Things to do / Travel Guide
Avid anglers agree: when it comes to trout, northern Utah's got the West's best catch, with some of the state's (and arguably the world's) best rainbow, cutthroat, Mackinaw, and brown trout fishing. You'll also certainly have a chance at catching some of the numerous striped bass, crappie, walleye, whitefish, and kokanee salmon swimming in the region's waters. While the fishing is at its best from early spring-late fall, the growing popularity of ice fishing means that most regional waters are open year-round. Guides and fishing charters are readily available throughout the region, but you'll find a wider selection near Ogden, Logan, and Provo. You'll need to purchase a Utah fishing license, or a Wyoming fishing license if you plan to fish on the Wyoming side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
Lake and Reservoir Fishing in Northern Utah
Shaped like a boomerang, if you go fly fishing and cast a line at Jordanelle Reservoir near Park City, it will bring the fish back to you. The Wasatch Mountain Range quietly stands watch as you fish off the points and rocky areas - the best spots for brown and rainbow trout, as well as smallmouth bass.
The fishing is always sweet at Strawberry Reservoir, southeast of Heber City in the Uinta National Forest, Utah's top fishing spot for cutthroat and rainbow trout. You might even want to fry up your fresh catch for lunch or dinner, as the closest civilized area is about 30 miles away.
Flaming Gorge Fishing Spots
Utah Lake, near Provo, builds the state's fishing reputation with its large numbers of bluegill, bullhead, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, and white bass. Fishing is great in the evenings, and the area around Lindon Boat Harbor is particularly popular. Resourceful fishermen will bring bug spray along, as the mosquitoes in this area can sometimes be as numerous as the catch.
A northern Utah fishing hotspot, Flaming Gorge Reservoir in the Uinta Mountains is known for burbot, channel catfish, crayfish, kokanee salmon, lake trout, and rainbow trout. For kokanee, try the Big Bend area; larger bass are often caught from the Wyoming shore.
River and Creek Fishing Spots in Utah
The Upper Weber River, off of U.S. Highway 189 near Coalville, is a good place to try and catch whitefish and brown and rainbow trout. Fly fishing is especially good here.
Running through Provo Canyon, above Deer Creek, Provo River always proves popular. It is one of Utah's most beloved fly fishing rivers for brown and rainbow trout, and it is reputed to be one of the world's foremost blue ribbon trout fisheries. Trout can average up to 17 inches long and literally thousands have been reported per square mile.
Green River, below Flaming Gorge Dam, is one of the best tailwater trout fishing rivers in the world. While shore fishing is outstanding for over 30 miles, the seven-mile upper section of Red Canyon Stretch is the most popular - the river passes through a steep, red canyon that forms great pools and fishing holes with clear water and abundant catch potential.
Ice Fishing in Utah
Straddling the Utah-Idaho border, on the Utah side of Bear Lake you can possibly catch bear-size fish - weighing up to 20 pounds, even in the winter. Cutthroats are most prevalent here, but you can scoop up seven-inch Bonneville Cisco whitefish with a dip net at Cisco Beach in January, when they're known to swarm the shore.
From mid-December until late-February, just north of Ogden, Willard Bay State Park's frigid waters are stocked with channel catfish, crappie, and walleye for anglers to catch. Also near Ogden, ice fishing for cutthroat, rainbow, brook, and brown trout is popular at Causey Reservoir. Causey Reservoir is located on the South Fork of the Ogden River.
Anglers are hailing Jordanelle Reservoir, north of Park City, as the newest ice fishing haven. Smallmouth bass, as well as rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout can even be caught in the thick of winter. The best winter access point to the Jordanelle Reservoir is at the Hailstone recreation area on U.S. Highway 40 north of Heber City.
Strawberry Reservoir, southeast of Heber City is also a good site at which to fish in the winter. While trout is the main catch, kokanee salmon are also commonly reeled in. Access the reservoir from West Side Road or from U.S. Highway 40 on its north shore.