Trip Report Uninta Mountain Upper Weber river Cutthroat, Brook, Rainbow mini grand slam w/ 2 hander DRY FLY

Drove to Utah to drop my kid off at the University of Utah to begin his college years and got a chance to fish with a guide to the headwaters of the upper Weber river located near Peoa, UT.

This was my second trip to Utah with the same guide - first trip was nymphing for monster browns where I caught a ton on the lower Weber. See previous trip report post for some huge monster brown pictures.

But this time I asked my guide if I can try dry fly fishing.

I have NEVER ever tried dry fly fishing because every river I have encountered everywhere else have been subsurface (steelhead, salmon, perch, bass, trout, mackerel, etc...).

Now to add a wrinkle, I asked my guide if I can use my switch rod (2 handed) for dries.
First he said the rod might be too long.
Then I countered and said my G Loomis rod is 10'6" while his Sage VXP single hander was 10' - only half a foot different.
Second he said dry lines w/ tapered leaders only - I said sure - OPST Commando and Airflo Rage heads w/ tapered leaders.
Finally he could not find a reason to deny me. So he took me along with another guide on his staff along who knows a lot more about spey fishing.

An hour drive from Salt Lake City, we reached a private ranch near the Smith Morehouse area and fished all day.

It was a blast to see PMX, Purple Haze, Chernobyl ants, and foam hoppers being eaten off the top of the water from my 2 hander.

Caught tons of small brook trout, beautiful cutthroat, and a few rainbows. Did not get the full grand slam: Arctic grayling or Tiger trout.... Next time!

Most of the time to cast the waters, I had to single hand it but I also had times where I had to "reach" over current seams to the opposite bank and land the fly upstream without a false cast.

My guide was surprised at how good the 2 handed rod worked on "small waters". My idea of "small waters" would be a ditch, canal or a trickle of water. I considered the water I fished more like a river (30-40 feet across).

The Airflo Rage line worked the best - landed lightly like a scandi line but cut through the wind easily. OPST Commando head casts well but lands very heavy due to the chunky nature of the short head.

Some pictures:
IMG_1462.JPG IMG_1458.JPG IMG_1465.JPG
 

4sallypat

Active Member
Stillman Ranch - near Smith & Morehouse creek.
Great private ranch with access on the headwaters of the Weber via rod fee & reservations.
 

landlocked

WFF Supporter
Thats nice water up there (also fun for cat skiing in the winter)! My in laws have a cabin about 5 miles towards Park City from the gate of the ranch property you fished and I fish the Upper Weber in the small stretch of stream that owners in their HOA have access to. Nice browns along there. You are finding some of the good places to fish on your SLC trips! If you want some good guided fishing along the South Slope of the Uintas on your next trip, try calling Falcon's Ledge Lodge and ask for Spencer Higa. You won't be disapointed in the waters they have access to there.
 

4sallypat

Active Member
Thats nice water up there (also fun for cat skiing in the winter)! My in laws have a cabin about 5 miles towards Park City from the gate of the ranch property you fished and I fish the Upper Weber in the small stretch of stream that owners in their HOA have access to. Nice browns along there. You are finding some of the good places to fish on your SLC trips! If you want some good guided fishing along the South Slope of the Uintas on your next trip, try calling Falcon's Ledge Lodge and ask for Spencer Higa. You won't be disapointed in the waters they have access to there.
Thanks for the referral.
Yes, I do love the solitude and beauty of the Uinta mountain river systems better than the lower and middle Weber which are more urban.
I will be exploring the fall fishing options in the Uintas as I am going to visit the son for a Ute / UCLA game coming up.

I noticed there are lots of snow cats at the Smith Morehouse area - it's a big winter business. My guide does snowcat tours in the winter - he has his office at Snowbird where he books clients to winter activities.
Interesting to hear that people who are normally sea level come up 12,000 feet to Snowbird and do the snowcat tours and then pass out. My guide says now he carries recreational oxygen for those that have a hard time adjusting to the altitude.

I remember years ago when I skiied Snowbird and had to take 2 days to get adjusted to the altitude....
 

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