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We camped at Willow Creek this weekend. I had only heard about it from friends, or drove by it before on the way to Granby or Shadow Mountain. We were a little behind getting up there, but made it by 2:30PM and got the last camping spot! Even though the web site said you can call for reservations, the lady that answered said "there are no reservations except for the group camp site". So if it is indeed first come first served, my guess is that it would be better to be up there by noon or so on a Friday.

For those that don't know, the lake is north of the town of Granby off of highway 34 just before Granby Lake's Sunset boat ramp turnoff. You make a left and go 2.5 miles on a dirt road, the last part of which is pretty much a washboard road. The campsites are a little close together I think, but they offer some nice features I hadn't seen at other campgrounds such as a cooler storage bin:



a camp stove stand:



and a lantern/trash hook thingy:


It's a quiet place, the only noise being your neighbors or the people driving through the campground looking for spots (even though the sign at the entrance 2.5 miles prior says "CAMPGROUND FULL"). The water was smooth as glass and the area is very scenic. The entire lake is no wake for boats and if you go west, it goes for quite a ways:


The fish were being finicky in the hot weather and the fishfinder showed them down at 20-30' with most of them hanging out near the west boat ramp:


I was surprised that the lake was so deep, with the larger part near the campground being 50-60 feet, 70-80 in the easternmost end and 20-30 at the west end. At the very western point it becomes very shallow (less than 5 feet deep). I fished a little bit on Saturday, but did not catch anything until I tried trolling a pick tasmanian devil at 20' with lead core. I caught two kokanees, released one and cooked one of them up for lunch.

One of the other nice things about Willow Creek is its proximity to other lakes, such as Granby. Since it was only a 3 mile drive, we headed there for some late afternoon/evening fishing. A storm was passing by on the south side and so the sun was occasionally blocked, but it did shine on the face of the mountains occasionally:


I saw fish down at 75' again and so I proceeded with downriggers. I ended up using spoons and catching 2 ~20" lakers, such as this one:


Here is a sonar view of when I caught the fish, the arrow shows where I was cranking up the downrigger ball to get it out of the way and the line from the deeper downrigger gets thicker since I turned the motor off and was drifting:


The kids wanted to go see a talk by Smokey the Bear, so I dropped them off at the Stillwater campground and I headed back out. This time, I was by myself and I hooked two fish on downriggers at the same time:


In my haste to get the downrigger ball out of the way, I accidentally dropped it to the bottom as you can see by the arrow. I boated and released one 22" laker, but the other fish got off... :-[

This morning, me and my fishing buddy went out after I had figured out a pattern. The fish were also jumping at the far west end of the lake, so I pulled out the flyrod and caught one on a #20 Adams. After that, we trolled and my boy ended up catching one and losing one and I did the same.



All in all, it was a great trip and I would like to go again soon!
 

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Work2Fish, Two Thumbs way UP! Keep workin cause I would hate to have a guy like you out there not be able to go fishing. Love the smile on your fishing partner. Been to Willow Creek before right after ice out. What a beautiful spot and that stream along the road on the way up is geourgeous.. Thanks for a great post sir.
Craig
 

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Awesome report work2fish. Suprised that was all you caught at WillowCreek with a boat. I usually see poeple coming back to camp with a stringer of kokes. I too like the little bear-proof storage things there. I throw my dog inside for a few minutes when he is being bad, wish they had those everywhere.
 

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Thanks, folks! It did take me a while to get all the pieces in place ;)

I knew that my fishfinder had the ability to log the sonar data and then view it on your PC, but I never played with it until now. My sonar is an LCX-15MT, which is monochrome, so I was surprised to see the color output when I viewed the data on my PC! I wish it had a depth scale and some way to trace the location of the sonar readings onto another map. It will show you all of these things on the PC screen when you mouse over to a particular spot, like this:


I had my mouse pointing right at that big fish on the top left corner of the popup box, but you have to move the mouse in another window to find out where on the map of the lake that particular lat/lon is... On the other hand, I'm still new to this and maybe there is a way to do it that I don't know about...

Anyway, it was fun to look at the sonar output in a new way.
 

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gotmuskie? said:
Awesome report work2fish. Suprised that was all you caught at WillowCreek with a boat. I usually see poeple coming back to camp with a stringer of kokes. I too like the little bear-proof storage things there. I throw my dog inside for a few minutes when he is being bad, wish they had those everywhere.
I'm going to say it must have had something to do with the time of day as I didn't get my butt out of bed early enough ;D (yea, right)

So the answer is, I dunno. It was my first time at the lake and there didn't seem to be a lot of catching going on. In fact, when I talked to the camp host, he said that people were complaining to him that they weren't catching any fish! Poor fella. As if he has anything to do with THAT.
 

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wow what a great report :eek: its one fo the best that i have read in along time. the picture of your fishing buddy is priceless good job.
 

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W2F --- Mad props ! great report. I'm actually glad someone reported on this spot. When we went to Grand Lake a few weeks ago, the wife allowed me 1 hour and a 1/2 to fish. :( Anyway, I had heard from 2 different friends that you couldn't keep the fish off your hook there. I thought I'd report on it. Although I took some nice scenic photos, I only caught 3 very small Trout. (On a renegade fly).
What I'm very curious about is what people are fishing for in the pond on the way in? (on the dirt road leading to campground). On the way in there were about 7 guys fishing in what looks to be a small pond. When we left the pond (?) was packed w/ anglers. It's a very small body of water. It's on your left if you're leaving the campground. Anyone know whats up w/ that?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
James,

There were lots of people fishing at that little pond when I was there, but I have no idea what they were fishing for. There were also plenty of people fishing from shore near the boat ramp...
 
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