It has been a couple of weeks since I have been out in the Uintas. Fall has arrived in the Uinta Mountains, and with it the seasonable cold temps have shown up too. It even lightly snowed out there midweek. I headed in to Cutthroat Lake on Friday afternoon. The only folks I saw on the way in were two Forest Service employees who were putting in a new stone bridge. After that is was solo all the way. The hike in was quiet. No breeze at all, just calm and quiet. After passing Hayden and Jewel Lakes on the way in, I pushed up the big meadow that takes you up to Cutthroat Lake. I arrived at my camp and did some quick clean up, which seems par for the course these days, then got my camp set. I did some evening fishing and landed a couple of nice Tiger Trout, then moved up to camp for dinner after one beautiful sunset. I eventually lit up the lanterns and got my fire going and settled in for some long exposures. You could not ask for a better night to shoot the stars. Eventually, it got cold enough that I retired to my tent for some much earned quiet time and sleep.
I awoke to the sun shining on my tent. I must have slept pretty well. The ground was crunchy stepping out of my tent so I could tell that the dew point on the ground was cold enough to freeze overnight. There was no frost on my tent or gear, but it was chilly getting up. I made coffee just to have a warm beverage as the sun climbed into camp and warmed things up. After breakfast I put it together and decided to head out to fish and hike over to Teal Lake. Cutthroat Lake was really active till around 1 PM when I wandered over to Teal Lake. The wind always seems to hit the south end of this lake. I hiked around and found calmer waters. The first hit I had I thought I was going to land, but it got off. I could see its mass as I got it close to shore, it was a nice one. The second hit was a nice one, but smaller than the first. It was on from there. They just kept nailing my dry fly. After some amazing fishing, I decided to walk around the lake some more. I found myself fishing again and landed the best fish of the day. After pausing for lunch and fishing some more, I decided to head back towards camp. I had seen a pond that previously me and my friends had visited before. It was holding fish, so gave it a shot. They were on fire in this pond! I spent probably an extra hour longer there because fishing was fast and fun, and the colors in the basin were just pretty to look at. I moved up to camp, and got my fire ready for the evening.
I half expected there to be other backpackers to have come in returning from my hike, but to my surprise, no one was there. It is rare to have this lake all to yourself. I got dinner ready and then settled in for some more fun with the stars. This night was cold, and I knew I was going to need a good fire to stay up to get the shot I wanted. I got the fire raging and played with the camera until about midnight, when I decided I wanted to crawl in my down bag and fall asleep. Morning came and it was a bit warmer than the day previous. Still cold on the toes, but it was not for long as the sun climbed and the temps rose.I decided to take some pictures and fish before breakfast. I ended up landing my first Brookie ever out of Cutthroat Lake. I knew they were in there, but it has been all Tigers for me. I shot a pano of the lake as the sun was lighting up the west ridge. After getting warm, I decided to pack it up so when I was ready to go I could get moving. The noon hour was approaching and I decided to head out. The hike out was the same as coming in. Silent, and quiet because there were no people. I finally saw a human being at Ruth Lake. It was a family and their dog. The temperatures were perfect and I was at my car before I knew it. The seasons have changed and fall is officially here. Not too much longer before we change this party from dirt dances to snow dances. Enjoy the slideshow below. More adventures to come.