nature.

Lo and behold, it worked and within a couple of casts, I was fast onto another big one!

This one was just a hair shorter in length than the first big one and every bit as aggressive. The first one had made my day and this one just broadened my smile.

What a great creek!

At that point, I'd done well enough to call it a day, but the day was still rather young and I was surrounded by other water. I left the creek and on my way out of the area, I decided to fish Cleveland Reservoir.

The reservoir is full! It felt necessary to take a picture because it's rare to see it without a huge bathtub ring of barren mud surrounding it. Thank goodness for a great water year.

The fishing was actually pretty slow and the wind was more than I cared to bother with. A lucky cast got me a bite-sized rainbow and after that, it was time to go.

The day was spectacular! I couldn't be more pleased with the fishing on the creek and it was great to get back to one of my "happy places".

Happy Fishing, Humans.


Vacation Week Recap

With my paid time off coming to an end, I feel obligated to share some of the week's exploits with all of you.

As my last post indicated, Goblin Valley State Park (Utah) is where this 9 days without work would begin. That was really fun and I can't wait until the next time I'm out there.

Next on my agenda was to hike to a virtually unknown lake to check on the cutthroat trout in there. Unfortunately, the person I had planned to journey with couldn't make it happen and I decided to visit a different place, where I'd had some nice success in the past.

Receiving very little pressure considering its close proximity to some very popular fishing areas, this lake on the Fish Lake Plateau has beautiful cutthroat, some with very nice measurements.

Getting to the mountain, the area's beauty was too much and I was forced to pull over a few times to get some pics. The last time I visited, the aspens were barren of leaf, the grasses were hidden by snow, and the flowers had not yet bloomed.

And the wildflowers? They're out in force and blanketing many acres on the Fish Lake.

The lake was stunning, as usual. The fish were somewhat cooperative, but the larger specimens evaded me this time. There were several "long distance releases" that felt a bit larger than my average catch, however. Pity I couldn't meet them in person.

Gorgeous water, nonetheless.

I actually packed my tube on the relatively short hike, which is the preferred way to fish this weedy lake, but as I was shoving off from the shoreline, I realized that my waders had been compromised on the hike in.

Although a great obstacle, I decided to suck it up and float anyway. Kicking around the lake with my right knee elevated proved difficult and there were many times where the water found its way in. The cold water and strange position I was forced to sit in provoked some cramping and it wasn't long until I was back on the shoreline.

Shortly thereafter, the looming rainclouds opened up and I found myself scrambling to get my tube deflated and rolled up into my pack. It seemed it was time to get out of there.

The rain wasn't so much an issue as I thought the road would be on the way down. A heavy downpour could get me stuck in a hurry on that mountain and I wasn't going to wait any longer.

While hiking out, I stumbled upon a narrow trail (I was bushwhacking) and figured it led back to the trailhead, since I'd heard about an actual trail to the lake I had just exited. About five minutes on that trail and I came upon a glorious sight:

This had to be the hard-to-find upper pond to my previous venue (named Upper *blank* and just plain *blank* on the DWR's stocking charts). I halfheartedly intended to try and find it on this particular trip, but ended up at the lower lake instead. What a great accident! As a bonus, the pouring rain had mostly subsided and I was in no immediate rush to get back to the truck.

All looks aside, I had been told by a very knowledgeable connection to the DWR that they stopped stocking this lake because it could not winter fish. My curious nature still prodded me to peruse the shoreline and search for signs of life anyway, which I found immediately!

The cutts were aggressive and healthy, especially since they weren't supposed to exist at all!

Where the first lake provided stocked fish with little orange dots on their bellies (a sign of DWR stocking - dye dots), this upper pond was full of wild fish that have somehow made it through the worst winter we've had in eons. Wow. Talk about a good find. Perhaps the real reason that the DWR no longer stocks it is that it isn't necessary, if they are even aware of its reproducing population.

After having my fun with those cutts, it was time to hit the trail and get back to the truck.

