Utah Safari Pt 2 – Nameless Spring Creek in Eastern Utah

After a great day on the Green, we camped one more night in the killer spot we found below Dutch John and departed the next morning for [nameless] spring creek outside of Vernal Utah.  It was a short 2.5 hour drive from our camping spot.

I promised not to divulge the name of this spring creek, and I plan to keep that promise (unless you happen to be one of my closest fishing buddies).  This place reminded me of Hot Creek.  It burbles out of the ground, flows for about 5 miles and confluences with the Green.  It was small creek overgrown with brush and tons of that horrible plant, stinging nettle.

We arrived at the parking area, and were elated to find that there was only one other vehicle.  We prepped for the day and started the hike.  I knew that we were going to hike most of the way down to the Green and then fish our way back upstream.  I was anticipating an 8 mile day of hiking and at the end of the day, that is exactly how I felt.  On the hike downstream, we passed several really cool petroglyph sites, so of course we had to stop and check them out.  About half-way down, we ran into the other carload of folks and they were HIKERS.  That meant that we were the only fishermen on the river (so far).

The fishing was fantastic.  Like most spring creeks, stealth and careful fishing was rewarded with fish.  Like most spring creeks, you can catch from 8″ all the way up to 18″ trout. We spent most of the day fishing with Stimies and hoppers.  Jay managed to hook the biggest fish of the day from a surprisingly deep undercut bank.   It was a valient fight, but the fish managed to win in the end when he threw the hook.  At least we both got to see the fish and we were both surprised by its size.

My big fish of the day was a F-A-T 15″ Rainbow with deep beautiful coloration.  I would have totally missed this fish if Jay had no clued me in.  She was sitting in a depression in a rock and actively feeding on dries.  I could not see where she was sitting, but I casted my line to a spot that Jay pointed out and she swam over and took the Stimie.  SWEET!  After I landed her, I tried to get a pic, but these fish are wild and are not fished to often, so her spirit was tremendous and she kept fighitng all the way to the end when I released her.  Some fish are camera shy and do not like to sit still and pose.  Jay hooked and stuck a very nice 15″ Rainbow from the next hole the was right below a footbridge.  Nice job!

At this point, we were within a mile of the parking lot and both of us were really fatigued.  I tripped and fell in, Jay tripped and fell in.  The wind picked up.  A small squall rolled in and we actually had about 15 minutes of rain to content with while in the canyon.  We were leapfrogging holes all the way back upsteam and at this point, I refused the next few that Jay offered.  It was at a point where I only wanted to fish the easy holes.  Our fishing mantra at this point was to fish the “low hanging fruit” only.

Back at the truck, we talked with one other fisherman we saw the entire day (a bait slinger) who had just caught a really nice 2lb trout.  So an entire day of fishing, on a Saturday no less, and only one other fisherman, and all those big fish.  That is why I cannot tell you where this place is…hope you understand!

Carved by a river
Carved by a river
Staging Area
Rock art? What about the fish
Casting obstructions? Nah!
Jay with a nice fish on
Big surprises come from small packages
Another big fish hole