Brad Carter | Fish Stories | Fishing Trips | On the Fly | Utah

High Uintah Grayling

Written by Brad and posted on July 8th, 2014 | Comments »

The fourth of July always allows for some reflection, gratitude for the freedoms and lifestyle we have as citizens of this great country, and an extra day off work to celebrate those freedoms.

Our holiday was spent in the high country of Utah’s Uintah mountains. Close proximity to a grayling lake, and he fact that I’d never caught a grayling (that I can remember) sparked some interest in making the hike, and hoping to catch at least one fish and document it with a photo. Accompanying me on this trip was my father, brother, and 3 close friends.  We got a later start than we had hoped and didn’t arrive at the lake until almost 3 in the afternoon. The wind was intermittent, and clouds were building as they often do during the afternoon in high country. I packed in my float tube much to the surprise of many of the passing hikers and as soon as we hit the lake I kicked off on the north side and dragged a beadhead as I paddled toward the deeper water. Before long Ben (brother) had hiked down to the south end of the lake and was fast into a grayling.

edited_ben_resizedBefore I could kick over to him, I had landed 2 and the action was consistent for the next hour and a half. As the wind would die down, the fish would actively rise. They didn’t seem too picky in regards to their dinner menu, as most high country fish are, and if you could find an actively feeding fish, a caddis or mayfly imitation would usually provoke a strike.

bubble_eye_webWhere grayling are plentiful, my understanding is they aren’t as sought after as most species. But I really enjoyed catching them and found their features quite stunning. Especially those big eyes, and an almost iridescent dorsal fin.

graylingtail_ftrThe fish weren’t big – most being in the 11-12 inch range. The largest was approaching 14 inches. But they did have give a few good tugs on my 3 weight when they would realize that they were hooked.


the_fin_webFTRAfter a few short hours, the hatch had died down and it was time to get back to camp. I considered the trip a huge success and look forward to returning someday down the road.


Brad fell in love with fishing the spring creeks and small rivers of his childhood home in Western Wyoming, however, the opportunity to go with Grandpa to Alaska really set the hook. Brad now lives in Northern Utah where he chases trout as often as he can, and mixes in a few trips here and there to chase more exotic species.

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3 Comments on “High Uintah Grayling”

  1. Brandon Says:

    That is awesome Brad! Way to knock one off the bucket list!

  2. Brad Says:

    Thanks, new species are always fun!

  3. John Van Orman Says:

    One of these day’s i’m going to learn how to fly fish. it just seems like so much more of a sport with skill and ability involved verses throwing your bait out and waiting. Also, I really liked the cleavage Ben is showing in the first picture. (brad please edit this post if you can:)

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