Fish Stories | Kyle Graf

Fall Comes Early

Written by kyle and posted on September 6th, 2010 | Comments »

Its been an amazing summer. Michelle and I have been so lucky to bring our little Kaylie into the world. Fishing has been awesome and I have gone head first into the fly fishing game. Time is flying by, July and August were like a flash.

Its September now. I love the Fall, crisp air fills your lungs and the fish change colors with the leaves. Saturday I spent the day with good friend Dave and we did a marathon day trip. He picked me up at 3:00 am and we were off.

Our first target looked awesome in the morning light.
We quickly pumped up the tubes and launched in the glassy water.
At 10,800 feet, this lake can experience winterkill. The ice gets too thick in the six months of winter and the oxygen levels drop suffocating the fish. We were hopeful that the mild winter would give us some hope for some holdover fish. We fished for a half hour with a few takes but no fish to hand. I worked in closer to shore and slowed the approach down. I went tight to a fish that had some shoulders. He darted side to side and took some line before coming to the boat.
Brook trout are not native to Utah but they do well in our waters. This one was 17 inches long and healthy. Fall is when they spawn and he was getting ready with the dark back and bright red belly.
Dave hooked up with two fish just after that. We knew we had lots more fishing to do so we left and hiked a half mile to another lake. It had succumbed to major winterkill and we didnt waste too much time there.
On to the third lake in this series. At 27 feet deep and with rising fish we were hopeful. Right away we were into fish. There was some remnant of spawning colors on these Colorado Cutthroats.
Not the biggest Cutts on the mountain but feisty and hungry.
After about 30 of these we headed back to the vehicle. Our final destination was a lake with Grayling in it. At 11,200 feet, and shallow, it would seem nothing could over winter there. But Grayling are survivors, able to take extremely low oxygen levels and make up for long winters by feeding voraciously for a few months each year. When we got there it didnt seem like the kind of place that would hold nice fish. We rigged the fly rods and headed to the lake. After just a few minutes there I saw a fish top. I was ready, rigged with a large Elk Hair Caddis as an attractor fly and a small mosquito trailing, I made the cast. I watched and waited as the two flies bounced on the waters surface. I expected to see a small mouth delicately sip the small trailing dry fly but to my surprise a nice sized Grayling came out of the water and crushed the big Caddis!! I dutifully missed the strike yelling out in excitement. About five minutes later I spotted another riser and this one didnt get away.
These fish seem plain but the unique sail on their backs is full of iridescent colors.
I caught a few more before I was too cold to keep fishing.
These bigger than average Grayling made for a great cap on the day. Fall is getting closer, I will miss summer but look forward to Fall colors both on the leaves and on the fish. Until next time…

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2 Comments on “Fall Comes Early”

  1. Brad Says:

    Nice dude! That looks like a sweet trip. I need to check the grayling off my list.

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