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The Creekside Angler

A Good Camp, A Warm Fire. That's Living! -The Creekside Angler-

Updated: 2018-02-18T04:51:58.573-08:00


How to Use Your Campsite


So you have found a campsite, you take a look around, there should be a table, firepit, Barbeque or something that looks like an oven.  To get your camp ready there are some things you need to do.  The first thing is wash the table top.  There is no telling what has gone on with that thing before you got there and a good scrubbing will make sure you don't take something home that you don't want.  If you brought a tablecloth use it and be sure to fasten it down with spring clamps to keep it from blowing away if the wind picks up.  Take a look under the table and chase away any unwanted things that could sneak up on you at dinner time.  A Spider on your plate could ruin your appetite.  Once you've got the table in order move on to the grill.  If you are camping at a site that has been around for a while your grill might look like a bomb went off in it, but that's alright.  If you can get a fire going under the grill part, and burn off anything that was left behind it will clean itself after about a half hour or so.  You don't have to wash the cooking surface because the heat from the fire and the coals will do the work for you, just be sure to use a wire brush on it before you start cooking anything.  If your site has an oven the same deal will work on the griddle part of it.  To use your griddle you will want to wire brush the surface after it is good and hot, then put a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil on it and wipe it down to season the surface so your food won't stick.  You will find the griddle good for Pancakes in the morning, but I would'nt fry anything like bacon on it because the fat could drip down into the firebox and you would have a mess on your hands.  Whenever you're cooking outdoors it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher close by in case things get out of control.  Don't let the conditions of your campsite amenities scare you into going to town for fast food, with a little work you can experience a great outdoor meal that you will remember.


The Secret To Fishing


Stream fishing can produce large Trout if fished properly. Getting to know how the water behaves in the creek bed is the first step to understanding what parts on a creek or stream fish might choose to call home. Trout like to stay in an area where there is a constant steady flow of water that brings new food possibilities frequently. In places like this they can just hold out and watch the current ready to snap up a meal that is moving downstream and delivered right to their door. One way things are stirred up is when animals cross or use the water to cool off and kick over rocks on the bottom under which insect larva live and are consequently flushed down stream in the current. The best way to understand a stream bed is to take a look at one without water in it. This will allow you to see where some of the pools might have been and places where the banks might have been eroded away leaving a pocket in the bank. If this dry bed was full of water these areas I have pointed to could easily be overlooked. Study dry creek beds that fill only certain times of the year due to seasonal run off and you will see how a boulder or an obstruction in the water can cause the water to flow at that point with much more force creating a pool or pocket. The next thing you want to do is to look at a live stream. Notice any boulders or logs that change the flow of water. If you can see a pocket, that is where you want to present your bait. Place your bait about two to three feet up stream and let the flow of the water take down into a pocket. If there is a fish in that pocket this type of presentation is what it is used to seeing, a potential meal being washed down stream. Within seconds you should get a hit. If not try it two or three more times. If there is no hook up after that you are most likely fishing an empty hole and it's time to move on. Keep an eye out for log jambs because these are perfect places for fish to hide. When using these flow fishing methods be prepared to lose tackle. You better plan on getting hooked up on debris, sticks, rocks and whatever is in the water that you don't see. This can get very frustrating. Another problem is landing a fish that is hooked and racing through the under side of a log jamb beneath the water. Well, as far as that one goes, give him line and hope for the best. If you do land one of these beasts you can bet he has been under there for quite a long time. He will be mad as hell that he has been hooked and ready to break your rod in half. Take time to fish the areas that most anglers can't or will not even attempt and you will find yourself hooking up more than anyone else on the creek. Bring a camera because the stories you will tell later will seem unbelievable to most fishermen. [...]

Fishing in Winter???


My friend Alfred, who is one of my two fans that follow this website, asked if I had done any fishing lately.  Well, no but here are some cool pictures...
I was never good at ice fishing, or hungry enough to try.  When it's like this I'll settle for a hot bowl of Beef Stew and a warm fire!  I think I might be too old to freeze my bones!(image)

The Creekside Angler Has Moved!!


