Boulder Mtn & Fish Lake

Deadeye008

Hambone
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
742
I had been planning this trip for a while. There were only two types of trout that populate Utah waters that I had yet to catch. This trip took care of one of those. The Colorado River Cutthroat. The last one being a Golden Trout(Hopefully I'll take this one off the list with a trip in June.) The plan was to head up to this lake Friday morning, fish all day Friday and then fish the lake Saturday morning as well. Things didn't quite go as planned. We left Friday morning and got down to our campsite around noon. To get back to this lake requires about a half mile hike which is all uphill. When we got to camp the skies were fairly clear but the wind was blowing. We grabbed our gear and headed for the lake. Cutthroat trout spawn in the Spring and I had planned this trip at this time of year specifically to catch these fish because of their brilliant spawning colors. I figured that since we had a mild winter and mild spring that the fish would definitely be spawning by now. When we arrived at the lake I immediately scanned it for any shallow areas with gravel as I knew this would be where the spawning fish would be found. By this time the wind had really started to pick up making it very difficult to see into the water even with polarized glasses. We spotted the inlet of the lake and decided to head over to it as there would most likely be a shallow, gravel area near it. When we arrived at the inlet there was indeed a large shallow, gravel area but we could not see any fish. Mostly because of the wind. I threw on a fly and began to cast in a fan like pattern across the shallow, gravel area to see if I could hook into something. Casting was made very dificult because of the wind. This lake is known for large fish and that's what we had come for. After a while, and no sign of fish, we decided to move around the lake and see if we could spot any cruising fish or spot another area where the fish might be spawning. We made our way around the lake trying a few spots with no luck and no sign of fish. I was beginning to think maybe we were at the wrong lake... Then near the outlet of the lake, I spotted a few cruisers, and then some more, and then some more. The fish I spotted were not in their spawning colors though, which would explain why they were not in the shallow,gravel areas we had been looking for. Most of the fish we spotted were average sized cutthroats but we did see some football sized trout in there that got me pretty excited. We spent the next 45 min trying to hook up with some of them but to no avail. These were some of the most picky fish I have ever encountered. I'm not sure if it was because they were still a little lethargic from the winter or what but I had tried about a dozen different flies and hadn't had any takers. We decided to check out the little creek that runs out of the river. The creek varies from about 10ft wide down to 3ft wide and was no more than a foot deep in the 50 yds of it that we fished. It was however, and to my delight, full of spawning cutthroat trout. The fish in the creek were very eager to hit a fly and I caught one after another on an Elkhair Caddis. We fished the river for about an hour catching some awesome looking fish but none of them were what we had come for, the football sized ones we had seen in the lake. We headed back up to the lake to see if we could pursuade one of the big boys to bite our fly. By this time the wind had really picked up and it was raining. After about another dozen fly changes I finally found one that I had success with. Unfortunately, I was only able to attract some of the smaller 12-14 inch fish with it but it was still better than before. Only a few of the fish in the lake had started to get their spawning colors. Then without warning the rain immediately turned into a hail storm with pea sized hail falling by the bucket load. We took some cover to try and wait it out. Lightning and at the same time thunder was crashing all around us. After about 20 min and no sign of the hail storm letting up. We decided to cut our losses and head back to the truck after just a few hours of fishing. On our way down, the hail turned into snow. Visibility was about 50ft because it was snowing so hard. We arrived back at the truck, jumped in, and ate some lunch/dinner. After about an hour and no sign of the storm letting up we decided to weigh our options. We decided to head back to Fish Lake and spend the night there before we got snowed in on Boulder Mtn. The snow storm continued until we got down to about 7,500 ft and then the snow turned into rain. When we arrived at the Fish Lake area it was almost dark so we decided to find a camping spot and settle down for the night. I had planned on shooting some star trails that night but mother nature spoiled my plans again with rain coming and going about every 20 min all night long. In the morning we tried our luck at Fish Lake with moderate success. I caught one nice rainbow and about a dozen small Splake. All-in-all we had a nice trip but I think next time I head up to that Boulder Mtn. lake it will be in June so I can avoid the snow and hopefully catch the fish in the lake during the spawn.

Creek fish

IMG_5320.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Creek fish

IMG_5325.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Shot this with my new Canon 55-250. I'm really liking this lens!

IMG_5337.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Creek Fish

IMG_5338.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Not long into the storm

IMG_5349.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Camp sunset

IMG_5353.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Camp sunrise

IMG_5355.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

It had gotten down to 27 degrees that night and the ground was covered with frost in the morning.

IMG_5364.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr


IMG_5366.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Loved camping in the quakies

IMG_5363.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr


IMG_5376.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Fish Lake Rainbow

IMG_5385.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr


IMG_5387.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Fish Lake

IMG_5389.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Biggest fish of the day...

IMG_5392.jpg by Deadeye008, on Flickr

Featured image for slideshow:
slide.jpg
 

Desertrat

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
72
Nice trip report, looks like an epic trip with the hail and then snow. I have been planning a trip to fish the Boulders this year so this report is encouraging.
 

HomerJ

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
1,199
Very nice!!! My friends and I have talked about hitting the Boulder Mtns, but never have. Cool to see the area! :twothumbs:
 
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