Fishing/Backpacking advice for the Uintas (Ruth,Cutthroat,Teal)

Austin

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Jul 19, 2016
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I have been wanting to backpack and fish up at the lakes in the Uintas but have almost no fishing experience. I will be backpacking along Ruth, cutthroat, and teal lake and would love any advice for that area, or fishing in general. What type of fish to plan for (how to plan for them)? what lakes are better in this area? Type of gear that i will need, or gear that you have personally used? Also any other advice you might have! Thanks
 

someguy

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Jul 8, 2015
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The primary fish you will encounter in the high mountain lakes and streams of the Uintas are Brook, Cutthroat and Tiger trout. A few lakes have Arctic Greyling and you'll find Rainbow trout in the lakes near the Mirror Lake Highway. In general the fish are eager to feed, but they can be a little wary of larger lures or bait rigs.

You can do well with a simple spinning rod or a fly rod, so you can pick whatever fishing style works for you. I've been using my spinning rod more this season because of its versatility.

On lakes, I've had good luck using a fly and bubble rig set up with a small dry fly 3-4' behind the clear bubble. Griffith's gnat, parachute adams or royal humpy seem to get consistent strikes if you see the fish are top feeding. Spinners and lures can get you some fast action as well. A small Jake's spin-a-lure in the classic red dot pattern does well as do panther martin spinners.

For streams you can usually float a fly over a slow section and connect with plenty of cigar-sized brookies and cutthroats. The fish are small but you'll hook a lot of them.
 

Jackson

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No fishing experience here, but at the very least, I remember seeing lots of fish rising in the evening when I camped at Cutthroat last October.

If you haven't been to that area, I think Cutthroat is the most scenic of the three. Good campsites around it. When you're headed there, if you stay close to the mountain on the north after you've gone off the trail, expect to hop across a fair amount of deadfall. I hear going farther south helps to avoid it, albeit making your hike slightly longer. When I walked the shore of Teal, I didn't see many great spots to camp. And you can expect Ruth to be pretty busy.
 

DrNed

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Avoid camping at Ruth instead stay at Hayden lake. No fishing there but it has a great camp spot and you're within spitting distance of Ruth without the crowds of Ruth.
 

Dallin

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Aug 15, 2016
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My wife and I went up there a month or so ago and camped at Teal Lake. There wasn't a defined trail to get to the lake, so we bush-wacked over there. It was a beautiful place to camp. I only had a fly rod. I caught a few really small cuts in teal lake the night we got there. Another person was at the lake using spinners and was catching a lot of fish--even a decent sized tiger. The next morning as we were hiking out, we ran into a few people fly fishing on the other side of the lake. They caught a few fish on what looked like a very large Griffiths gnat. We went up to Cutthroat Lake and fished the banks. We caught a bunch of 8-12 inchers (all brookies). On our way back I caught one really small cut at Jewel lake right before it started down pouring rain. I've heard there are some good sized tigers in Jewel.
 

Dallin

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Aug 15, 2016
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Avoid camping at Ruth instead stay at Hayden lake. No fishing there but it has a great camp spot and you're within spitting distance of Ruth without the crowds of Ruth.
I agree not to camp at Ruth--there were tons of people and the mosquitoes were far worse there than at any of the other lakes we visited.
 

seekinglost

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Jun 18, 2015
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I fished a little in the Red Castle area a couple years ago and did pretty well. Good size tigers. Tasty too.

My experience with fishing high alpine lakes is, the fish usually bite pretty much anything if they're around. I use a spinning reel setup, and typically use mepps spinners, rooster tails, little cleo spoons. If you want to fish with flies on a spinning reel, look into what's called a "bubble". I had god success with it last year fishing high alpine lakes in the Sawtooths. The bubble is like a float that fills with water, and gives you the weight you need to cast the fly. The bubble slides over your line before you tie on the fly. I used simple black ant or spider type flies and slayed 'em... on one lake in the Sawtooths I caught like 40 trout in 2 hours. If you're going with a spinning reel setup, get a rod that breaks down small enough to not get caught on branches and stuff while hiking. The fish up here are not monsters, you can use pretty light gear.
 

Kyle P

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Jul 25, 2013
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I fished a little in the Red Castle area a couple years ago and did pretty well. Good size tigers. Tasty too.

I'm assuming you are talking about Tiger Trout? If so, in the future please try to refrain from harvesting them. Tiger Trout are a Brook/Brown Trout hybrid and are unable to reproduce. They are often stocked by the state for anglers to pursue and are sought after for their large size and ability to make a rod bend. Another reason they may be stocked is to keep other unwanted fish populations under control as they will typically outgrow the unwanted fish and predate on them.

I have no problem with harvesting trout and I often keep brookies or rainbows for the frying pan myself, just be sure you are keeping fish in a sustainable manner.

I'm not familiar with the lakes you fished, and don't know all the specifics of the situation, so I am trying to speak to a more broad sense of fishing for Tiger Trout. Very fun and challenging fish to catch (so good for you!), but should be released.

Don't want to derail the thread, just want to put this information out there for anyone looking to chase trout!

Tight lines!

- Kyle
 

seekinglost

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Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
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I'm assuming you are talking about Tiger Trout? If so, in the future please try to refrain from harvesting them. Tiger Trout are a Brook/Brown Trout hybrid and are unable to reproduce. They are often stocked by the state for anglers to pursue and are sought after for their large size and ability to make a rod bend. Another reason they may be stocked is to keep other unwanted fish populations under control as they will typically outgrow the unwanted fish and predate on them.

I have no problem with harvesting trout and I often keep brookies or rainbows for the frying pan myself, just be sure you are keeping fish in a sustainable manner.

I'm not familiar with the lakes you fished, and don't know all the specifics of the situation, so I am trying to speak to a more broad sense of fishing for Tiger Trout. Very fun and challenging fish to catch (so good for you!), but should be released.

Don't want to derail the thread, just want to put this information out there for anyone looking to chase trout!

Tight lines!

- Kyle

Hey Kyle,

I didn't know that about the Tiger Trout. That was the first and only time I've encountered them. I will definitely keep that in mind when fishing in the future!
 

Kyle P

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Jul 25, 2013
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Hey Kyle,

I didn't know that about the Tiger Trout. That was the first and only time I've encountered them. I will definitely keep that in mind when fishing in the future!

No worries, I figured that might be the case and wanted to spread the word.

On the bright side, at least they were tasty and you enjoyed them! :)

- Kyle
 
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