Uintas - Toomset/Ostler/Amethyst Lakes


Aug 20, 2014
I just got back from a two-nighter up in Amethyst Basin area. I got to the carpark at 4:30 PM and made it up to Toomset by 6:30 PM, so I was clipping along at a good pace - 45 mins for the first 3 miles, then 30 mins for that damned uphill.

I schwacked through the trees across the river and up the hill to Toomset and saw a lot of rising brookies, perhaps about 10-12 inches long. There was one large group already camped in the nice campsite there, so I pressed on up the gnarly boulder field to Ostler Lake.

There were three other groups already camped at Ostler, one of them horsepackers. I had to make a new campsite, something I've never done. It is a weird feeling to build a fire ring and watch the grass within it burn at the first flames. It was nice though, to not be camping in tracked out dirt.

I fished Ostler for the evening, caught a nice tiger trout and hooked a nice cuttie that got of at the last moment.

The next morning, up for some crappy oatmeal and then out to the lake in hopes of catching some more of those tigers. I saw plenty fish cruising along, but man they were toying with me. They would come up real slow like, inspect my fly, and then actually take it...but it was like they were just nibbling it with there lips, just enough to pull it underwater, so that when I did set the hook...I'd have nothing. Damn!

Anyhow, after several hours of stalking those pesky fish I caught a nice tiger trout, on 7x tippet nonetheless...I was pulling out all the stops on these guys.

Satisfied with Ostler I decided to head out to the river and Amethyst. On my way down the hill I super-rolled my ankle and sprained it pretty badly. I sat on the edge of the crick for a while to try and chill it down, and then sort of hobbled along the rest of my trip. I was hoping it would be better for the hike out on Sunday. Might as well not let it ruin my day...

Caught loads of little brookies in the river on the way up to Amethyst Lake, it was fun going of trail and just hiking from pool to pool. At Amethyst they were taking dry flies too, so that was a blast. There was a lot of people camped up at Amethyst.

On the way to and from Amethyst, I managed to catch some smaller cutthroats in BR-24, which was a surprise as when I was there last year I didnt even see any fish in it. Nice color in that lake.

Back at Ostler that night I caught one more sizeable cutthroat and then turned in to camp to make a fire and have some freeze dried meal.

The hike out took longer than the hike in, on account of my bum ankle. That's how it goes sometimes.

The timing was great for this trip - hardly any mosquitos, not a single raindrop, and the trail was mostly dry and in good condition. Also, they've cleaned up the road into Christmas Meadows and it is much better graded and more agreeable to sedan-like vehicles.

All of my photos came from my iPhone.

Featured image for home page:


I like to go outside.
May 31, 2015
I was up there last weekend and had the same luck with weather and bugs. It was perfect. Now I need to go back to see Toomset and Ostler Lakes. Great report!


Sep 21, 2013
Great pictures and nice tiger! Thats too bad about your ankle though. Glad you made it back out ok. This sure is a pretty area. I went up there last year and made it to Amethyst and Emerald (BR-24) but got snowed out before I could make it to Ostler and Toomset the next morning. I'll definitely have to go back sometime.
Jul 15, 2015
Beautiful pics! Such a gorgeous area! I have two bad ankles so hiking is always a risky move for me. That trout was gorgeous as well, thanks for sharing!


New Member
Jun 15, 2017
Excellent report. I am heading up there soon. I know your report is a few years old but Any recommendations on flys?


Feb 12, 2014
Rolling my ankle in the backcountry is something I have nightmares about. I've rolled them, but nothing too serious.
And those tiger trouts look amazing!!
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