Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moon Lake Resort

A good number of years ago, when I was still a kid, my family used to go to Moon Lake for a vacation each year.  We would go and spend a week or sometimes two and just relax and fish, hike and just have a real good time.  That was in the 1950's which was 50-60 years ago.

Moon Lake is a lake in the Uintas and is 35 miles north of Duchesne, Utah off of highway 40.

We would usually stay in one of the cabins, that is each family would stay in one of the cabins because there were usually 3 or more families who would go, and sometimes more.  There were a few time when one of the families would stay in the campground but we were usually staying in the cabins.

We did a lot of fishing and one of my uncles had a boat he would always bring.  My dad had a 5 hp outboard motor and we would rent a boat and fish from it.  We used to do a lot of trolling in those days.

I was very much into fly fishing from a very young age and so I always wanted to do as much fly fishing as I could.  Trolling was the choice of most of the others but I found that if I got into the front of the boat I could fly fish out the front of the boat while the trolling was going.

Another favorite for me was the beaver ponds that were just four miles below the lake.  The road passed right by them when driving up to the lake.  The ponds were right off the road just after leaving the Indian's Tribal Lands.  There is a whole series of ponds that run between the road and Lake Fork River and I always did quite well on them.

Usually I would wait until later in the summer to fish them extensively, of course it was usually later in the summer when we were up there, but the ponds would get grown in with weeds and moss and to bait fish them was a constant snag.  I could use flies though and just float them above the moss on the water and it was very effective.

In fact I caught the largest Brook Trout I have ever caught out of those ponds.  He was a 3 1/2 pounder and was a real surprise when I caught him.  However I did get several good sized brooks fishing there.  I still regret to this day that I kept them.  I should have released them and left them to fight another day---but I didn't.

It has been a good number of years but I finally returned to Moon Lake.  I think the last time I was here was about 1965-66 when the Guard unit I was in was graveling the road that crossed the Reservation.  That is at least 45 years ago.

What is amazing is that nothing has changed.  The lodge is still the same and the cabins also.  The campgrounds have been improved and expanded but the lodge is still the same.  It is like walking back in time.  There is still 15 cabins and that was what there was before.

One thing I did notice though, the water was quite muddy and had a lot of debris in it.  I was told that the reason was that the Forest Service had been removing some check dams from the streams coming from the Brown Ducks.  The dams were built back in the 30's and 40's by the WPA and the CCC as check dams for flood control but were no longer needed.

I used to fly fish the lake in the evening when the sun was going down.  We would troll up the lake and I could fly fish out the front of the boat and I used to get some very nice brown trout along on that shore.  

    It proved to be a very satisfying trip and a step back into time for me and I am glad I did not wait any longer to make the trip back.  And it will not be long before my next trip back, I still need to wet a fly in those beaver ponds!  Besides August is just next month but the meantime 'Strawberry River'!

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