So on the marathon fishing weekend we drove 238 miles to fish the Great Basin area of North Eastern Nevada. We hit Cleve creek just North of the Great Basin National Park. That afternoon we checked out the Park itself. It's a pretty small area for a national park. There is no gate or fee area. The campground at Strawberry creek was pristine with new facilities and not a single other camper even though this was Summer and kids are out of school. Most other places near our home are packed with campers this time of year. It was eery.
Unfortunately, this foreshadowed the next 12 hours. This is the dark side of blue lining it. Sometimes you find these little gems and you can't believe you are catching all of these perfect fish in a perfect stream that is untouched by most anglers. But the flip side is hauling ass across a desert to find the following:
Strawberry creek - much of it is about 2 feet wide and choked with willows and brush. There were many fish finning in the stream near the campground but there was no good place to cast to these little guys. And they were pretty tiny also. Below the campground we didn't see any fish. It might be worth exploring up higher below some of the lakes which the Ranger said have fish in them.
Baker creek - this was much more promising because it is a bigger stream. We checked it out below where a tributary dropped into it to make sure we had enough water to wade. Once again it was very tight. There was a short section above a bridge where we each caught a single rainbow about 4 inches long, then were forced off by thick brush. (I'm pretty sure we caught the exact same fish, as I had doubled back and re-fished the same run and pulled my fish from the exact same pocket as Lance).
Snake Creek - this was the worst of the creeks. It is a neglected section of the park with old rusted out splintered picnic tables. The water was slower in the section we checked and the bottom was silt so wading up it was questionable. All I caught were roots and branches.
We stayed the night at the Strawberry campground which would be a great pit stop if you are driving through the area on your way to better fishing hopefully.
There is a cave at the park, but a big sign stated that all tours were full. So we really didn't have anything else to do but dry our waders and sit around the fire.
That night we contemplated our options...
Head even further up the Great Basin to Lamoille creek outside of Elko (making a giant clock wise loop back to Salt Lake)
Backtrack home and fish our way back to Salt Lake City.
We knew some of the streams on the way back were on fire with lots of hatches and hungry fish so with our tails between our legs we hustled back toward home for a few sure things.