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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks to all who have helped me in the past and who will in the future.

My friend is visiting from a horrible state to the south of us and we'd like to do some fishing/camping on the John Day. I've never been so it's all new to me. What I'm looking for has to be out there and I hope some of you can point me in the right direction. We'll be in a truck and the dates are 28th - 3rd.

I'm looking for a place to camp with a truck, on a nice swimable/fishable/secluded section of the John Day. Any fork. In a hot place with no people and lots of smallmouth or anything that can be caught (and released) from the bank. Is the possible?? Any good BLM land or National Forest sections? I've got some good maps and would love any help. Not looking for your secret spot just a litle advice. Thanks IFISH.
 

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If you take a tent with you and all your food and cooking gear, you can go up the JD from the mouth, on the river. Head upriver to Phillippi park. It is free camping, but you have to pay to park the rig @ the boat launch.

There are other people there, but you can spread out. There is alot of Bass, Crappie, and Catfish in the area. Therr is also a running water bathroom and showers. If you want to be really secluded, than head up river, (stay to the steapest shoal due to shallowness of river in the narrows)and find a beach to camp on. That's always fun too.

Good luck and have fun.

[ 06-19-2003, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: fishchaser ]
 

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even with a boat you are limited to only a couple spots from the mouth to the narrows, cannot motor up past that point too many rocks etc... unless you head to clarno or some other which I am not familiar with at all. the camping at lepage at the mouth is pretty laid back, not sure how the fishing from there has been. If you can boat it (only way to get there)load up all your gear and motor up to phillipie(sp). catfishing and bass can be good up there. I would head to the santium (sp) myself...check out tag-a-longs recent posts. also for this weekend the weather is cool high here was 65?
 

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CT,

Head for Spray/Service Creek area. Great bank access throughout. Lots of smallies. There will be a few people but you can still get a way from them. PM me for other details if you are interested. Leaving tomorrow for over there for the weekend. :smile:

Get Bit
 

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Service Creek area is the place to go, a few people, NOTHING like around here, and a bunch of eager smallmouth!
 

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Have stayed at Muleshoe CG, about 2 miles upstream from Service Creek it is good but watch out for rattlers, especially after sundown. Good river access there. I also like to camp in the Priest Hole area, downstream from Twickenham a few miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is there anywhere to camp on the river in the Spray/Service creek area? We'd like to be away from the road if possible. Can we swim in that section of John Day?
 

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From Service Creek to Spray, the river is never more than a hundred yards from the road. To get away from it all, drive up the North Fork from Monument to the mouth of Camas Creek. Bass at the bottom; trout at the top.
A few miles below Spray is Big Bend campground. Bass to be had, chukar to be heard and there's a good swimming hole at the top end complete with a cliff to jump from and an underwater bench to clear. Don't slip during the approach altho with the river at this level, you probably won't get hurt.
 

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Call Service Creek Stage Stop (541) 468-3331. They are very friendly and knowledgable. If you and your buddy feel like increasing your fun level they rent rafts and provide shuttle service at the shop. Good luck. :smile:
 

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Theres lot of places to get away from the crowds, But keep an eye out for the RATTLERS! A couple of years ago up there deer hunting and had a meet with a suprised mother gaurding her turf.
Just about stepped on her and she began letting me know who was boss. :shocked: I was two miles from camp and away from partners a bit. Canoeing from Clarno to take out area, along way from any help, no cell service. Still brings shivers up the spine just taliking about it!

mtpar
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info on the snakes. How is the river above Monument? Is there a road that follows the river or just trails, my map doesn't show. Can you camp up there? Can you swim? Are there some bass to be had? All the help has been great!!! Thanks guys.
 

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Hey Cutthroat, I think the area you are looking for is probably the Priest Hole. Good camping, away from the road and also good swimming and fishing. Best thing on the John Day, is pick a spot, go there, and re-tweek again for next visit. Take your water toys with you and enjoy.
 

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Enter "monument" at www.topozone.com . The road can be found there. Go for it; impress your CA buddy with your pathfinder skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds great Captn, thanks. What's the general area of the Priest Hole? Do you know if the s.fork john day is swimable. Anyone know anything about Black Creek Canyon Wilderness area?
 

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Priest hole is a few miles downstream of Twickenham bridge, I usually turn off between Fossil and Service Creek, cross the bridge and turn right.
 

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Don't know of a Black Creek Canyon Wilderness, but the Black Canyon Wilderness runs into the South Fork of the JD east of the Rager ranger station. Last summer lightning started the "747" fire which burned into the Wilderness from the west and exited to the east. I have been told, but cannot guarantee accuracy, that almost the entire wilderness area was fried. I had a group of scouts in there two weeks before the fire, and it was a neat place. The fire also exited the wilderness to the south and reportedly burned very intensely through the Mud Springs campground. Another fire started just to the SW of Black Canyon and toasted another 8000 acres or so; the Murray fire.

For what it's worth, I saw a rattler down there that was honestly over 7 feet long and as thick as a fire hose. Biggest buzztail I have ever seen in 40+ years of hacking around that area. Carry a kit if you go.
 

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get some good maps and call the BLM they will give good advice if you talk to the right person, i would have to say that the priest hole area rocks! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wanted to thank all the Ifishers for the great info on my camping trip to the John Day. Your advice made my tip and I thank you for it!! The priest hole area is one of the better places to go I think. That strech of the John Day is magical. There might be a lot of people but it's great. Just use the pit toilets please people! We also camped along the South Fork, just before the wilderness area. That area is nice and rugged with good camps hard to find. Saw a good rattler so if ya hike it bring a kit for sure!! Good hunting area. Service Creek store rules with the best food and friendly service. Rent a raft and float to Twickenham and your trip will be easy, fun and epic. That is my next John Day adventure for sure. Thanks guys you made my trip.
 
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