For my earlier articles about seeking fish and solitude in South Park, see my blog from October 2019 and May 2020: https://hooknfly.com/2020/06/07/on-the-road-to-riches-finding-fish-and-solitude-in-south-park/ and https://hooknfly.com/2019/10/07/mission-impossible-searching-for-fish-and-solitude-in-south-park/
Undaunted, I continue my quest for fish and solitude in South Park, Colorado, a vast National Heritage Area whose waters like the South Platte’s Dream Stream and Eleven Mile Canyon attract hordes of anglers like moths to the proverbial flame. Now admittedly they do catch some trophies, but also find at times six-foot social distancing is a real challenge to achieve. Not exactly my cup of tea.
For over twenty years now I have traveled from my cabin near Salida to Denver and back for work and now more often to see my #1 sweetheart granddaughter Aly. Every time I whizzed by a sign on U.S. Highway 285 near Kenosha Pass beckoning me to the Lost Creek Wilderness.
The preserve, a vast 120,000-acre sanctuary, was created in 1980 in Pike National Forest by the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Act. Parts of it had been set aside as early as 1963 as a protected scenic area. It takes its name from the small stream that flows for miles in a wide valley then mysteriously disappears into a jumble of rocks and boulders, only to reappear miles downstream as Goose Creek. This is not your typical Colorado high-mountain wilderness with jagged peaks covered with snow well into summer. Instead the more gentle landscape, most of it below treeline, is marked with random knobs, domes, pinnacles, and arches.
There was never much mining or logging here, again in contrast to many other wilderness areas, just mostly grazing. In the late 1800s there was a uniquely western half-baked reservoir scheme to dam Lost Creek underground where it intersects Reservoir Gulch. Not surprisingly, the enterprise failed, a few remaining structures testifying to the folly.
Fortunately before it disappears, Lost Creek seems to offer the prospect of over five miles of fishing in a picture-perfect setting. I figure it’s high time to explore the creek. My on-line sleuthing finds a lot of information about hiking in the miles of trails in the wilderness, but very little about fishing the creek. A couple of posts do mention eager brook trout, and that’s enough to tip the scales in favor of some additional on-the-water piscatorial research.