After punishing ourselves for a couple of hours there, we relocated to a more pleasant setting at Whiskey Springs picnic area in Daniel's Canyon, where the pleasant weather and lack of wind was rewarding enough.
Being the obsessed fish-hound that I am though, merely sitting next to a crystal clear stream on a sunny Saturday just wouldn't suffice. With rod in hand, I got my feet wet and hassled the local wildlife along that short brush-choked stretch of Daniel's Creek.
Right away, a wild rainbow came to hand, but slipped away as I armed the camera. Shortly thereafter, a couple of small browns and a cutthroat gave me some needed attention.
Upon my return, the kids made it clear that the picnic was over, so we departed, stopping briefly at the Wallsburg Creek inlet of Deer Creek Reservoir along the way. That stop provided quick action for freshly planted rainbows and I lost my spinner to a pretty nice one while trying to get the hook out.
It was good to get out with the family. Getting such a short tease on Daniel's Creek was too much to handle though and I planned on revisiting the creek the very next day for a solo trip.
As Sunday arrived, my intentions of hitting Daniel's again held strong, until my thoughts drifted toward the central part of the state, where I believed some pre-spawn cutthroat could be waiting for me. At the last moment, I decided to point myself in that direction.
Along the route, my wandering eyes noted the clarity of Thistle Creek, along HWY 89 and a couple of prime looking fishing holes demanded that I pull over to further investigate. Though I've driven by this creek a hundred times or more, my collective experience wetting a line in its waters would likely be less than an hour.
There's a lot of private land around Thistle Creek and it can be difficult to tell where those boundaries exist. Also, my only other attempts at fishing the creek had left a bit to be desired, with only a couple of small fish to hand.
With the day's rather open agenda, it seemed harmless to pull over at an area that looked well-used and hike down into a fishy looking stretch, starting with a small beaver pond. Right away, that decision proved to be a good one.
A couple of missed bites later, the bite in that pond died and I found myself marching upstream to see what else I might find.
Oh Thistle, how you tease me.
The looks of that hole and the next few were just too much and I ended up happily spending the next 3 or 4 hours gleefully unhooking fish and making up for lost time between myself and this terribly overlooked stream, which I had so carelessly neglected, previously.
Each bend gave way to another great looking stretch of water and the fish were quite cooperative, either giving chase or grabbing hold of my offering. It was time well spent and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Suddenly, getting to my intended destination didn't seem so important and time slowed down for me while I took note of the "little things" around me, reveling in the glory of a beautiful day.
This beaver dam was a real treat and I hooked into really good fish below it, and in the pool itself. Both fish, unfortunately, fought their way to freedom and I wasn't able to meet them. No matter, I was still catching plenty of others, some of which were actually pretty nice for such a small stream.
A small side stream entered the creek and I couldn't help but follow it for a short while.
Though it was nice and cold, it didn't appear to have many areas suitable for fish to hang out. I've been surprised by less though.
Back to the main creek, I finally reached an area that appeared to be a property boundary, so I turned around and made my way back to the car, smacking one more brown along the way.
With that behind me, it was time to finish what I had set out to do. I made good time getting to Fairview and up the canyon, where I was pleased to see some green on the aspens. It's the beginning of my favorite time of year, when everything gets really green and lush in the high country.
Up at the summit, the remaining snow appears to be fading quickly.
Some elk were stomping about, just above Huntington Reservoir.
Even though the snow was basically gone in the area, the gate on Miller Flat Road was still locked, which changed my plans around a little bit. Instead of fishing my creek, given the remaining daylight, it was ultimately decided to finish off the day at Huntington Reservoir, where I was sure to find some willing tiger trout, which I did.
I actually caught a lot of fish in a short amount of time between those sizes. It took a little while to located them and figure out the presentation that they wanted, but soon enough, it was on.
The trick this time was to get to the far shoreline (western shore) and cast out diagonally in either direction about 15-20 feet. For some reason, casting straight out would leave me empty, but aiming slightly to the left or right got me hits almost every cast. I was using a Gulp! minnow on a 1/16oz jig head.
Often times, the hits would occur directly below me on the retrieve and I got to watch the scrappy little tigers swooping in and out of view. Fun stuff!
It was great to visit the Wasatch Plateau, once again, welcoming this summer season, where more good times are surely waiting to be had.