TCA is headed off to new water in 2012!  Come on over and check out the new site!

Django Unchained


The Eastern Sierra will once again be immortalized on the Silver Screen with the filming of “Django Unchained” directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film will be shot in Mammoth California and at least one source claims that some filming will take place in Lone Pine, a small town famous for its Western film history. This Western will have many great actors, Kurt Russell, Jamie Foxx, Don Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson to name a few, playing key roles.

It is always exciting to see the movie industry turn to the ideal Western setting for a great Western film and the small towns from Lone Pine to Mammoth CA. appreciate the added business from the presence of the cast and crew.

The film is to be released in December 2012 so I think it’s fair to assume that there will be some long hard days ahead for these guys. I would just like to tell them… If you start to get tired just look over your shoulder, you might see John Wayne off in the distance with that “let’s keep it movin’ pilgrim” look on his face. Make sure you take some time to admire the beauty of the Sierras and try to get down to Bishop to visit Erick Schat’s Bakery, “home of the original Sheepherder Bread”. Quentin if you Kurt or any of the other cast and crew feel like doing some creek fishing look me up. I’d be happy to show you the best places to hook up with some nice Rainbow and Brown Trout! The film is sure to be a hit and we’re all looking forward to seeing it.

I would never use the term, “Break a Leg” to a creek fisherman because that could mean the end of the season, but to the Cast of Django Unchained, Break A Leg!

The Creekside Angler

How To Fish A Creek


There are many ways to fish a creek.  Some anglers sit in one spot all day and hope the fish come to them like they would on a lake shore.  Some go at it with war like tactics, radios in hand, constantly communicating their location to one another.  Some run frantically from one hole to another without taking time to read the water.  I like to follow behind all these types and catch the fish they overlook.  My method is simple, take a moment to look at the different features of the water, notice changes on the surface which might indicate submerged objects that would provide hiding spots for hunting fish, take notice of the banks and look for places where the water may have carved out a pocket and above all is the whitewater.  While each part of this approach is equally important, lets look at the whitewater and what you can get from it.  Hungry Trout will hunt in the whitewater for any type of food source carried downstream from higher water.  If the water is moving at a good pace it will cause the fish to strike quickly as they may only have a split second to snatch a meal.  These quick strikes will get your heart racing and provide you with one heck of a fight.  You might see your line zip toward one side of the creek or the other as the fish tries to retreat to it's hiding spot.  On many occasions I've had Trout jump out of the water before my fly or bait even touched the surface.  The main thing to remember is that each spot on the creek is different and taking some time to understand what's going on above and below the surface will increase your odds of a successful experience.  Here is a link you might find helpful, "How to fish a small creek". 


Small Water Payouts


Small water creeks are fun to fish and can deliver some nice rewards.  Working the pools and banks might be the ticket!


Big Tiger Trout Caught And Released


When you catch one like this you have to put him back!
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Kents Lake, Utah


