Photos: Utah’s Gorgeous High-Country Trout

Written by: Brayden Flake

The rewards for hiking above 11,000 feet are solitude and great fly fishing.
All photos courtesy Brandon Flake

The great weather we’ve had recently in Utah has had me longing for summer, while I sit inside and study. These photos were taken up in some of Utah’s high country, where my wife and I went backpacking last summer. She’s not as much of a fishaholic as I am, but she loves fishing up there. These trout were all taken at lakes above 11,000 feet and were some of the best fish I’ve caught at that elevation.

Many of these high-elevation lakes suffer from overpopulation, so they routinely stock tiger trout, which are voracious predators (and sterile), to keep the fish numbers down. These lakes show the success of the program, as the fish sizes are pretty good. I’ve heard (and seen pictures) of 20-plus-inchers from these waters, but the biggest we caught was probably a little over 16 (still great for this altitude). The tiger trout aren’t natural, of course, but they are beautiful, aggressive, and fight like mad. There’s still nothing better than the colors on the cutties, though.

Alyssa Flake shows off a beautiful wild cutthroat.

The pristine surroundings are an important part of the experience.

The tiger trout were introduced to control populations, but they are also great sport.

It’s hard to beat the colors of a healthy, wild cutthroat trout.

Brayden Flake is a student at BYU Independent Study in Utah.

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