Sand Creek Pond #4
For decades these ponds owned by Idaho Fish and Game have provided good fishing for the public. Amongst other reasons they were established to help support the elk herd wintering in the area. They are the still waters furthest west of the string of small reservoirs located in or near hillside hollows north and west of Ashton. All these except for Sand Creek Ponds are private waters. Some are closed to the public, others can be fished for a fee. Still waters at Sand Creek consist of four ponds, above which is Blue Creek Reservoir. In this year of drought only the largest, Pond # 4, offers fishing. From Highway 20 turn left onto the St. Anthony Highway 20 Business Loop. Cross the Del Rio Bridge, and turn right at the sign indicating 16 miles to the ponds. After a few miles pavement gives out to twelve miles of dusty but well maintained gravel. Pond #4 is the first that comes into view, and circling around its west end one takes a right to approach the primitive boat dock. There are restrictions on all of these ponds. Yearly one cannot launch a boat on any pond until after July 15th. Boats on all ponds must be non-motorized. Pontoon boats and float tubes are ideal for fishing these ponds, although hard sided boats work, too, but because occupants typically stand while fishing they are more visible to fish. Speaking of fish: rainbow trout are the main occupants of the ponds, and they grow to trophy sizes. A lesser population brook trout is also present. One can fish from the south and west banks where rip rap piled to form the pond is topped with enough soil to form grassy banks. These banks are usually populated by local bait and lure anglers, an their stories of big fish encounters can be entertaining. When one goes onto the surface of these ponds, the rich farm ponds of the rural southeastern and mid western states come to mind. Here are copious lily pads, cat tails and islands of bull rushes. No bull frogs or turtles are present though. Neither are “big mouth bass” catfish, crappie, or brim. Also no snapping turtles or water moccasins to the extreme joy of anglers using soft sided boats! When allowed on the pond surface by boat, the emergence one can expect is that of damselflies, and a most effective way to encounter some of the lunker ‘bows is through presenting dry adult damselfly renditions. A bit later in the season speckled duns and caddis emerge with resulting gulpers taking action. As summer advances presenting grasshopper patterns on the surface can be productive as windy days blow them in from adjacent grasslands. All the season long midge pupa, small leech, small fly rod jigs and snail patterns will work subsurface. Best times to be on these ponds are early and late in the day. Primitive campsite are near by to help in being on the water at these times. Bring water and take out your trash. being adjacent to the Island Park caldera thunder storms an be frequent, so be prepared.