Boulder Mountain is a high-altitude, rugged fishing opportunity that offers access to dozens of small lakes, similar to the Uinta Mountains. Many of the lakes are stocked and offer trophy-sized Brook Trout. Utah’s DWR says, “35 percent of the lakes on Boulder Mountain are managed for trophy brook trout, and 83 percent have a trophy fish component in the fishery.”
Lakes on Boulder Top usually become accessible in early or mid June, depending on the mountain snowpack. Some Boulder Mountain lakes are closed to fishing November through April, so make sure you check the specific lake you wish to fish.
Some lakes require hiking or backpacking to, especially in the winter. There are countless roads on the mountain, providing direct vehicle access to many lakes. Of the lakes not accessible by vehicle, virtually all are within three miles of a road. (Check with the Forest Service, because there has been a movement underway to close some unimproved roads, to prevent erosion and improve habitat for fish and wildlife.) Most back roads are extremely rough (in harmony with the name Boulder Mountain), and can only be traveled using high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles.
Location: Boulder Mountain area refers to the area between Hwy. 24 (Loa/Torrey) and Hwy. 12 (Escalante/Boulder) in south-central Utah.
One of many lakes, Bakeskillet Lake:
- Lat: 38°07’17.1”N
- Long: 111°30’20.4”W
See our reports on Boulder Mountain:
Species: Brook trout, Tiger Trout, Rainbow Trout, Colorado River cutthroat, Splake, and Grayling.
- “Fishing from a boat with a motor is unlawful, except at Wide Hollow Reservoir, Pine Lake and Lower Bowns Reservoir.” (DWR)
- Many roads are closed due to snowfall/weather November through April. Possible, October through June in years with heavy snowfall. Highways 12 and 24 are kept open year-round, except during major storms.
- "For spring fishing take along scuds, olive damsel nymphs, callibaetis nymphs, wooly buggers, CBS leeches, prince nymphs and blue dun squirrel tail. I enjoy putting on a second 'dropper fly' and trying for two fish at a time on the same line. When the fishing is good for the one and a half to two pounders, having two on at once heightens the challenge. [...] "A damsel fly nymph is indispensable in the summer and fall. Often there is so much feed under water, few fish rise. The best fishing both in quantity and quality is under water. “
- Best fishing: Flies and jigs in dark colors are usually productive. Small lures are also effective. In general, lakes with fast fishing are full of small fish. Lakes with slow fishing may hold trophies.
- Snowmobiling and ice fishing are possible, but anglers need to come prepared and use precautions.
Key attractions: The east slope overlooks Capitol Reef National Park and the south slope overlooks the canyons of the Escalante River, both offering spectacular scenery. Box Death Hollow Wilderness Area is located on the southern edge. Powell Point, on the southwest edge, provides an amazing panoramic view. Small streams draining from the mountain into the Escalante (Boulder Creek, Calf Creek, Sand Creek and Pine Creek) offer good fishing in rugged canyons with classic red rock and sheer cliffs.