Fishermen often disguise the names of lovely fishing places.
For Paradise Lost is a bitter pill. A clue to the creek's real name is in this story.
Recently I had the brief but extreme pleasure to fish what I'll call "Spirit Creek" in central Wyoming. To be honest that's not it's real name, but for the sake of the story let's go with it.
Spirit Creek flows beneath one of the few natural bridges in the world with water flowing under it. The rock bridge is part of the 280 million year old Casper Sandstone Formation and arches 50 feet over the creek and is 100 feet long. Under the bridge are two gentle cascades that form two pools. The trout are in the pools. To say it in other words, the creek is a freestone dream stream located in a cool, green grotto with the songs of warblers and the shrill kleeer of Yellow-shafted Flickers out in the middle of thousands and thousands of acres of rolling hills, horse-tail grass and sage.
"The creek is a freestone dream stream located in a cool, green grotto with the songs of warblers and the shrill 'kleeer!' of Yellow-shafted Flickers."
The creek gave me trout at the base of a shear, vertical 150 foot tall amphitheater wall of red and gray sandstone. It was almost Eden-like and for two days, other than the presence of day-hiker/photographers and a picnic bunch I caught myself more than once believing I was simply in a dream.
But Spirit Creek has its dark sides. Indian lore tells of a time that an Indian brave was stuck by lightning near the bridge. He was killed instantly and his people believed that an evil spirit, a "King of Beasts," lived beneath the bridge and had swallowed the life of their proud warrior. From then on, the Indians would not go near the bridge for fear of the spirit. The area surrounding the bridge is also a county park that literally swarms with dozens of restless campers on weekends.
For the two days I fished it in near solitude Spirit Creek was magical. But, now inundated with the harsh cacophony of the clueless campers, the wildness and magic had vanished. What a wonderful world such would be that careless campers believed in evil spirits beneath bridges. That this place may become as paradise again. - WES:::