Over the Labor Day Weekend we decided to return to one of our favorite lakes located just outside of Beaver, Utah. We left Las Vegas, Nevada and the 109 degree heat Friday afternoon. Three and a half hours later we arrived at Kents Lake in the Fish Lake National Forest. The 70 degree temperature was a welcome relief. We turned off the Air Conditioner in the truck and remembered how to roll down the windows to enjoy the cool breeze. The original plan was to find a camp spot in the woods off of a fire service road, but as we passed the upper Kents Lake campground we noticed a few open spots and decided to drive in and take a look around. We pulled in and saw a sign that read,” register here”, in front of the campground host’s site. He was outside making a fire so we stopped to get the skinny on the digs. The host told us that he only had two sites taken so far and that he chased away a big Black Bear from his trailer door a few days ago. He said the fishing was good everywhere on the lake, and that we should keep our food locked up in case the bear comes back. We thanked him for the info and walked away thinking that the bear deal didn’t make for a great bedtime topic, but with the promise of good fishing it would be worth it. We passed site after site then found one that looked perfect for our rig and just up from the lake, site #15. We took our time setting up camp, getting the fire pit the way we wanted it and getting the poles ready to roll. I didn’t sleep well wondering if a bear was going to rip the trailer in half and gnaw off my head or something else, but with some campfire coffee in the morning I was ready to hit the water and catch fish. We fished all day Saturday and caught Cutthroat, Rainbow and Tiger Trout ranging from 9 to 16 inches and enjoyed the different fight of each type. Back at camp we relaxed and made plans for the next day. Sunday after breakfast we tried the other side of the lake and did well. We decided to go back down into Beaver to pick up some ice and look around town for a minute. We found a neat little shop that sold sporting goods and a bunch of really old buildings that were still in use. One place that looked good was the Cache Valley Cheese Factory. When we left town we thought it would be a good idea to take an off road trail.  It turned into a game trail and ended up taking us 40 miles from camp but we got to see some things that I’ll never need to see again for the rest of my life. When we got back to the lake we fished for a while and agreed on Tiger Trout for dinner with campfire coal baked potatoes. Dinner turned out great. Afterwards we sat by the fire and watched everyone down at the lake fishing. One thing that was really cool was seeing all the kids catching fish. It made me think back on my first fish I caught with my Dad. I forgot about the bear Sunday night and got some good rest. Monday morning we hit the water early, fished for a couple of hours, then headed back to break camp and load up. It turned out to be a great weekend not too far from home. If you get a chance to try this lake I’m sure it would be well worth the trip.Here are some links to check out!Beaver UtahBeaver Sport and PawnFish Lake National Forest; Kents LakeTiger Trout[...]

Aspen-Mirror Lake, Utah


On recent trip to Utah I found a great little lake just outside of Duck Creek Village called Aspen-Mirror.  This is a great place to check out if you get the chance.
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The Wind Smashed My Shower Tent!!!


Dog gone that wind!  I guess 60 M.P.H. was just too much for the old Gal.  Good thing I put a bunch of rocks in it!
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Les...The best campground Host In the World!!


I tried out a campground in the Eastern Sierra.  My favorite camp at Tuttle Creek was closed for upgrades.  We traveled a little further north on 395 and decided on lower Greys meadow campground just outside of Independence.  When we pulled into the campground I was stopped by the host.  He suggested site number 49 after taking a look at my rig.  We stayed at the camp for 3 nights, and each afternoon I would spend a while Talking to Les, (The best campground host ever), about the events of the day.  His stories were captivating,  His advice, correct.  I looked forward to seeing him at the end of a long day fishing almost as much as I looked forward to trying out one of the many creeks that run down the eastern slopes of the Great Sierra.  Les took the time to make sure that we were having a great time.  He always let us know where the "hot spots" were,  cautioned us about safety, and told us a few stories about big fish that were caught in the creek.  You need to meet this man to fully understand what I mean, he is The Best Campground Host In The World!!!

The Historic Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery


After a long morning of catching fish in the Eastern Sierra we decided to head back to camp at Tuttle creek.  We had left early and traveled 60 miles north to Bishop where the fishing for the day began.  Big pine creek was a river, but we still manager to hook up with some nice fish.  Taboose and Goodale offered calmer water and a few 14 inchers.  Back on the road headed toward Independence we passed a sign that said,  "The Historic Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery".  I've passed this place 100 times, but this time I decided to stop in and take a look around.  A castle at the base of the sierra with walls three feet thick made of Granite.  Almost 100 years old and looking great.  When it first opened Mules carried metal canteens full of Rainbow and Golden Trout up the mountain to the many creeks along the Eastern Sierra.  Take some time to check out the link. 


Back on The Creek


Eastern Sierra, Tuttle Creek, This one's for Dad. 

So much has happened, life got busy, I lost my father, (friend, fishing buddy, mentor, life long advisor), so I'm going to keep this short.  I think a picture is worth a thousand words.  Thanks for understanding.

