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Idaho's Robinson Creek Offers up Spunky Wild Trout
by Chris Hunt

ASHTON — I first read about Robinson Creek in a Yellowstone National Park guidebook that detailed the many fishing destinations inside the park’s boundaries.

The author explained that Robinson Creek contained smallish trout in pretty sparse numbers and that getting to it inside the park was such a headache that it probably wasn’t worth the hike.

If I were more protective, I might offer the same advice here about the stream’s Idaho reach, just to keep people from visiting the creek and plucking plump, wild trout from its swift, clear water. But, as fishing opportunities in more accessible areas continue to dwindle, the devoted fly fisher is forced to do some exploring, and if you possess an adventuresome spirit, you’ll heed the advice in this article and pay visit to this remote, rich stream.

Robinson Creek flows off a plateau in Yellowstone’s southwest corner into Idaho.
Journal photo by Chris Hunt

Robinson Creek is a unique body of water, and while it’s possible to access the stream with little effort, it’s most productive reaches require some work to get to — and that’s the way it should be, in my opinion. Great rewards come after a hellish hike into a canyon wonderland.

Flowing off a plateau in Yellowstone’s southwest corner, Robinson Creek enters Idaho with a good head of steam and, regardless of what the author of the Yellowstone guidebook suggests, a healthy population of wild trout. It’s a unique stream in that persistent anglers can latch on to four species of trout — cutthroat, rainbow, brown and brook - and native mountain whitefish while fishing its waters.

And, again in contrast to what the Yellowstone guidebook suggests, some of those fish can reach surprising lengths — the first time I ventured into the depths of Robinson Creek Canyon, I hooked a 16-inch brown on a gaudy Orange Humpy. On a later excursion to the stream, I landed a 15-inch brookie.

Robinson Creek is a picturesque mountain stream, adorned with swift runs, good cover for fish, large boulders that slow the current and waste-deep plungepools that harbor hungry trout that always seem to be looking up.




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