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Video: Bewildered fishermen encounter mountain lion in Flaming Gorge Reservoir

(YouTube, Michael Pearson)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR — Fishing at Flaming Gorge can lead to all kinds of surprises. You might catch a slimy fish that looks like a cross between a snake and a catfish. Or you might catch a monster lake trout that nearly nets you a state record. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be lucky enough to see a majestic mountain lion swimming right past your boat.

That’s what happened back in August when a large cat made its way past a group of shocked fishermen. The amazing video, posted by a user named Michael Pearson, shows the cat steadily swimming between a pair of fishing boats.

“OK, check this out,” said one of the anglers in the video. “We’re at Flaming Gorge and there’s a mountain lion swimming across the lake.”

The fisherman goes on to say that the group was heading back to the marina when they encountered the animal. Not wanting to get too close, the boats held back as the cougar made its way to shore.

“I did not even know this was possible,” said the stunned angler as the amphibious cat exited the water.

Once the mountain lion was clear of the water and had navigated the shoreline, it turned and stared directly at the anglers for a few seconds. Then the big cat made its way up the hillside, not even stopping to shake itself off like a dog would, as noted by one of the anglers in the video.

According to, mountain lions are present in the area year-round, though it’s extremely rare to see one. The cats grow to be about 100-150 pounds and mainly prey on deer, elk and bighorn sheep.

![Grant Olsen](\.jpg?filter=ksl/65x65)
About the Author: Grant Olsen -----------------------------

Grant Olsen joined the contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book “Rhino Trouble.” You can contact him at

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