The Gates of Lodore and Jones Hole Creek


Took a trip with the family to raft/kayak the Gates of Lodore section of the Green River in Colorado/Utah over the Memorial Day Weekend. We flew in to Salt Lake City and drove 4 hrs to the North end of Dinosaur National Monument. We camped at the put in and met our guides the next morning. The other group on the trip cancelled so we had 4 guides all to ourselves. The Green being dammed is cold and clearish and was running less than 1000 cfs. The rapids top out at class 3 so paddling was fun but not too sketchy for the most part. My wife and I paddled inflatable kayaks "duckies" while my 7 yr old son traveled in style on one of the oar rafts. I fished the Green which does have some trout and several endangered minnow/sucker species. The water clarity was about 2 ft so fishing was challenging and I was skunked. Only saw a few Pikeminnow/sucker fish roll but no joy. Weather was nice 75-85 F during the day and 45 F at night with some occasional thunder storms. Saw lots of sheep and snakes. On the 3rd day we hit the confluence of the Green and Yampa which is an un-dammed warm and muddy river. The Yampa was in spring flood and was running > 15,000 cfs. Despite the high water and some close calls I did not have any unplanned swims. Our last camp was at Jones Hole Creek which is a well known quality trout stream. I was told there was a hatchery 5 miles up from the Yampa. The little stream was cool, clear and swift. The fish were hunkered down in pocket water and plunge pools. Caught a couple of nice rainbows in the pocket water with ant patterns and some Copper Johns. I hooked a nice 12-14" fish which looked like a Cutthroat (greenish) but it unzipped before I could get a better look. There were a couple of beaver ponds at the mouth of the creek which held a number of nice fish. Hooked several nice rainbows in the evening there. Although there were a couple of other rafters fishing the creek I ran into about 1/2 a dozen fisherman who had hiked in from the top. This was a great river trip with awesome geology, punchy rapids and some great trout fishing to boot.


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