Trout Fishing Destinations in Utah

Utah is blessed with numerous magnificent bodies of water in which to fish. Each one provides something unique and different. Choosing where to go might be challenging, with so many beautiful possibilities. In this piece, we’ll talk about some of our favorite trout fishing spots in Utah, which offer excellent fishing and breathtaking views, and consider the size and quantity of fish and the variety of trout species. This article concentrates on lakes’ location and includes classic bait and lure tactics and fly fishing options.

Techniques for trout fishing in Utah

The Key to using Techniques : 

Certain lakes have their strategies so you can fish in basic or sophisticated locations. In Utah, trout fishing can be as simple as utilizing a nightcrawler and a bobber. You can also troll with a dodger and a baited lure: ( Examples )

  • At Strawberry: you’re more likely to catch fish from a boat using a white tube jig tipped with a worm. 
  • In the top 50 feet of Flaming Gorge: A nightcrawler or PowerBait will almost certainly catch something. PowerBait or nightcrawlers are typically used for shore fishing. However, more commonly used on boats, lures offer a plethora of 3- to 10-pound pups that make good table fare. 
  • At Rockport: Trolling with Kastmasters tipped with a bit of the worm will bring in a decent number of feisty rainbows in 30 to 50 feet of water, while fishing from shore will bring in smallmouth bass. 

12 Trout Fishing Spots in Utah

The following list covers 12 of Utah’s top trout fishing waters. These lakes and rivers are listed in no particular order. They are all worth your time if you’re looking for some fantastic trout fishing in Utah.

  • Fish Lake
  • Flaming Gorge
  • Green River
  • Strawberry Reservoir
  • Provo River
  • Otter Creek
  • Bear Lake
  • Logan River
  • Boulder Mountains
  • Ogden River
  • Uinta Mountains
  • Minersville

Fish Lake

Fish Lake is one of Utah’s top ice fishing sites and one of the most popular and attractive places to fish. It’s also one of Utah’s most famous trophy trout waters. Near an elevation of roughly 8,800 feet, this blue water lake is located in south-central Utah at Central Utah’s Mytoge Mountains, about a three-hour drive south of Salt Lake City. As you reach the crater where the lake is produced, you’ll come upon Pando, the world’s most significant single living thing. 

The lake contains some of the largest splakes in the state. Although not as large as Pando, 16-pound-plus fish have been captured here. Despite being active through the ice, the most fantastic time to pursue these brook-lake trout hybrids on open water is late October. Fish Lake offers a variety of fishing options, including giant lake trout and nice-sized splake, rainbows, and plenty of perch. Lake trout are abundant at Fish Lake, and one technique is to locate a kokanee school with fish a few feet above or below it

Key Species: Rainbow trout, Lake trout, splake, brown trout, tiger muskie, and kokanee salmon

Best Fishing Methods: Trolling and Ice fishing

When to fish: All-year-round

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Flaming Gorge is Utah’s best and largest lake trout location. It spans from Utah to Wyoming and is home to trophy browns, rainbows, lake trout, kokanee, and smallmouth bass. Shore fishermen can catch trout with worms and PowerBait with bubbles filled with water flung as far as possible. Boat fishermen can catch rainbows and browns by jigging from the surface to 50 feet. 

This well-known reservoir, which straddles the Utah-Wyoming state boundary, has produced more lake trout over 30 pounds than any other fishery in the United States. Lately, the lake has created a laker of approximately 54 pounds, while macks weighing 20 to 40 pounds are almost regular. The lake has produced state records for lake trout, rainbows, and browns. 

The Gorge is also a three-and-a-half-hour trip from Salt Lake City. It provides lots of camping, hotels, and additional conveniences to make your stay more pleasant. Lake trout aren’t the only fish in the Gorge; large numbers of smallmouth bass and kokanee salmon also draw anglers from all across the state. So, Flaming Gorge has both magnificent views and excellent fishing.

Key Species: Smallmouth bass, Lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, channel catfish, and kokanee salmon

Best Fishing Methods: From the shore and a boat

When to fish: All-year-round

Green River

The Green River is a world-famous fly fishing stream in northeastern Utah, just below the Flaming Gorge Dam. Because of the abundance of enormous trout in its pure waters has been dubbed The best trout stream for fly fishing in the lower 48 states. 

