In between guide trips I had a day off to do some hiking and fishing for grayling in the mountains of Utah. Meanwhile, my wife was back home coordinating the assembly and packaging of 200k meals for starving children across the world. I was bummed that I wasn’t going to be by her side packaging meals for those kids. Instead, I decided to feed off of her good karma and hike in to a known grayling water near Falcon’s Ledge.

Our resident Chef, Scott Pizza, and his german shorthairs, Drake and Sue, were in tow and also in need of a getaway and some grayling action. We started out the day like we normally do. Puttering around deciding what gear to bring, how much water to take, what flavor of Spitz to bring etc. By the time we reached the trail head it was already 10:30. We briefly met with the trail head host, signed our names on the uinta mountain activity sheet (so that in case we didn’t come back in a few days they would know to come look for us) and headed off. Right away we saw rising cutts in the lake and passed up many more opportunities to catch sippers in search of grayling. Large, rising, native cutts are hard to pass up, especially when you are hovering around 8,100 feet in elevation. With a little encouragement from the dogs we continued down the trail.

Being a low water year we decided to fish the feeder creek and inlet of the massive lake. For sure we would find fish, but in the distance we could see thunderheads approaching. In the high Uintas of Utah, it rains nearly everyday on the south slope. Today was no exception. We fished for an hour with little success on dries and as the thunderheads drew closer, lightning entailed. S$$$!

There were no fish working, Scott was undoing his ump-thirtieth tangle, lightning and heavy rain were moving in fast. So I did what any self respecting fisherman would do. I tied on a tung head soft hackle pt and made my first cast into the depths of the inlet.  Counting down the seconds in anticipation of a take as the fly began it’s journey in the current out into the lake. Nothing. Lightning crashed on the hill side next to us. I stripped in 6 inches of line. Nothing. 6 inches more. Nothing. On the third strip, lightning crashed, this time in the form of the vibration of a fish eating my fly. The fish came up into the creek and flashes of blue on the dorsal indicated that it was a grayling. Karma was on my side today. Scott scurried across the boulder field to snap a pic before the lightning got any closer. It was done, we got what we came in for and quickly headed for the cover of some aspens and lodge pole pines.

On the hike back only a few things came to mind: Grayling are no different than children in third world countries. We all have a basic need to eat. If we see others in need, it is our duty to take action.



About The Author

The Fly Ninja

I tie fly.

6 Responses

  1. Tom

    That lake looks awesome! I have to get out and chase some grayling. Been putting it off for years!

  2. Grant

    Just do it Tom. Just.Do.It. If you need any direction feel free to email us through the site.

  3. Travis

    Man, I have been on the hunt for Grayling in the Unitas. Last year a few me and a few buddies backpacked into Duck and fished a few of the lakes in the area. We caught a lot of brookies but no grayling. After reading your post, I’m headed back this comming weekend to see if I can track them down. Thanks for the boost I needed to get back out there!


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