Friday, August 22, 2008

Willow Creek

Took my 2.5 year old into Krepps Hollow on Willow Creek above Ririe Reservoir a couple of weeks ago and got some tiny little trout. Willow Creek is a meandering not very big Creek above the reservoir that has some beautiful bottoms and cottonwood flats, but with very limited access.

Well that trip got me thinking that the water quality (at least temperatures) must be better right below the dam (Ririe Reservoir). The dam is a big eathwork construction of the same vein as Palisades dam, and the Teton dam and has at least generally about 100 cfs coming out of it. So I snuck out for a quick scout into the creek after lunch.

There is no easy access to the bottom of the dam. With our terrorism paranoia the road across the dam is closed. I parked about 1/4 mile away and bushwhacked and scrambled down the talus piles to the bottom of the dam. Hiking back up made me remember that I am no longer as young as I used to be. The whole time up and down the canyon I was being cautious about rattlers as it was a warm day and there were lots of nice rocks and shade for a snake to hide in.

The creek is small, gin clear and mostly glass smooth below the dam. Resembles a spring creek more than a freestone. As I was approaching the creek I saw a decent trout rise to a hopper on some of the slick water. I cast to him a few times and couldn't get him to move. I saw another riser in a riffle about 30 feet above me. Snuck up a bit and cast to him. Whack, he took my hopper on the first cast. He was a fast running and hopping trout, probably a rainbow but I'm not sure as he spit me out after about 30 seconds. Decent size and pulled hard.

Moved up closer to the spillway but didn't get anything so I moved down to a deep bend about 50 yards below the dam. As this was an impromptu adventure and I was in jeans and sneakers, I didn't want to wade and so was standing on the bank about 10 feet above the water making rollcasts at a rising fish with willows and scrubs right at my back. There was a small rising fish in this hole as I moved in, but I couldn't evoke a strike but I did move a big bruiser up from the bottom who followed the hopper for about 10 feet before refusing.

I may have to go back into this creek when I have a little more time..... and possibly a float tube. It is slow moving meandering creek, and looking at the maps at terraserver it looks like I could make a nice couple of mile float form the dam to a bridge down a ways. Looks like it could be fun, but with the spring creek like conditions could prove to be very tough fishing.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Its fun to go exploring like that, I need to try it more often. Last time I went exploring I ran into some wild rainbows unexpectedly.