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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring Snow and Brown Trout

East Fork brown troutWith spring sunshine enticing me, I decided to trek into Bryce Canyon country last weekend for a little hiking and fishing. It was a great trip – the trout cooperated and the weather was perfect for hiking.

I elected to camp, to maximize time in the area where I wanted to play. I’ve camped there many times and it is always enjoyable. On this trip the weather felt very much like June: warm during the day, cool at night, with a little rain and snow mixed in. It was never cold, not even when it was snowing. Bryce is located at a high elevation and it can snow on any day of the year. I’ve camped there on many a June night when it was colder.

The East Fork of the Sevier River heads above Bryce Canyon and flows north, past the tiny town of Antimony. The stream usually offers good fishing for wild brown trout. Small flies and lures enticed them to bite and I caught a bunch. The stream was picking up some runoff from rain and snowmelt and so it was a little high and muddy, but fishing was still good. Action there will get better as spring progresses.

Antimony CreekWe hiked up Antimony Creek, which flows through a rugged canyon off the west site of Boulder Mountain, and caught rainbows and brook trout in its pristine holes. It is a beautiful stream that almost always offers good fishing. The trout are small, most running 8-12 inches, but they are abundant and fun to catch.

Utah has enjoyed a series of beautiful spring days, until today. The weather has been perfect, in my opinion. A big storm is blowing through right now and it will bring rain and snow overnight, but then skies will clear and it looks like the coming weekend will be perfect again.

The storm could bring our ski resorts 1-3 feet of new snow. Skiers are enthralled by this happy extension to their season.

Me, I’m hunkered down waiting for sunshine. In a couple days I’ll head back down into the red rock. This is an ideal time to explore that country.

- Dave Webb


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