Green River - B Section River Camp

someguy

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Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
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June 24-26th.

I along with my wife and two daughters spent a weekend camping on the B Section of the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam downstream of the Little Hole Boat Launch. The riverside sites in this section are hike to/boat access only.

On our way to Little Hole we stopped off at the Flaming Gorge Dam visitor center. I had read that the Bureau of Reclamation was releasing high flows of water from the dam to simulate spring runoff down river. I was hoping they were still releasing water from the bypass tubes so the kids could see them in action for the first time.


The requisite tourist photo from the dam overlook:


The release from the dam was nearly full flow with only the spillway not in use. This made for an exciting dam tour. You could hear and feel the rumble of the rushing water from the top.

Here's the view from 500 feet above the river:


The day we were there, 8500 cubic feet of water per second was passing through the three power generators at full flow and the bypass tubes. Its quite the sight to see the active bypass tubes close up.



After the dam tour we made our way to the Little Hole boat launch where we would set off on foot via an unofficial trail to the river camps. Our site for the weekend was the Bootleg camp a little more than a mile downstream.

Looking back at Little Hole from the trail:


Its a short hike to this site, though you do have to do some route finding to navigate the many social trails that have developed. The river camps have a fire ring, picnic table, benches and tent pads much like the more developed forest service sites. There is a requirement to have a portable toilet system with you as well. Unfortunately there was some evidence that not all of the previous visitors to these sites followed the rule :mad:



Once we had camp set up we tried our luck at fishing. We didn't end up catching any fish that afternoon. Later while hiking to the ridge top to gather firewood we got treated to a gorgeous sunset.





Saturday morning started with more fishing. Still no luck. We decided to try hiking to nearby Mann's spring to fill our water reservoirs. Unfortunately I had not studied the route very well and we became mired in thick nettle filled foliage near the stream we were following and an insane amount of cheat grass beyond that. I'm still pulling the fox tails out of these socks - time to buy some gaiters.



After the bushwhack in the direction of the spring we decided to turn back and just filter water from the river. Then later in the afternoon we finally started catching fish.



My younger daughter was excited to help me land this giant rainbow. She was so proud to hold it for the photo:


It was fast fishing for the rest of that evening until sunset. They were all aggressive, healthy fish. As the sun got low the river looked like liquid gold. The fast flowing river was super cold and wading in sandals was quite shocking at first, but I forgot about my cold feet when the fish were biting.



After all that great fishing we cooked some dinner and got the campfire going. Even though it was a warm night I was grateful to warm up by the fire. I had a full body chill from being in the river until dusk. We had a good time chatting and playing by the fire.


Beyond the fishing, it was a beautiful area to camp. The canyon had high walls, though not as dramatic as red canyon in the A section. Wildlife was abundant. A bald eagle did a flyby right in front of us on the bank, almost like it was showing off. We saw quite a few blue herons and ducks as well. It was a peaceful weekend on the river, it seemed like many of the fisherman that float this section of the river stayed home due to the high flows. The reservation board showed all of the river sites booked, but we only saw one other overnight camper.




After spending two nights on the river it was time to break camp and head home. I was able to land one final rainbow that morning.


Here's a few more photos of the camp site:


All in all a nice relaxing weekend on the riverside. We're looking forward to spending more time in these wonderful river camps. It's a good way to get away from the crowds that congregate in the A section just below the dam.

On the way home we stopped at the Flaming Gorge overlook to take in the beautiful scenery one last time. You can see the High Uintas Ridgeline far in the distance. Most of the peaks still have quite a bit of snow.
 
Last edited:

someguy

Member
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Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
41
There was zero top water action when I was there. I had the best luck bouncing maribou jigs along the bottom. Earth tones worked best, grey, tan and brown. I was catching more on the spinning rod than the guided groups that were working the big eddy near the camp. On flies, the best luck was with the silicone squirmy worms or san juan worms in pink. Larger scuds worked too. The wet flies had to be fished deep on a 12 foot lead after the float.
 

powderglut

In search of Fresh
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Oct 17, 2012
Messages
367
Excellent trip report! I think you got lucky that they were releasing that much water. That usually keeps many anglers from coming over. It's probably why you had it mostly to yourself. I have fished this section many times and it can be pretty busy when the flows are lower. Nice family trip!
Hard to say how long they had such a high water release, but my guess is.... it had not been too long, especially if there was no top action. Going from a more normal 800 CFS to 8500 CFS will definitely shut the fishing down for the first few days. Top water action is no longer an option because the higher flows will have dislodged a lot of food off the bottom. The good thing is the higher water moves fish closer to the edges and fishing deep with bigger stuff will get you fish.
@Nick .. I can probably give you some pretty good info on flies depending on when you plan on going. Let me know.
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
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May 5, 2012
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Great report, @someguy. I love Flaming Gorge.

I think you got lucky that they were releasing that much water. That usually keeps many anglers from coming over. It's probably why you had it mostly to yourself. I have fished this section many times and it can be pretty busy when the flows are lower. Nice family trip!
Hard to say how long they had such a high water release, but my guess is.... it had not been too long, especially if there was no top action.

BOR has started making routine releases of 8,600 CFS from Flaming Gorge during the spring runoff in order to help the endangered June Sucker downstream of the dam. My brother and I floated the A section during a high release a couple of years ago and it was wild. Fast currents and big wave trains. We made it from the put-in to Little Hole (which was flooded) in a couple of hours.

IMG_0174.jpg


_MG_3876.jpg


This year, BOR started ramping up the releases at the very start of June. They had to ease off though when the heatwave hit, because so much water was coming down the Yampa it would have flooded out areas below the confluence. After the snowmelt slowed, they pushed the bypass tubes back up to full capacity. BOR just started slowing the releases yesterday. They should taper down to about 1,000 CFS in a couple of days.
 
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