High Mountain Creeks and Chomped Foam Bugs

Being from Minnesota, I’ve never been a huge trout fisherman. I’ve always been more focused on the warmwater species that are abundant in my area, that I grew up fishing for and that I’ll always enjoy targeting. (Not to say there isn’t any trout fishing around here whatsoever, but as a personal opinion there are much better fishing opportunities than that, which are the ones I choose to pursue.) Up until this past summer I’d had the opportunity to trout fish out west, or somewhere maybe a week or two out of the year, so needless to say it isn’t something I do a lot.

However that changed this summer, as I had the opportunity to work at a fly shop in Idaho for the past few months. And spending that much time in a new area, I did a lot more trout fishing than I was used to. Being on the South Fork of the Snake River I had tons of opportunities there to fish, however I also had the chance to do a type of fishing I hadn’t really done before. This was walking a high mountain creek that was absolutely loaded with wild, ravenous cutthroat.

Over the course of the summer I managed to make it up to this section of the creek twice, and both ventures were spectacular. The trail takes you about five miles up into the mountains through a canyon, which leads to a small lake in which the creek runs into and out of. The section above the lake is some of the best fishing, so naturally that was the area that I chose to focus on.

Right off the trail into the creek, immediately the volume of fish can be seen. Solely looking into a single pool you can see a handful of trout in the crystal clear water, and those are just the ones that can be seen. And not only were they there, but they were hungry. In the probably six to eight hours I spent up there in total, I landed easily over 100 trout. It truly is fish after fish ravenously eating dries, absolutely everywhere. Though they weren’t the biggest, the environment they were in and the 7’6” 2wt I was fishing made every fish a joy to catch.

Previous to this I knew I’d always been interested in this type of fishing, but I know now it’s one of my favorite ways to trout fish. I’ll definitely be doing more of this when I’m out west again next summer, and may even do a little more exploring around home as well. Either way, having the opportunity to experience something that spectacular was a great chance to learn a new place, and it is certainly something that will stick with me for a long time.