Photos and Story: Magical Evenings in the Utah High Country

Written by Dave Danley, Falcon’s Ledge Lodge

The beaver ponds in the national forest produced some gorgeous wild browns.
All photos by Dave Danley

This year–with a very large winter snowpack and a cool, wet spring in Utah–most of our rivers were blown out with heavy runoff for most of June. We turned to some areas that we don’t fish very often, such as beaver ponds, backwaters, and lakes. A few different evenings in June, I drove up canyons in the beautiful national forest above Falcon’s Ledge Lodge and spent the evening casting on some of these beaver ponds and backwaters.

What’s better than a beautiful evening casting to rising trout in the high country?

There were nice evening midge hatches, and every time I went I found browns rising for emerging midges. One evening in particular, the bugs were hatching especially thick and the fish were feeding heavily. I tied on a size 14 PMX with a rust-colored midge emerger on an 18-inch dropper and fished for a couple hours, sight-casting to rising fish.

Browns and tiger trout were feeding on emerging midges and occasionally taking the attractor “indicator” fly.

It was a gorgeous evening, and I was rewarded with a half dozen beautiful, wild brown trout up to 22 inches and a couple of spectacular tiger trout. Most of the fish took the midge emerger, but a few took the PMX.  Sometimes blown-out rivers are not a bad thing, as the situation forces you to explore–often with great success.

Dave Danley is operations manager at Falcon’s Ledge in Altamont, Utah, and a former Trout Bum of the Week.

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