Brad Carter | Fish Stories

Going Home

Written by Brad and posted on November 1st, 2010 | Comment »

I have long had a love affair with Elk hunting and spent most Octobers, since I was very young, chasing elk in the mountains surrounding Star Valley, Wyoming. I always missed some of the best fishing the local waters had to offer. This year was different. I had to make another trip back home.

I hadn’t been doing very well fishing the streams of my youth this year, so I hoped this trip would be a little bit different. A few months ago Kyle and I were discussing fishing the Salt River, so we decided to put a trip together for the full, when the river would be chuck full of giant browns and the fine spotted Cutts would be be filling up their bellies before the long winter.

Day one was spent on a local spring creek, where the fishing is always difficult, but the rewards are well worth it. The constant temperature and clear water provides plenty of food, and this stretch of stream is full of strong fighting and extremely smart fish.

We arrived to a welcome sight of rising fish. They were sipping midges in the slow water. We jumped out of the truck, donned the gear and each made tracks to our own stretch of river to hoping to net a big brown, or golden cutthroat. I spotted a lone riser and managed to bring to hand a fiesty 18 inch cutthroat who was a little picture shy and jumped out of my hands as I reached for the camera. I headed upstream a few hundred yards, missing quite a few strikes and finally pulling in 4 or 5 fish from an area where the risers were prevalent.


Several Cutts and finally a fish with some girth.



After pulling a couple of 14-16 inch cutthroats the fishing died down. One of my catches must have ratted me out, as the rising stopped and the excitement of playing the previous fish had stirred up the others.

I worked back downstream to Dad who had hooked a couple of monsters on his oversized muddler. I switched to a streamer and worked into a new hole that had produced well for me in the past. My first drift through the hole produced a big strike, but I broke him on the hook set. The big brown was obviously maddened at the piercing of his lip, as he proceded to stir up the entire hole, racing from one end to the other, and breaking the surface several times. I wished he could have spent a few moments in my net.

Each of us leapfrogged one another as we worked to the bottom of the property, all missing opportunities at the big browns we hoped to catch that day. As we worked back upstream Cole threw a bugger upstream of me while I crossed the stream and landed this pretty cutthroat.


The day ended with a good elk roast, some root beer floats, and a Dad busted out the video camera to show off his many hunts in the now infamous Squirrel Creek.


Day 2 we hit up another section of spring creek that is very close to my childhood home. My first couple of casts had me drifting a “Star Valley Special” along an old log and down into a deep hole. I pulled out a unexpected fish.



After finally getting a trip in with Kyle, I learned his secrets to fishing success. From now on I’m wearing my pajamas fishing too!

This stretch of water is usually first to see the browns, but we had some trouble locating them. There were large schools of suckers in a few of the big holes, and I think they had pushed out most of the trout that are usually in the area.

Cole landed one more brookie before we left to float the salt.



This section of the Salt is one of my favorites. In the summer it takes between 2 and 3 hours. This time it took over 4. We had a little bit of wind and low flows which made for a relaxing float. We rubbed bottom on the pontoons a few times, but it made for a good time.

Fishing was not fast by any means. I did not land a fish. All I caught was my own spinning rod and the top section of someone else’s. I only had 2 bites from, what I assume, were very small fish. The other guys landed a few. While the fish were sparse, they all had some size to them which made it worth the trip. Dad was first to hook up with a fat Cutt.


When we hit my favorite hole of this stretch Cole pulled in a good looking brown while I threw a rapala downstream. I didn’t hook anything, but Kyle had to show me up and catch a nice 18 inch brown as he floated by. Maybe those “Luckycrafts” really do work.

Cole's Brown

Kyle's Brown

By the end of the float we were pushing to get off the water before darkness set in. I managed to lose my spinning rod into the river for a few minutes until I “fished” it back out. (I guess I did catch something).

All in all the trip was filled with challenging fishing, some big fish, and good company.

I did steal a few of the float pics from Kyle who’s post about this trip can be found at:


Brad fell in love with fishing the spring creeks and small rivers of his childhood home in Western Wyoming, however, the opportunity to go with Grandpa to Alaska really set the hook. Brad now lives in Northern Utah where he chases trout as often as he can, and mixes in a few trips here and there to chase more exotic species.

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One Response on “Going Home”

  1. Kyle Says:

    Nice post Brad! Those PJs are lucky I tell ya!!! haha

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