Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Other World!

I'd been itching for a Grayling trip. As things began to line up, I had one of my oldest friends in town from HI.  We woke up one morning and hit a REI garage sale to see if we could score a few things that we "absolutely needed," ha.  As luck would have it I found a righteous deal on a down bag and my buddy collected a few items as well.  Good start to a great outing!
We hit the trail in the afternoon and started the relentless uphill climb in search of Arctic Grayling! By its name alone the fish conveys something "other worldly."
Years ago it was this "other worldly" quality that relentlessly beckoned to me.  After quite a bit of research I settled on a group of lakes that seemed to be my best option for a local-"out of this world" fish.  It was these lakes that gave my wife her first fish on a fly rod, an Arctic Grayling! These fish and this place hold a strong place in my soul.
Enough of that tangent.

We continued our march.  Realizing this trip, unlike trips past, that there is beauty in the journey.  We marched intermittently enjoying the pleasures of our surroundings.  Trips past have been all about the destination and the fish.  To a large extent fishing is always the motivating factor through the miles, I rarely hike at all unless there are fish included in the destination. This is most likely why I did not remember the hike being so vertical, my only memories were of the fish and the lake.

I am lucky to be passionate about such a thing as fish.  They are very generous, both as table fare and often take you to the most beautiful places this earth has to offer.
Up and up!  Passed lakes, passed people. The trail peetered out into braided game trails.  We'd arrived! One lake, NO people! Ideal!

We surveyed the water as we prospected sleep sites.  The lake seemed to be barren!  We set up camp and strung the rod.

Down to the waters edge! The only sign of life thus far had been scattered tufts of Mt. Goat hair.  Wait, add one bleached mule dear skeleton.  As the sun set the water began to communicate fish locations.  I worked my way towards an end of the lake nestled below a cirque.  Structure began to reveal itself and I placed a peachy, little soft hackle, with a golden bead head just off the deep side of a submerged boulder.
Lighting struck! Not in a jerk-the-rod-out-of-your-hand kind of way, but just as sudden!
The evening light burst from the Grayling's fins as it attempted to liberate the soft hackle from its fluorocarbon path.

The remainder of the evening followed this theme.
We surrendered to the invading darkness and stumbled back into camp to share memories and updates of families gained.
I hit the sac this evening tired and rejuvenated.  An existence only mountains, fish and dear friends can conjure.
Thank you Father.
 By: Targhee Boss
Utah Fly Fishing Guide
Utah Grayling


  1. Next time I come to UT we need to do this. =)

  2. When I lived in Alaska and was dropped by parachute in very remote places this was our usual fish, often very large in small places. We took them for granted almost, hoping for sheefish, char, salmon, etc. Almost, I always admired them greatly. Beautiful picture you took and wonderful story.


    1. Thanks Gregg, I always appreciate your comments! I am always dreaming about someday having a shot at a big sheefish. Hope all is well with you and yours!