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4/5/11

Thousand Lake Mountain

THOUSAND LAKE MOUNTAIN


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Thousand Lake Mountain is a flat-top giant in south-central Utah. This high plateau crests at over 11,200 feet in elevation and is just north of the famed Boulder Mountain.

Though the name boasts 1000 lakes, there are really only a few and even less that are fishable. The Solomon Basin to the north is typically considered part of TLM and there are quite a few lakes and ponds there as well.

Despite the misnomer, Thousand Lake Mountain's handful of fisheries can produce some pretty impressive fishing.







From I-70, take HWY 72 southbound. Near Forsyth Reservoir, Forest Service Road 206 travels east about 5 miles before splitting toward either the north or the south. Directly downhill (east) from this fork, a rocky road leads to Round Lake, where some rainbows live and possibly some cutthroat and brook trout.

The northern fork heads into the Solomon Basin, where a passenger car can make it into the mid-elevation lakes such as Morrell Pond and Meeks Lake.

Morrell contains small to mid-sized rainbows, cutthroat, and brookies.  Meeks is about the same.  Floating Island Lake is a short hike from Meeks and used to hold the state record for tiger trout. It still has some good tigers, splake, and a lot of cutthroat.  The small pond between Meeks and Floating Island is loaded with tiny cutts.


Most of the Solomon Basin lakes have decent sized fish available and there several ponds near the lakes that also contain trout for those that are willing to explore.

The southern fork of FS206 leads to the high shoulder of the plateau's eastern edge. A campground exists and a trailhead to the other side of the mountain starts from there. That trail makes its way to Neff's Reservoir and Blind Lake, as well as some marshy ponds.  Neff's requires a good hike.  Lonely brookies await the determined.

Continuing south past the campground, stay to the right (or enjoy the ride down to Cathedral Valley to the left - Capitol Reef) and another trail head shows itself and provides some parking. The trail finds Deep Creek Lake and Grass Lake in only about a quarter mile. Farther south lies Snow Lake, which is very shallow and likely doesn't contain any fish.

Both Deep Creek and Grass have brookies, and Grass has had arctic grayling stocked in the past, though their presence to date is arguable.

The views of Capitol Reef National Park, the Henry Mountains, the water pocket fold, and beyond is quite spectacular at the break of day.





Actually, the views from any part of this region are amazing, no matter what time of day it is. Quaking aspen, pine, glassy lakes, and abundant wildlife are sure to captivate onlookers.

Deep Creek is a nice lake that sits around 10,500 feet. The hike in is simple and visitors will be surrounded by a visual feast.







It's a nice place to spend the day.

Grass Lake is just a short walk from Deep Creek and contains vibrantly colored, medium sized brookies. This one is very shallow throughout its length with only one real hole of deeper water. It's small enough that a float tube would be silly, but shore anglers face some danger when navigating the mushy weed-lined water's edge. Waders are recommended, as well as a buddy to help you get out when the muck grabs hold.



Thousand Lake Mountain is a marvel to witness firsthand and is sure to leave a lasting impression on its guests.







A lonely road awaits...

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Some Background...

WHY FISH?

Why not go jogging, hit the gym, start a garden or whatever it is that normal humans do? What's so fascinating about these slimy little creatures that live in the water?

Fishing is a bit more to me than a hobby or a sport. It's an essential part of life that helps me connect with the Earth in ways similar to the long-practiced traditions of mankind. Wherever man has had a water source, there has been fishing.

It's only natural.

Happy Fishing, Humans.

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