|Sandstone columns overlooking Red Canyon|
|Utah Color Country - Red Canyon|
|Sandstone cliffs of Wilson Peak to the east|
|Southern end of Tropic Reservoir, looking south|
|Typical 12 inch Tropic rainbow|
|Cowboy and his dog moving cattle in Hatch Meadow|
|Looking downstream Mammoth Creek, Hatch Meadow (note Trout Truck)|
Panguitch sits on the Markagunt Plateau at about 8,200 feet in elevation, but the man-made lake is a very busy place. The best indicator of the active community surrounding this large lake is the presence of the new Mormon Church right on State Route 143 overlooking the lake. I arrived around 2:00 PM and parked near the Blue Spring inlet on the southwest corner of the lake. Even at mid-day on a Monday I counted four fly fishermen staking out the prime pockets of weedless water just a few hundred feet offshore. I tried not to impose on their “territory” and rowed my Outlaw Escape over the weed beds to the west and north of the "tubes and toons" flotilla (by late summer the weed growth is quite remarkable at the inlets). In about three hours of fishing I only caught three fish (lost a hefty fourth after about thirty seconds on the hook), but one was a large cutthroat that measured over twenty-one inches. I couldn’t control the fish with one hand on my lap so I was forced to take the picture while it was in the landing net (for dimensional perspective, my landing net opening is eighteen inches by twelve inches, and the netting measures at thirty-one inches from lip-to-lip, so when looking at the below picture you’ll see that the trout is taking up two-thirds of the netting length). Using two hands I was able to lay it out on my stripping apron that measures up to twenty-four inches, and the fish was just over twenty-one, easily the longest trout I’ve landed since Henderson Springs in 2005.
|Fourteen inch Panguitch rainbow|
|Twenty-one inch Panguitch Cutthroat Trout in 31-inch net|
Lest you think my experience indicated the Panguitch fishing was slow, let me say the three original fly fishermen did pretty well, especially one in particular. They were fishing with droppers off a strike indicator. Unfortunately for me I had left my floating line in the truck, but I did switch over to a sink-tip line and I must say that made a difference, that and Rickard's callibaetis nymph. No excuses for me, but they obviously were using the better technique and had command of the prime waters.
|Jobs Head driving up Zion Park road|
|Mule deer bucks, Midway Valley|
|Trout Truck basking in oak tree shade, Kolob Reservoir|
|Driving off Kolob Terrace, looking towards Zion Park|
|One more look at the cutthroat...|