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Salt Lake City, Utah

Grayling - my first encounter with the gray lady

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Grayling - my first encounter with the gray lady

An Dinh

Way up in the tippy top of those mountains there are lakes that were stocked with grayling.

I've wanted to catch a grayling since I started fly fishing.   But the nearest well known lake that holds grayling is deep in the wilderness area of the far Western edge of the Uinta mountains. 

 On most fishing trips I learn something about myself.  Usually something I had an inkling about, but occasionally it's a big surprise.  From my recent trip to Japan I learned that I'm a bit of a softie and hiking for more than 3 miles without fishing makes me wonder if I'm making the best use of my fishing day.  Considering that I am also a very slow hiker, getting to a grayling lake 7 miles one way and then returning in a single day looks like a bleak prospect.  Most of my friends could do the round trip without  breaking a sweat.  I'm not blessed with long striding legs nor a heart or lungs that can chug like a locomotive.  I'm more of a pink puffer.

A year ago I resolved to get fit so I could fish that distant alpine lake.   I cut out soda, I lost a few pounds, and I started to hike for a few miles before wetting a line.  I was on my way.

Then I got a message from Lance that he caught a few grayling with his kids in a stream that drains those high mountain lakes.   Duh!  Lakes up high drain into streams that drop down the mountain and pour into bigger streams and rivers, washing a few fish down with them.  Or, I like to believe, that some fish get wanderlust and leave their home waters for adventure and the great unknown.

This stream ran next to a campground, so I'd be spared the 14 mile death march.  I felt a sigh of relief and immediately celebrated by loading up the fishing car with gas,  soda and snacks on the way up the canyon.   

This is a 10 Meter Club stream by the Japanese Harima Fishing Club standards.  But that was fine by me if it meant catching an exotic fish (for Utah).

When I finally caught a grayling, I have to say it reminded me of a slender Rocky Mountain whitefish with a prehistoric sail draped across it's back.   The fish here are small in the 5-6 inch range, so smaller flies are in order.

So for me it's settled at some point I will have to catch a full sized Grayling in it's native range.  Now I just have to decide where to find them - Alaska, BC, England, Italy, Eastern Europe?

Ready or not, here I come. (slowly...I mean stealthily down the trail)