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Salt Lake City, Utah

Hobble Creek - Springville, Utah

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Hobble Creek - Springville, Utah

An Dinh

The last time I was in Springville was in high school for an art competition.  A memory that popped back into my head as I drove past the town's little art museum on the way to check out Hobble creek.  The painting I entered won an award, which was satisfying.  It's an oil painting of tooth brushes that I still have hanging in my daughter's washroom.

A number of folks have mentioned Hobble creek over small talk at various parties over the years and I finally had enough free time to explore this family friendly canyon but not enough free time to head to my favorite far flung waters.

For locals, Hobble will feel a lot like fishing in Millcreek canyon.  Millcreek is my goto stream for kids especially my daughter Anju.  The canyon road follows the river and there are many campgrounds and pullouts to explore.  Some spots are tight, but there are open sections where you can find fish podded up.  The biggest difference is that there surprisingly big fish in this stream.  A fish over 12 inches in such skinny water is really something.

Access along the stream is in fits and starts.  There are short runs that are fishable, maybe 50-100 yards long in between overgrown impassable sections and non-public areas like the Golf course.

The better fish love the impossible to get spots.  There is a nice run on either side a foot bridge below the golf course area.  Its full of fish, but below the bridge it is too tight to get in without spooking a hundred fish.  The water here is slow and clear and the bottom is silt, so being stealthy is necessary.  These fish get harassed often by joggers, cyclists, and local kids so they spook at the slightest shadow.   Hooking a good fish here is like winning the lottery.

Above the Golf Course there's a campground where access is good.  When I pulled in, there was a flock of 4 wild turkeys rooting about.  That's not something I see everyday so close to civilization. Here the fish are piled up in the tails of pools, sometimes in just a few inches of water.  They spook, but if you float a fly over them, they'll hit it.

Higher up there were more fish, but the water was slower and casting was getting too tricky for me to do anything but lose flies to trees and ruining my chances at enticing trout as I waded through them to retrieve my flies.

I had recently bragged to my wife that I don't blow through as many flies anymore, so I must be a better fisherman.  My stint at Hobble creek bled my fly box significantly - nice hand tied numbers.  It still stings every time I open my box and see the empty slots.

These fish weren't picky as long as you could get a high floating fly to drift over them without them spotting you.   I even hooked some that swiped at my flies as they waked and dragged at the end of the drift.

Hobble has a left and right fork.  The left fork is all private with enormous fancy ranches and estates.  Who knew?  The canyon road follows the right fork upward where the stream gets skinnier and tighter but still has fishy looking spots scattered about.