Searching For Ponds / Currant Creek

This week, I took an opportunity to get out with a local forum member whom I've "known" for about 4 years, but never fished with.  Bill (junk stripper) met me at my house at 6:00 and we set off with hopes of discovering some virtually unknown ponds that I've wondered about for years.

From the maps, these puddles in the upper end of the Right Fork, Currant Creek looked very promising, so our thoughts along the drive in were hopeful of large cutthroat.  The maps also made it appear as if a navigable road made its way quite close to these ponds, but we were prepared for a little hike, if needed.

After driving up several rocky paths that I thought would lead to our targets, it became clear that any roads that used to be active, have since been closed to motor vehicles.  So much for the easy way.

Knowing another spot where we could park within a half mile (straight line), we drove over to that and began our trek, gear at the ready.

A small trail cut its way through the timber and it seemed as though we wouldn’t have to endure too much bushwhacking.  We descended into a beautiful valley, crossing the Left Fork of Currant Creek on our way, which required a quick stop to check for life.

Though fish were visible at times, presenting anything to them effectively was difficult with how shallow the creek was.  The beaver ponds only yielded one small cutthroat for me and Bill wasn’t having any luck at all.

One hole in particular had a very fishy look about it and a gentle underhanded toss of a jig produced a pretty little cutthroat before we moved on to ascend a few hills and find our ponds.

At that point, we were unable to locate any trails headed the direction we needed to go, but mashing through the wild land wasn’t very bad at all.  We had an aspen canopy above us providing shade and a grassy forest floor to stroll through, only having to navigate a few fallen trees in some places.

Guided by my GPS, the waypoints grew nearer as our anticipation peaked.  Visually locating a clearing in the trees ahead of us, our unknown jewels lie in wait while we pushed on.

Alas, the only moisture we found was in the muddy soil where our first pond should have been, then the next, and next.  Bummer.

Oh well, that’s fishing sometimes.  As Bill stated, at least we now know and won’t waste any more energy on that idea.

We made our way back to the Left Fork, fished it for a bit, then returned to my truck to try and salvage the day at Currant Creek Reservoir, then maybe the lower creek, itself.

Our first stop at the lake was the north end, being closest, where I hoped we’d see some fast action at the inlets.

Low Pass Creek flows in from a pipe, where a nice little pool usually holds a slew of cutthroat, eager to bite.  Hoping Bill would shake off the skunk, I gave him first whack at it, but the black cloud remained over him.  I hate it when that happens.

Before totally dismissing the pool, I tossed in and watched as about 15 of the little cutts swiped at my Blue Fox, which was a bit too large for them, although one caught it just right.

Onward to the piped-in Duchesne River inlet (supplemental flow for the CWP), we threw plenty of gear into it, wondering if any fish were in there at all.  There were a few areas where the weeds had built up to the surface and created a nice area for fish to hide, but those too, left us blank.

It wasn’t until I threw a black sculpin pattern into the wash where the water came in, that I finally got a decent cutthroat to smash it.  Though the fish wasn’t large, it fought very hard and took over a minute to fight in.

Nice and healthy, and a little bit larger than the average cutt from Currant Creek.

It was released to grow a little more and we took off to fish the dam for awhile.

Fishing at the dam wasn’t much faster than it had been throughout the day, but at least we were getting follows from the mid-sized tiger trout that were cruising the shoreline.

It took some time, but I managed to find a willing mouth on a pretty tiger, which I kept for the table.

Our slow day got even slower and Bill still wasn’t getting any action, so we hopped down to the tail water and fished the creek for a bit.  Bill went downstream and I went up, into a narrow canyon that I’ve been eyeballing for a few years.

The Currant Creek Narrows, as I’ll call them, were really neat and the many pools alongside the cliffs looked really fishy, although each one baffled me, leaving me empty handed and without a bite.

Tell me this doesn’t look like the money spot:

But then I saw this little pocket and knew that something had to be there, waiting for my lure to buzz through.


Sure it was tiny, and a lot of work to get to, but it made falling into the creek and getting my pistol wet, worthwhile.  Luckily it’s a revolver and easy to clean/dry.

Meeting back up with Bill, he had finally landed a small brown and chased off his skunk.

So the day was long and arduous, but the few fish caught were earned and we saw some wonderful countryside.

Happy Fishing, Humans.


Spawning Cutthroat (Different Spot)

Needing to visit another area that we've missed, my family and I drove out to the Wasatch Plateau and enjoyed an afternoon hike, some cutthroat fishing, and some small tiger trout at Huntington Reservoir.

