February 17, 2011

The White Clouds Of Idaho

During the Winter months I dont get to get out as much so I decided to write about the trip that got me addicted to fishing. This takes me back to 2007 and by brother Jason had the crazy idea of starting a tradition of going on a 50 mile hike every year with the brothers. I missed the trip the previous year to the Saw Tooths and I wasn't about to miss any more. We hiked a loop that took us to some breathe taking views of the White Cloud range and to about 30 lakes where I got my first taste of fly fishing. We used nothing but dry's and had a blast catching all the alpine lake species of Idaho; Rainbow, Westslope Cutthroat, Grayling, Brook and Golden trout.
We saw every side of Castle Peak on this trip and even got to see some mountain goats walking its steep walls. We Camped at Quiet lake, Baker lake and Heart lakes. We caught the biggest fish in Heart lake with all the goldens and one grayling from Hope lake which is a steep 400 foot hike from Heart lake. I remember thinking that the white clouds went on forever. You would get to the top of a ridge and there would be 3 more in front of you. Up until this hike, I did a lot of hunting and hardly ever went fishing and I remember the one experience that changed all that. We had fished Hope lake the night before and Jason and I got up early and made the trek back up for a few more goldens and the hopes of a grayling. I got to my spot tied on an Elk hair caddis made a some casts and started slowly stripping it back to me. The water was like glass other than the small ripples my fly made. All at once there was an explosion on the water and Fish on! It made a few good runs and by the time I got it to the bank, Jason had made it over to see how big it was. It measured out to just over a foot long and we were both really excited. At that point it was the biggest golden either of us had seen! It is one of my favorite fishing memories and I'm fortunate I got to share it with my brothers. Jason snapped a few pictures and I decided when I got home I was going to catch every gamefish in Utah and I aim to complete that goal this year!

Ants Basin.

First fish of the trip out of one of the Born lakes. Devils Staircase is in the background.

Pika live at high elevations and have a loud chirp.

Some steep terrain to get to Four Lakes Basin.

Picture of a picture. Serrate ridge is in the background.

Justin's Grayling.

Quiet lake.

Boulder Chain lakes.

Lodgepole Lake.

Castle Peak.

Westslope Cutthroat

Hiking up to Castle Divide.

Westslope Cutthroat

Golden trout on the fly! My life changing fish!

Castle Peak and Chamberlain Basin.


  1. Awesome pictures...and I especially like the grayling! I can see why it is called "Quiet" Lake!

  2. When God made Idaho, he knew what he was blessing anyone who travels here with. Those are some spectacular pictures. Sure appreciate you sharing them with your fellow bloggers

  3. The photography is as amazing as the fishing stories!! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!!