Due to many variables including location, water, fertility, and lack of good roads, Boulder Mountain grows some serious wildlife. Be it fish, deer, elk, bears, turkeys, or whatever, this place grows them well.
Though my own trips to this beautiful region are few and usually far between, it's a place I'd gladly spend every weekend, if it were closer.
Many would echo that sentiment, so I suppose its distance from Utah's main populace can be thanked for its productivity.
The mountain (Aquarius Plateau) is quite large and this was my first trip to this particular side of it. Driving in, the landscape rapidly transformed from red rock to high aspen and pine forests.
The vistas were phenomenal. Photos don't do it justice.
After a lot of asphalt and and a really bumpy primitive road, I made it to my lake. The party I was meeting had already been on the water for most of the day by the time of my arrival and they were all the way across the lake.
Before getting my tube ready, I had to do a little bit of shore casting and was able to bring in a healthy brookie.
Nice and thick!
Taking that as a sign of promise, I got busy preparing my gear. In the meantime, a lonely wild strawberry caught my eye. A sweet, juicy little reward at over 10,000 feet.
Finally, I got out on the water and started kicking toward the rest of the group. Stopping to jig the rocky shoreline from time to time, my progress wasn't very great...or my luck.
For some reason, jigging deeper waters from a tube seems to sting me this year. Perhaps I need to lose the mono and get some line that sinks better. I've been really "off" lately from the float.
Soon enough, some rain clouds showed up and the fun was over. Those droplets were cold on the tube, mixed with the breeze. Back to shore everyone went, where we allowed the rain to subside while swapping tales of the trip so far.
The group decided to get back to their room in town and I picked up a few more fish from shore in the remaining daylight.
This was probably the best fish of the trip. I didn't measure, but it was definitely over 18". All fish were released on this trip.
The last fish of the night was in low light and I couldn't get a good photo. It was similar to the others though; lacking much color, but equally rich in size.
The temperature was dropping quickly and climbing into my cozy sleeping bag in the Rodeo seemed like a solid plan. The moon was quite the spectacle before falling asleep.
In the morning, I awoke to my Rodeo covered with frost and the windows iced from condensation. After some motivational coffee, breakfast, and a little fruitless shore fishing, the rest of the crew arrived and got their gear ready for the day's float.
Sadly enough, the fast fishing of the previous days had mostly fizzled off and we (particularly myself) had a hard time finding bites. I'm pretty sure everyone caught fish, but it wasn't consistent.
Being far from the rest of the group most of the time, for some reason or another, I failed to get any pics of anyone or their catches. That's too bad. They caught some pretty nice fish, some with really deep spawn colors.
My first fish of the day came as a surprise when I unhooked a snag from the bottom. This little guy must have been right next to the jig as it came free and got foul hooked in the side.
Though the fishing was slower than we would've liked, getting out in this beautiful area is reward enough for the long drive. Putting the miles on my float tube was quite enjoyable.
Just like good luck, bad luck must also run out. My only true catch from the lake that day was a girthy male. It was nice to finally get my hands slimy. They sure fight hard.
There were several issues that limited my focused fishing time, but even that was rough going. Oh well, that's fishing. It was good to get out with everyone anyway. Some I hadn't seen for quite awhile.
The drive back home was every bit as scenic as the way in, plus I went a little bit out of my way to explore some interesting geography.
The sun didn't hold out on me, at least. There were some beautiful sunbursts to finish off the day.
Spectacular. What a great place and what a fun trip. Thanks to the crew that met up with me for the good company.
Happy Fishing, Humans.