One of my favorite creeks out there showed even more promise than usual and I found an area that was loaded with big spawners, just like my pond from last week.  The only difference was that these cutts were very spooky.

I had a hunch that this particular spot would be prime.  Try and count the dark spots.  Many were between 17-21 inches.  Talk about luck!

At first, they were quick to attack my offerings (jigs), then I had to get a little bit more creative with a failed attempt at flies, then finally connecting on a small brookie pattern Rapala.

The largest of the day broke me off and was quite nice, very thick, and painted with the whole easel.  Such a shame that it didn't make it to my hand and even worse that it has to mess with a jig in its lip for awhile.  Hopefully it can work it out of there and continue to eat well.

There were several that I was able to trick, but I only took photos of the largest ones.

Kind of an odd head shape.

This next one had been caught before.

In one hole, some of them must not have seen me or cared much that I was there, so I took an opportunity to get some quick footage of them in the water.

Nothing special, but it was fun that they stuck around while I messed with them.

On the way home, we stopped at Huntington to test our luck.  The small town along the dam reported very slow fishing, but we were able to get a few tigers to hand, the largest being 16 inches.

It was a great day and we enjoyed ourselves.  I'm really glad my wife caught a fish and feel very fortunate to find such nice cutthroat two weeks in a row.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

(PS: Happy Father's Day to all you Papas out there!)


Big Beautiful Cutthroat

Having been on so many family trips lately, this week was reserved for a solo trip to a favorite area of mine.

The mountains are so rich and green this time of year and the fishing is excellent, so off I went into the world of giant quaking aspen, green grass, and shaded trails.

 My hike wasn't too long, but my first stop required a little trail blazing.  It was a small beaver pond that I've fished a couple of times, always full of little cutthroat.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

The pond was completely stacked with spawning cutts.  From the looks of it, most were between 16 and 20 inches.

There must have been 40 or more in the pond.  What a find!

Sneaking up as carefully as possible, I made my way to within reach and watched for a few minutes to observe their behavior.  They seemed very aggressive, feeding in the deeper area as the others churned vigorously in the gravel.

Not knowing which fly to choose and not wanting to spook the fish with anything, I tied on a red killer caddis and carefully placed my first cast.

It didn't take long and I had a big bend in my rod with a 22" pig of a female on the fly.

She fought very hard and took awhile to get in, causing her a lot of stress.  I nursed her back to health carefully in the clean flowing water coming in behind me and sent her back to drop off those eggs.

The first fish of the day was quite the start.  Better than I could have asked for.  What really surprised me after the long battle in a small hole, was hooking right into another nice fish, this time a male.

These are Bonneville cutts, though the colors they exhibit would tempt many to believe they're Colorado's.

Even more surprising, they just kept rolling in, one after another.

Pardon the itchy trigger finger, but I really only took pics of the prettiest ones.

Another couple of big ones:

They were hitting flies on top, but I couldn't tell what they were.  The smallest dries I had were Parachute Adams, so I tried my luck with that for awhile.  No dice.

Once the fly got wet and started sinking, they were all over it.  That led to plenty more fish.

This was the smallest cutt that I caught in the pond, and the only one under 14".

I couldn't believe how great the fishing was and how nice the fish were this time.

After so many fish, I felt like taking a break and ate some lunch.  It was nice to just sit and listen to the world go 'round.  I took my time, but eventually needed to start thinking about going home.  Promising myself to only fish a little bit longer, I started throwing some jigs and hardware.

They were still hitting everything.  Just nuts!

This was my only bleeder and I took it home.  The fillets actually looked pretty good, considering it was a spawning male.

It taped at 19".

More came and went, like before.  Again, pic overload, but they were all just so pretty.  They deserved a photo.

Especially this one.

So many great fish.  I can't believe they still kept on hitting my gear.  Better fishing than that is hard to come by and it's just the kind of day that I've needed.

Another pond was somewhat close, and happened to be in the direction of my car, so I really had no choice but to fish it.  Just like my little beaver pond, this one was also fed by a spring, just up the hill.

These fish were almost as eager as the ones I had been catching already.  Another blowout ensued for about a half hour and these cutts were also very colorful, though a bit smaller.

Check out that pepper:

There were quite a few that had some irregularities with their gill plates.  They looked otherwise great.


Most of them looked just fine though.

Here's my biggest from that pond:

 It's all about a hike through the aspens.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

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.