Take a break


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When They Don't Bite on Anything Red


This little creek runs along highway 14 just outside of Cedar City Utah.  The water usually runs clear and cold.  There are many small waterfalls that flow into pools that look like a haven for Trout, but in these pictures this creek looks more like a Lahar due to a pleasant afternoon thunderstorm.  I drove along this road that would lead me to Duck Creek.  Clouds surrounded the mountains and it was easy to see that rain was falling somewhere.  The water in the creek began to rise and turn red.  I stopped to get a picture and watched as 8 to 10 foot sections of creek bank fell into the water and dissolved.  I don't know how anything living in this creek could have survived.  The water was so thick with mud that it stained the plants and sticks that it touched.  It sure would make it a tough day to be a fish.

Southern Utah


Navajo Lake is located a few miles from Cedar City, Utah.  The Pine lined shores of this pristine lake can best be described as quiet, peaceful and full with life.  In the evening I noticed Deer and Antelope making their way down to the water for a cool drink before returning to the safety of the woods.  Birds flew high above scanning the surface of the water, pausing at times, then diving down to catch a Trout swimming near the surface.  As my line went out straight and my rod tip began to twitch I caught and released another beautiful Rainbow.  After gathering my gear I headed back to the road.  Along the way I had to stop and turn back for one more look.  A quiet place, truly peaceful and full with life.

Puffer Lake


If you're fishing Utah and feel like trying some new water look up Puffer Lake.  This lake which sets at 10,000 ft. is loaded with Trout.  I heard it mentioned when I went down to the town of Beaver to pick up some Ice and afternoon coffee from our camp near Kent's Lake.  Someone said, "Puffer is hot, it's a pretty drive too" thats all it took, I'm all in.  When I got up to the counter to pay for my goods the first question was, how do I get to Puffer?  We got out of the store and laid rubber up the hill.  The drive, about 20 miles outside of town, was sure a pretty one.  The road was lined with Aspens and Pines.  We parked the truck and got out the poles.  The walk down to the water was tricky because the shore was lined with big flat rocks.  It was like walking down a pile of dinner plates and a few times I ended up on my back.  We caught and released 7 nice Rainbows.  Had to leave sooner than I wanted to because we were getting chewed to death by biting flies, nobody said anything about that part at the store.  It was a nice place and worth the trip.

The Campfire


It was a day to remember, or one I'd like to forget.  They fought well, or they wouldn't bite at all.  However the day turned out at some point I head back to camp, put some chuck together and set by the campfire.
For me the campfire says, "this is home" when the day is done.  It's a place to tell tales, talk tactics and make plans for the new chance that will come tomorrow. 
I wonder how big that one was that broke my line, remember that trip last summer when I landed that big Brown, how about the time I got spooled out on Jackson Lake?  The topics just seem to come up, or just a silent stare as the night sky fills with stars.
As the fire dies down it seems to say, "it's time to rest"  The camp grows dark and the night fills with the sounds of the last few popping embers.  It's going to be hard to sleep as I think about how to approach the water tomorrow, then seconds later I'm fishing in a dream, the perfect cast, pull back some line, he's on I got him.......

Anderson Meadow


Friday afternoon we headed out for Utah with Kent's Lake, just outside of Beaver, in the cross hairs.  The drive went by quick and before we knew it we were in the little town of Beaver.  A short drive outside of town took us past a beautiful creek and I was tempted to stop and get a line wet but I knew that we needed to get to the campground and claim a spot before they were all taken.  The road to Kent's Lake has only been open for three weeks.  I found a water quality report that said that the lake was suffering from low oxygen levels due to the large number of winter hold-over Trout.  Well, we can't have that!  I knew that I must try to do something to alleviate the problem.  So, armed with my rod and reel, I decided to throw myself on the front line and try my best to make a difference.The campground was full so I found a nice spot off the road and out in the "open camping" area.  There are many sites that are out in the middle of nowhere that are used from time to time by campers that prefer to be away from the crowd.  Along the way we passed by a little lake called Anderson Meadow and I thought, "That's the place to fish!"  We set up camp, got the fire going and decided to make Anderson our first stop in the morning.At 4am I was up making coffee and getting the poles set up.  I wanted to make sure that we got over to the lake before too many people showed up.  We were the first to hit the water.  Rainbows hitting on every cast, it was like a dream come true.  We released all but our limits, had the lake to ourselves for almost three hours and I was happy things worked out the way they did.Later on we fished Kent's and a few other lakes close by.  Each and every lake was full of hungry fish.  The high temp. was 88 but an occasional thunderstorm passing by brought it back down to the low 70s.  Kent's Lake was the popular place to be and there were plenty of fish for everyone but it was nice being on some of the out of the way places with no traffic and all the shore you could ever want. [...]

