Long drives and simple food seem to be the weekend ritual for me recently.  I got word from a good friend of mine that he and some friends were heading to the Boulders to do some fall Boulder Mountain fishing, and of course I had to join the fun.  Car packed and ready to go I sat at work waiting for 5 o’clock to come so I could begin my leg of the journey.  It was dark when I pulled into the camp site, the others were already set up and talking about their day of fishing. They had caught several nice fish but, the magic mark had not been hit yet, 20 inches or 5 lbs.  It seems these are the 2 figures most dedicated brook trout fisherman seem to look for and the boys had yet to achieve it on this trip.  No matter really, they had put a solid day’s work in and been rewarded with some beautiful thick-bodied brookies.

fall-boulder-mountain-brookiesboulder-mountain-tiger-troutWe chatted about the coming day and went to bed eager for the sun to rise to begin our assault on the lakes we planned to fish.  Even before the light peeked over the mountain I found myself in line hiking to our first destination.  Leeches seemed to be the ticket that brought the fish to hand. Matt and I were fishing a shallow section of the lake when he hooked into the fish that had brought him to the mountain from the Arizona desert. It put up a great fight trying to get into the weeds and break Matt off but it didn’t work.  Matt used his special Jedi fishing skills to steer the fish into my net at the end of my outstretched arm. In the net, taped and 20 inches right on the button!  It was an amazing fish that ended up being the fish of the trip.  The day proved more than productive with some great fish landed. We vistied a few other area lakes to mix things up and were rewarded at each stop with good fishing.  Some of the lakes seemed far more willing to evict their residents than others but every lake gave up fish.  We caught some tiger trout, some Colorado cutts – all good handsome fish.  One lake in particular was in a generous mood, the shore was litered with large boulders and the fish were grouped up among them.  We carefully moved along the rocks trying not to make much noise.  Every really good cast that was properly placed and set down without much surface distrubance sent a brookie rocketing out of the rocks to swipe at our flies.  The fish were on average about 12 inches and watching them jet out from the rocks made me laugh with reckless excitement. It wasn’t even really important if I hooked up or not it was just riveting to see.  It was like the lake created a time machine and suddenly the 3 of us were 10 year olds exploring new water and having the time of our lives watching these fish throw themselves at our flies.  It never gets old, challenging or not, sight fishing is always fun.  As the day ended we headed back to the lake were Matt had caught his big brookie to finish off the day.  Not much was happening but as the sun set I decided to switch tactics, I wanted a fat char to rise to a mouse.  On my 2nd cast into the oblivion my fly was smashed, when the fish came to hand it was a little cutthroat, it made me wonder what in the world it was thinking as the fly barely fit into his mouth. It seemed like a good way to end the day so we called it and marched back to camp.  The goal had been reached, Matt had conjured up the fish we came for, not to mention everyone had got into good fish.  Fall is a great time to visit Boulder Mountain and it continues to be my favorite place in Utah. It seems to never let me down.

photos by Matthew Harrison

About The Author

Hawg Wrangler

Derek Olthuis, raised in the wilds of Montana like the Jungle Book's Mowgli. Totally obsessed with fly fishing, exploring and adventure. When not guiding he enjoys fly fishing and Squatching for Unicorns. Fishing is fun!