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.

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.

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.

After covering a lot of the lake we finally found a large concentration of colorful autumn trout.

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.

Categories: Backcountry, Boulder Mountain, Brodin Nets, Char, Fish, Fly Fishing, Stillwater, Trout, Utah