There’s this big creek (more of a river) east of where I live that is pretty remote in most places. It sits in a lava-rimmed sagebrush canyon, which by all accounts, is loaded with rattle snakes. But the river is reputed to hold some Yellowstone Cutthroat and a few big browns. I always wanted to access the creek at somewhere other than where the few roads cross its path.
It just so happened that my brother in law, Kelly, had permission to access a remote stretch of this creek, so we decided to take our five year old sons, Ben and Hank, for an adventure the last day in June of 2018. To get there, we had to drive a two track through a wheat field and then over the canyon rim down a sketchy road. In the river valley we found an old homestead long-time abandoned.
After parking we hoofed across an overgrown cattle pasture to the willow-lined creek. We had to maneuver through some swampy areas before we could reach the creek. I ended up putting Ben on my back before leaping a swampy channel. That was interesting! At least we didn’t see any rattlesnakes along the way.
Upon reaching the creek, we found the flow was mostly just a slow meander. Kelly and I fished our way up the creek, while Hank, an adventurous, fearless lad, swam all over the place. On the other hand, my son, Ben, would wade, but when it got to deep, I had to give him a piggy back across the creek more than once.
At first the fishing was slow, but we caught a few small cutties using my Tenkara USA Rhodo and a Renegade in the deeper shaded pools. The youngsters were the official fish releasors and enjoyed each little cutthroat.
We worked our way along the creek’s course as it passed near an idyllic rim rock ridge. We didn’t hit really good water until we came to an area where the stream gradient dropped quickly to create a riffle leading to a deeper run. The run just had that fishy look. As I guessed, the cutties were stacked up in this run. I hooked many fish and then would hand the rod to Hank and Ben and let them try to get them in. They giggled as they grabbed the line to bring the small fish in.
No, we did not catch any fish over 12 inches, but we had fun exploring. While fishing was the goal that brought us there, for this trip, it was really more about the adventure. I enjoyed spending time with my son, nephew and brother in law in wild country. The cutties were just the bonus.