North Fork of the Clearwater - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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North Fork of the Clearwater

I'm going out to the CW for almost 2 weeks starting sept 29. Obviously steelhead fishing, but like to explore a bit and take some photos. I asked around about this two years ago, but never got much of an enthusiastic response.
What is the North fork of the CW like ? Obviously no steelhead because of the dam, but I would expect some phenominal trout fishing and some nice scenery.
Is it a reasonable drive in a 2wd rental car ? Will I get run over by logging trucks ? Does anyone go up there this time of the year ? I do understand it's about 2 hours from Orifino. I saw that there is some kind of national forest work center, near a campground called Aquarious, which seems to be the closest point from civilization. Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jay
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-27-2012, 10:56 PM
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The NF is sweet.

Some great camping up there. I can't speak to the trout fishing too much. I've caught a couple up there with a 4-weight single-hander so I suppose that speaks for itself, since I know just about zero as far as trout fishing goes. We always went up there for kayaking.

But the area is stellar. Your car should be fine if you're not rally driving. From Aquarius you can drive upstream maybe 40+ miles to Kelly Creek and a bit beyond. In between, you can drive up Black Canyon, Orogrande Creek, Quartz Creek, Skull Creek, and possibly one or two others. With the exception of Orogrande, the roads all dead-end at some point but you can hike upstream past that. There's hiking all over the place. Quartz and Black Canyon both (I believe) have had landslides sometime in the past 25-or-so years that have dammed the creeks and created little lakes. Actually, I'm a bit cloudy on that now that I think on it. But it might be worth checking out since the creeks themselves will be trickles in the summer and fall.

Love the NF.

"I was spey casting for sure. Everything else I'm unsure about." ~Mumbles
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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thanks Elvez

I will really try to make it up there this year. Maybe bring a 4 wt rod even.

JP
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 10:00 PM
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NF Clearwater

Hey friend, I saw your note about the NF and thought I'd add a few comments.

What you can expect: beautiful pristine mountainous country and great trout fishing in a near wilderness setting. We've had a bad fire season this year, and I don't know if that area has any travel restrictions, but you might check the Clearwater National Forest website for info.

One advantage to the NF versus the mainstem is that on the NF you won't have the constant stream of traffic that you'll have along Highway 12 when you're chasing chrome. If one of your goals is to hear water moving over rocks without trucks in the background, head for the NF. A yellow size #10 stimulator should be all you'll need this time of year.

Rocksteady
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 10:01 PM
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NF Clearwater

Guess I should check the year before posting. ha ha ha
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 12:25 AM
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you can certainly drive up and fish the Lochsa in a 2wd rental car great camping and fishing without any gravel roads...

"Never be afraid to show love" Frank Moore
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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The road uphill

I drove up to Missoula on 12 one winter and it all looked so nice. The lack of buildings is amazing.

JP
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