The Mountain Doesn’t Care

I’m back. It’s been a crazy year with work and bringing baby number two into this world we live in. Our son was born back in June and mom has needed extra help lately so i’ve been home a lot. Phoenix had one of its hottest summers on record and on a day when the temperature reached 118* I had to get something planned before my brain exploded. I sent out an email and this trip started to fall into place.

It’s been two years since I threw a line into the clear pure waters of the Boulder Mountain in Southern Utah. It’s a place that calls me back when I’m away too long. The high elevation challenges my brain and my lungs. The stark contrasts of gray cliffs, green forest, and dark healthy lakes makes for an awe inspiring trip each visit. Throw in vivid fall colors ranging from pale yellow green to burnt orange on the aspen trees and you get battery recharge like no drug can produce.
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With extreme elevation comes extreme weather. We watched the weather like hawks as this trip drew closer. Somehow I expected the mountain to be nice to us, to hold off a little and provide pleasant fall fishing. But the mountain doesn’t care. What we got was full on winter-like cold in late september.

Alan and I ended up being the only guys from AZ who could make the trip work. We left AZ with great anticipation. Day one was windy. We fished a lake with trophy sized brook trout. Conditions were tough. As fly fisherman wind is the enemy most of the time. It makes casting and seeing fish and likely fish habitat very difficult. I changed up my technique, headed for deeper water, and dredged the bottom with a sinking like. I was rewarded with several brook trout that satisfied the long wait I had this summer while helping out at home.
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We left and headed to the other side of the mountain where we made camp. The wind was supposed to let up but it didn’t. That night it blew and blew. When we woke up it was 21* and snowing lightly. I guess I asked for an escape from the heat and got it. Nearly 100* colder than when this trip was planned. Day two I shivered awake, ate some hot food, and made my way to the lake. Although it never got over freezing and conditions were horrible, we all managed some good fish at this lake.
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After covering a lot of the lake we finally found a large concentration of colorful autumn trout.
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The cold and wind was finally too much. Alan and I headed back South and tried one more lake the next morning. The wind had blown leaves and weeds over the productive part of the lake and so we called it a trip and headed home a day early. Three days below freezing with relentless breezes was tough but i’m glad we went. A huge thanks goes out to Alan for helping make this trip happen and then hanging in there with me through the rough parts. Couldnt have had better company, we ate like kings, and we even managed to scratch out a few fish. The Boulder Mountain will always be a special place to me. Until next time.
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18 Responses to “The Mountain Doesn’t Care”

  1. Alan Says:

    Good re-cap. Glad I could tag along with you. What a beautiful place and I totally agree…. The Mountain Doesn’t Care! You truly are a great fly fisherman, and it was a pleasure tagging along.

  2. Wes G Says:

    The spots on that Cuttys eyes are awesome! That whole fish is gorgeous. And man, I can’t get over that long Tiger towards the end, probably the best looking Tiger I’ve ever seen! And those Splake are amazing! Sweet pics bro

  3. Kenny Price Says:

    Nice!! looks like you guys had fun, nice tiger buddy!!

  4. Kyle Says:

    Thanks guys for the kind words. I agree Landon. I found out I do need a better sleeping bag though. Waking up chilled is no bueno.

  5. Landon Says:

    Looks like a good time and you guys caught some great fish. Love that place and I wish I could’ve made it this year. There is something about living in Phoenix that makes me enjoy fishing in cold weather, for a few days at a time anyway. I think part of the satisfaction is proving to myself that I can still handle the cold, so I can continue to mock the people here who wear a down coat when the temperature plummets below 70.

  6. Chris Says:

    Good thing you didn’t run into any honey badgers. That woulda’ been a whole lotta not caring. Thanks for the report, and beautiful fish pics.

  7. Kirk Says:

    Congrats to you and your wife on Thing 2! We just had our second in March – they change things a bit! Way to find the pigs in the Boulders. With the ease of access to the relatively small lakes, it always amazes me the quality of fish that come off that mountain. Way to get in on some of it. Next time you go you should consider a cast-n-blast. That mountain is blue grouse heaven!

  8. Patrick Says:

    Kyle… Super hard to time it just right with weather etc in the fall. Glad that you got into some though. Those tigers were gorgeous.

  9. marilyn Heap Says:

    Kyle these pictures are truly beautiful….So sorry it was sooo cold. It usually waits until October to get really cold. WE have had some strange weather. Hope next time will be better…..Love you and miss you. Hope all of you are feeling better. You have such a sweet family….

  10. Kyle Says:

    Thanks Grandma, we rolled through Hatch to shower and be on our way. Wish we could have seen you there. Next time!

  11. Joseph Durfey Says:

    Kyle great blog man. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Boulder and I’m getting the itch to go back. Take me with you one of these times!

  12. Kyle Says:

    Hey Joe! Thanks. I’ll let you know next time we plan something!!

  13. Kyle Says:

    Patrick! I just saw your comment. We had a fun time, hope to see you next trip up!

  14. DJ Says:

    Stellar job Kyle! Definitely the right time to get out. I was itchy too, but took to the mountains in New Mexico. Next time count me in for this one.

  15. Angie Says:

    The colors in the post are KILLING me! SO beautiful. Thanks so much for posting. I loved this! Awesome photos.

  16. scott Says:

    I was up there too that weekend, brutal weather. I think you passed us on the road to FCR, we were in the grey dodge. Beautiful area that i plan to hit again in the spring.

  17. Kyle Says:

    Hey Scott, that was us! Good to meet you, hope fishing was good for you. I guess on Saturday the weather got a lot better up there. We were on the other side of the mountain by then.

  18. scott Says:

    Weather was better on Sat. but the fishing cooled off. We headed to the east side of the mountain to look for some grouse.

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