Thursday, September 01, 2016

Emigrant Wilderness-Huckleberry Lake

Words, and even pictures, cannot capture the beauty of the Emigrant Wilderness, we visited recently.  Yes, it took a 21 mile horse pack trip to find it.  Yes, it was hard and even painful....  
....but the rewards were indescribable! 

Huge domes loomed above us at almost every turn in the trail!

Beauty Everywhere!

Finally, we get our first glimpse of Huckleberry Lake and we were stunned!

This is the view from our camp site....
....and every view of Huckleberry Lake was amazing.

Islands, huge boulders, and side lakes give Huckleberry Lake amazing beauty, character, and fishing potential. 

 Flats like this one enabled us to wade and float tiny ant patterns over the drop-off, where big rainbows were cruising, eager to eat our flies!

All 6 of us were equipped with float tubes and caught double digit rainbows and brook trout each day.  
Most of the rainbows averaged over 15" with some around 18", and even a few at the magical 20" mark!

This big trout was typical of our daily catch!.....

....and Dan's monster, 17 1/2" brook words!

One day, Nate Kowal and I, packing only dry fly rods, fished from shore, seeking shallow water, bank feeding, rainbows.  
It proved to be a good move.  We encountered big 15-20 inch rainbows all along the shore, and even though I'm sure few people fish Huckleberry Lake, they were spooky and required stealth and the right fly.  Tiny size 18 baetis and ant patterns did the trick!  With water gin-clear, we could see the fish clearly as they rose to sip our flies from the surface!  
It was magical!

With the experience of our great day fishing from shore,  the next day Philip Salibi and I ventured along the lake, probing the shallows for big feeding rainbows.

(Did I mention the beautiful scenery....EVERYWHERE?)

Although Philip had little fly fishing experience, and no dry fly experience, he was a quick study, casting to bank-feeding rainbows, all along the lake shore.

I certainly didn't need to ask him to smile!

Tiny ants, and baetis, along with big hoppers, made up our offerings, near shore.

Even though these fish are rarely fished, stealth was required!

Nate's brother, Philip, along with Mike and Dan, were fish-catching machines, from the float tube.  Most days the catches were way over 20 fish, fishing with streamers, and even hoppers and ants! 

After a long day of fishing, our appetizers really capped off the day!  Each of us packed in with horse and mule, so we had plenty of room for "essentials" like beer, cheese, and salami!

Sometimes the "road less traveled" requires effort, and even discomfort, but I am thankful to have been able to walk this trail with a great group of guys!

Many thanks to Philip Kowal, Nate Kowal, Mike Farracane, Dan Palm, & Philip Salibi, for a great trip!

I am especially thankful to our Creator for providing such an amazing part of the world!