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Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day With a Touch of Fall

The big Labor Day holiday is now over – which means summer is essentially gone. The leaves will soon start to turn colors in the high country in northern Utah. Most areas in the state will still have summer-like temperatures, at least for another week or two, but fall is just around the corner.

There is change in the air – you can feel it if you are in the right places. I sure felt it last night as I camped near Electric Lake along Skyline Drive in Central Utah. Temperatures were warm during the day but turned crisp as soon as the sun went down. I was snug in my sleeping bag and was very surprised to wale up to frost on my truck windshield.

Electric Lake is located at a high elevation and temps there are obviously starting to cool down. We didn’t see any colored leaves on our trip, but the Skyline Drive area will be ablaze within a couple weeks.

I choose to camp at Electric Lake for two reasons:
  • It usually offers good fishing for cutthroat and tiger trout
  • It is never crowded, even on big holiday weekends

We enjoyed a great trip but fishing was slow this time. The lake was not crowded. There was a concentration of RVs parked near the top of the lake but apparently most of the RVers were hunters, not fishermen.

Fishing usually improves as temperatures start to cool. During fall, when most people stow their tackle and settle into the recliner to watch football, the fish start to feed heavily to fatten up before the lean days of winter.

I expect our slow fishing day at Electric Lake was just a fluke – action will almost certainly be good this fall. Nearby Scofield Reservoir should also offer good fishing, as should Strawberry and other popular waters.

In southern Utah, summer will linger into October. Temperatures are still hot in St George, Moab and the nearby national parks. Temps at night will soon start to cool but days will remain warm.

Fall is my favorite time to visit Lake Powell. Hot summer temperatures will soon be gone, but the air will still be warm enough to enjoy time on the water. The water is slower to cool – it will remain warm into October. September and early October are great times to boat, ski and fish at Powell.

Our ski enthusiasts are hoping for a wet, cold fall to usher in early skiing. That’s fine, if it stays up north. I’m voting for a long, warm, dry fall in the southern Utah park country.

- Dave Webb

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