One August day about twenty years ago I traveled with wife Carol and Jessie our Lab to the Aldous Lake trail head north of the Clark County ranching community of Kilgore. Our plans were to spend the night away from civilization, relax, and do some hiking and fishing. We packed overnight camping gear, float tube, waders, fly fishing equipment, and enough for a few good meals during the stay. On arriving at the trail head around late morning, I curiously noticed a parked sedan. It sported Utah registration plates and rental car identity. We geared up, hiked the mile and a quarter up to the lake and saw a lone float tuber on it. We set up camp and noticed cutthroat trout rising as expected to emerging speckled duns on the lake. I donned waders, strung up with a speckled dun emerger pattern, hopped into the float tube, and paddled out on the lake. Catching was easy, and I began comparing the experience with the lone float tuber. To my surprise he responded in a thick New York accent. How in heck did he find this place! So I had to ask how because this remote little lake rich in cutthroat trout is off the beaten path.
” I came to Idaho to fish the Henry’s Fork, but crowds around the Last Chance-Harriman offered little solitude. So I stopped at Mike Lawson’s Henry’s Fork Anglers asking for fishing with solitude. They suggested this place, so I rented a float tube and fins, picked up some speckled dun patterns, and here I am. I got here a few hours before you and have had some of the best trout fishing of my life. Problem is I gotta leave soon to take this gear back to Mike’s, drive to Salt Lake, turn in the car, and catch an early morning flight back to LaGuardia. Sad to be leaving such a great time.”
Having a great time catching cutts ranging to around twenty inches was no problem that day, and doing so without any other anglers around was a real treat. Aldous Lake, no more that a pond, offers that experience if you are willing to pack a float tube and waders for a mile and a quarter up a well-maintained, non-motorized trail. You get there after traveling Interstate-15 to Dubois, Idaho. There you exit and go east on county highway A2 to Kilgore. From there you hang a left ( go west) to the nearby East Camas-Ching Creek Road, take a right and follow the road to its end at the trail head. From the Island Park area, take the Yale-Kilgore Road west to Kilgore. After a short but exhilarating hike, you come to the lake on the south side of the Centennial Range, and just below the Continental Divide. Yellowstone cutthroat trout inhabit the lake. Some limited spawning occurs in the outlet, so from time to time IDF&G enhances their population. All you need to enjoy these cutts is a floating line, long leader, and reasonable physical condition. If you choose to wade, bring your roll casting skills because most of the shoreline is forested. But a packable float tube gets you onto the lake to enjoy cruising cutts picking off emerging damselflies in late June or speckled duns emerging from late July into September. The same cutts will take small leech or scud patterns just about any time. The mostly uphill walk to the lake pretty much guarantees only a few anglers being present, and even fewer will pack a float tube. Bring potable water, a shielding hat, and sun screen. You will be in for a near wilderness experience.