Campsite at Fish Lake


There are about a dozen campgrounds around Fish Lake in Utah and all of them are put together well.  Water, flushing toilets and a few even have showers.  I set up in a site that was close to the lake and not so close to other campers.  The campground, called lower Mackinaw, had about 20 or so sites that were spread out over a large area.  It was sort of neat because you could have your own little wilderness spot without being too far removed from other campers and at 12 dollars a night it was worth it.
After dinner was a good time to sit by the fire and make plans for tomorrow. 

Fish Lake Utah


Fish Lake is located in Fish Lake National Forest in the heart of Utah.  The lake is seven miles long and one mile wide.  With a depth of 150 feet there is plenty of room for the big Rainbow and Lake Trout this lake is known for to roam.  I have wanted to fish this lake for a long time and last weekend I got my chance.  We headed out Saturday morning around 6:00 and got to the lake around 11:00.  The plan was to find a good campsite,  get everything set up and hit a few creeks in the area for the rest of the day.  Sunday we would rent a boat and spend the day on the lake.  On the way over to the first creek I spotted a part of the lake that had a little cove with a good point that I just had to try so that would be the first stop.  Although the water was perfect I couldn't manage to get a bite.  After an hour or so we decided to move on to the creeks.  We fished two creeks that were beautiful.  They ran through wide open meadows and the water had plenty of character.  We got a few bites but couldn't seem to bring any fish to the bank.  After a while, with the sun starting to fade, we decided to return to camp and go over our plans for the lake.  Sunday looked like a perfect day to catch some Lake Trout.  We got down to the lake around 6:00, got a boat and set out.  After trolling for about 45 minutes the wind started to pick up. A nice thunderstorm rolled in so we headed back to camp and spent the rest of the morning in the tent.  When the rain stopped we went back out on the lake at 2 p.m. and gave it another shot.  We had a troll out for a few hours without a bite.  The wind started to get ugly again so we turned the boat in and went back to camp.  This was a tough trip, no fish and bad weather.  I was glad I packed some steaks to grill for dinner!  Such a big beautiful lake.  I'll have to give it another try when the weather is a little more predictable![...]

Duck Creek Rainbow


Duck Creek has some nice Rainbow Trout that like to hang out in the faster moving parts of the creek.  We fished places where the water was picture perfect, moving at a slow and peaceful pace through beautiful meadows without a bite.  This fish hit on a Power Egg down stream and getting him up through the white water was a task!  Sometimes you hook up when you least expect it.

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Panguitch Lake Cutthroat


The Bear Lake Cutthroat Trout at Panguitch Lake in Utah were fun to catch.  These beautiful fish put up a good fight too.  This is a short video of one of the many we caught on our trip to Duck Creek.

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Duck Creek Campsite


Fishing new water is always a treat and seeing some beautiful scenery makes it even better.  One thing I look forward to on any fishing trip is the chance to set up camp at a new campground.  I like to look around until I find a spot that feels right.  It's a place to settle down for the night alright, but if I'm going to "live" there for a day or two I'm going to have to eat.  That's where some of my gear comes into play.I think I can rough it just as well as the next guy, although you won't find me living on pine nuts and berrys, or gnawing the bark off a tree stump.  I like to eat good at camp.  Coffee on the fire, eggs and bacon in the morning, beef stew or a pot roast for dinner.  After a long day of fishing the least a man deserves is a good old fashioned campfire dinner.  You can burn up a bunch of energy fishing all day and I think everything tastes better cooked outdoors.  That's why I like to take along my cast irons.  They can stand up to the heat of the fire and they last forever.  A good coffee pot, dutch oven and a box full of spices and I'm set.This campsite at Duck Creek was set up pretty good, even had a nice spot for a walk around the woods after dinner.[...]