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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Green River In Browns Park Called 'National Treasure'

The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam is a famous blue-ribbon trout stream, offering consistently good fishing.

The "A" section of the river is the most popular. It runs for 7.5 miles, from the Dam to Little Hole. The "B" section receives less pressure but also offers very good action. It extends from Little Hole down into Browns Park.

The "C" section, in Browns Park, has fewer fish per mile and so it attracts considerably less attention. But studies suggest this lower section offers the biggest fish.

Writing for the Denver Post, Scott Willoughby calls the river in Browns Park "one of last vestiges of the American West." He defends that assertion in this article. Below are excerpts.

"The brown trout is probably my favorite fish," said John St. John, a fishing-boat builder from Steamboat Springs-based Hog Island Boat Works. "Those overachieving rainbows like pushing up to the top of the 'A' section and upper 'B' to fin against the riffles. But the browns can be anywhere. They're prowlers, predators, and you can see it in their size down here."

Although some might consider the less densely populated "B" section below Little Hole a better fishery, its 9-mile run contains Red Creek, as well as the marginally technical Red Creek Rapids, which can put off both fish and fishermen because of diminished water clarity. When it's in, however, the increasingly intermittent trout typically turn from crimson to amber and gnash at oversized lures with unbridled belligerence.

The section also features stellar camping for overnighters, with scenic campsites nestled beneath massive ponderosa pines overlooking the emerald water of the river.

"It really is surreal," St. John said. "This canyon and scenery, and the green water is so clear you can see the fish.

Beyond the fishing, the diversity of wildlife that includes dozens of bird species, moose, elk and a recent wolf sighting joins a rich history that predates Baptiste Brown and includes Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch as well as the 1869 voyage of Major John Wesley Powell to establish Browns Parks as one of the last true vestiges of the American West.

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