As usual, I had to stop for a moment at Twin Ponds, which are along the route to my target lake. Full of small brookies and surrounded by the area's trademark beauty, it's always necessary to stop for at least a few minutes and some pictures.

Flipping my Blue Fox around for a moment provided only a couple of chasers and missed bites, but I wasn't planning on staying long enough to switch to the brookie magnets (marabou jigs). It was time to get going, so off I went.

Being a sucker for a sunbeam, the skies that night were cause for me to be quite trigger-happy on my drive home.

It was a great way to spend a Tuesday that I'd usually be at work.

On Thursday, I met a fishing buddy at his house, where we took his new ride to Willard Bay Reservoir in hopes of catching some wipers (hybrid white bass x striped bass...mean fish), walleye, and whatever else decided to bite our hooks.

It's rather rare for me to travel north for my fishing adventures, but Willard is definitely worth the diversion. Wipers are a really tough fish that fight super hard. They'll bend a high quality hook right off its ring, break high dollar lures, snap line, and generally wreak havoc on the equipment used to pursue them. They also taste great!

Unfortunately, our trip was very windy and my buddy's boat wasn't quite up to the task of taking on the whitecaps. We ended up anchoring in the marina for the last couple of hours to finish getting skunked. Very strange to get skunked there (twice in a row for me), especially with the guy I went with. He fishes Willard almost exclusively and really knows where to find the fish.

Bummer! Oh well. Hopefully Willard doesn't have another skunk up its sleeve for my next trip there, whenever that will be.

On Saturday, my family and I took a nice hike to Twin Lakes Reservoir at Brighton Ski Resort. The main goal for this trip was to trap minnows, which I like to use when I'm bait fishing. Twin has an overabundance of redside shiners and some suckers as well. Trapping them is as easy as dropping a couple of Ritz crackers into the basket and walking away for a few minutes.

The fishing has always been slow for me there, but I had hopes of catching some of the well-fed cutthroat and getting my wife into some as well. The last time I went, I was able to catch a few and they were pretty round.

The lake required a pretty good hike (for a family at least) that took about 45 minutes to get to. It's a really pretty area and it was nice to see that Old Man Winter had finally released those mountains from his frosty grip. Only a month earlier and the hole place was under five feet of snow or more.

Brighton is a pretty neat place with several water bodies, many of which have fish. From stocked rainbows & brookies, to cutts and even some wary lake trout in one lake, this place is fishy and plagues my thoughts all year long. I'm hoping to land my first lake trout here, although that is another story.

Twin Lakes Reservoir is at maximum capacity, as are most waters in the state. I've never seen water flowing over its spillway, which it was gushing over on this trip.

Luckily, the minnows were schooled up along the shoreline near the dam, as I'd expected. Trapping them was as easy as ever and I was glad to harvest several pounds of them using only a few crackers. Nice!

The sport fish skunk from Thursday had lingered on, however, and we saw absolutely no action from the trout over the course of about three hours. Oh well, that's fishing sometimes. We got our minnows and plenty of scenery, so it wasn't a total bust.

A yellow bellied marmot provided some entertainment for us on the way down and didn't seem to mind our presence at all. Practically domesticated from all the human traffic of the area, we didn't feel bad to offer it our last Ritz, which it happily accepted. The kids loved it!

So as the last few waking hours of my time off whittle away, I'm left to reflect as I write this and it really was wonderful to spend the extra time with my family, see some old favorite areas, and chase the fish tail around, although it certainly could've been more productive. It's been grand and now it's back to the grind.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

Some Background...


Why not go jogging, hit the gym, start a garden or whatever it is that normal humans do? What's so fascinating about these slimy little creatures that live in the water?

Fishing is a bit more to me than a hobby or a sport. It's an essential part of life that helps me connect with the Earth in ways similar to the long-practiced traditions of mankind. Wherever man has had a water source, there has been fishing.

It's only natural.

Happy Fishing, Humans.