Up early, the surface of the water was like glass, I unloaded the fly rod and headed back to the water with the dogs. Knowing that the prolific Utah Chub was a major food source in the reservoir, I tied a bunch of white and gold streamers in the weeks leading up to departure. I tied one on and made a couple casts, still targeting stumps and their roots. Just as the fly neared shore, a cutthroat shot out from under the stump and grabbed my fly. Unfortunately, it was a short lived fight as the fish shook its head and gained its freedom.
The reservoir’s water was so clear, anything cruising near shore is visible. I saw a couple cutthroat swimming back and forth and shortly thereafter a musky, about the size of the one I caught the night before, was on the prowl along the shoreline looking for a meal. Very neat to see! Another of the reservoir’s resident aquatic life was slowly crawling from the shore looking for deeper water, a large crayfish I named Pinchy. No wonder the fish get big in this reservoir, the food sources are large and plentiful!
Pinchy, my new crayfish friend. WARNING: Doesn’t like hugs!!
With the dogs again wet and muddy, it was time to make our way to the day’s intended final destination, the Escalante area. Thankfully, since we were sleeping in the Jeep, it didn’t take much time to break down camp and be on our way. Driving south on UT-72, the winding road and scenery were beautiful, eventually opening to the alfalfa fields and pastures of Loa.
Panorama of the view to the east of UT-72
Our first stop of the day would be to a panel I had recently read about, the Fish Creek Cove Panel. While the panel has some visible vandalism, it’s still very nice with large headless elk in a procession, dual color shields, hunters bearing bows. Nobody was in the parking lot when we arrived, so the dogs and I wandered the area, looking at the amazing images.
The road in to the panel
Mira relaxing in the cool sand under the elk procession on the panel
Procession of headless elk
Additional images on the panel
There were a couple of geocaches near the panel, so we hiked the surrounding terrain, looking for them. We found the first, after a bit of searching, I chuckled when I finally noticed it. As we were heading to where I thought the other cache was, a group of people arrived at the panel. The dogs were wound up at the surprise appearance of strangers, so I decided to save the second cache for another time and hightailed it back to the Jeep.
I’ve hit all kinds of weather traveling over Boulder Mountain: fog, bright sunshine, hail (on a motorcycle) and this time heavy snow. I hoped this wasn’t a sign of how the rest of the day would end up. Part way across the mountain, I drove down into Lower Bowns Reservoir to take a look, the snow stopping as I left UT-12. Last year, we didn’t have any luck at this reservoir so I didn’t break out the rods, just driving through the campground and heading back up.
The road into Lower Bowns with the Henry Mountains in the distance
Took Lower Bowns road rather than end up in Tartarus eternally chasing fruit I could never eat 🙂
Back up on UT-12 over Boulder Mountain heading west toward Boulder
Once down off the mountain and into Boulder, the heavy snow turned into rain and continued on and off, all the way to Escalante. I stopped at Head of the Rocks, as I always do, because I love the different colors of rock layers segmented by the winding road below. Over the Hogback and past Calf Creek campground we pulled into Escalante. I hoped to head up to Posey Lake for a couple of days to fish brookies and rainbows and enjoy the solitude of the mountain. Unfortunately, weather wasn’t our friend and the mountain was shrouded in snow clouds. After a bit of thinking, I decided I’d make a quick trip over to Beaver for the night and come back the next day for a night at Posey Lake. I made a quick stop out on the outskirts of Escalante to fish North Creek Reservoir for a few minutes, but after one hookup, heavy rains and stormy clouds again pushed me back into the safety of the Jeep. The nasty weather would follow be all the way to the night’s motel where a rainbow awaited.
Head of the Rocks panorama
North Creek Reservoir panorama
Bad weather all the way to Beaver, UT
The rainbow at the end of the day