There are three portions of the crystal clear Green River (A, B, C). From the dam to Little Whole is Section A, Section B is from Little Hole to Indian Crossing in Browns Park, and Section C is from Indian Crossing to the state line, also in Browns Park. The size and abundance of fish and the picturesque, steep-walled canyons make this tricky stream a must-visit for all trout anglers. You won’t find another place like the Green River. 

Key Species: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout

Best Fishing Methods: Flies, spinners, lures, and jigs

When to fish: All-year-round

Strawberry Reservoir

Strawberry Reservoir is one of Utah’s best trout fisheries, with no other Utah reservoir producing more reliably year after year. As it is colloquially called, the Berry is a massive reservoir roughly two hours east of Salt Lake City. Because of its stability and enormous trout population, it is one of Utah’s most popular fishing spots and a must-visit for all Utah trout fishermen. 

 Several excellent access spots with plenty of parking and facilities are located throughout the lake. Strawberry Reservoir provides anglers with both size and quantity. It maintains a large population of rainbow and cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon. Red shiners are the principal forage for trout, while some chubs can also be found. Working a white tube jig with worm or chub meat on the tip is the recommended way from a boat. 

Each year, special regulations for the Berry keep trophy trout growing. All trout between the ages of 15 and 22 inches must be released. Trolling for kokanee is quite prolific, with most fish measuring 14 to 16 inches. The ice fishing at the Berry is among the greatest in the state, with ravenous cutthroat and rainbow trout eagerly grabbing tube jigs dressed with wax worms or nightcrawlers.

Key Species: Cutthroat trout, Rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon

Best Fishing Methods: Flies, spinners, lures, bait, trolling

When to fish: All-year-round

Provo River

The Provo River is one of Utah’s greatest gifts, offering a world-class experience all year. In the Provo Rivers, anglers can capture monster browns and many fish between 14 and 18 inches.

There are three divisions to the Provo River: lower, middle, and upper:

  • Upper – Jordanelle Reservoir to Trail Lake (largest)
  • Jordanelle to Deer Creek Reservoir in the middle
  • Lower – Deer Creek Reservoir is located downstream.

Its proximity, excellent fishing, and breathtaking vistas make it a must-see for every angler. 

Key Species:  Rainbow trout, Brown trout, cutthroat trout, and white fish

Best Fishing Methods: Wading with Flies, lures, and spinners

When to fish: All-year-round

Otter Creek

About 50 miles south of Richfield, Otter Creek Reservoir is home to trophy rainbows, browns, wipers, and smallmouth bass. Rainbows are planted regularly and compete with the abundant chub population in the lake. The lake now has wipers weighing more than 8 pounds, while rainbows weighing more than 6 pounds are collected daily. Browns are regularly planted here, although they prefer to go up Otter Creek, where fly fishing for them can be excellent. Even though the lake does not have as many houses as the creek above, browns in the lake have reached 11 pounds. The reservoir offers camping and several more excellent fishing places nearby.

Key Species:  Cutthroat trout, Rainbow trout, brown trout

Best Fishing Methods: Jigging and Trolling

When to fish: All year round (the best time to visit is in the spring and summer)

Bear Lake

The only area where you can locate Bonneville cisco is Bear Lake. 

Bear Lake is well-known for its annual cisco run, which takes place in January. Every January, anglers from all across the west assemble, and it has grown into quite the event. 

Bear Lake is two and a half hours north of Salt Lake City, bordering the Idaho border, and it has everything you’re looking for in a tourist resort. A chunk of the lake is surrounded by camping, fishing, water sports, cottages, and restaurants. However, there are still some virgin shorelines to enjoy some alone time.

 Cutthroat trout, lake trout, Bonneville cisco, whitefish, and sculpin can be found in the lake. Anglers are particularly drawn to trout. The cuts can weigh more than 10 pounds, and the lakers can weigh 20 pounds. The water is so beautiful and blue that the fish appear to be whales when you reel them in. It’s a fantastic experience. Boats trolling depths of 50 to 100 feet are the most convenient means of transportation. 

Moreover, Bear Lake freezes over approximately seven times every ten years, and when it does, it provides excellent ice fishing.

Key Species:  Lake trout, Bonneville cisco, cutthroat trout 

Best Fishing Methods: Jigging and Trolling

When to fish: All year round (best in the spring and autumn)

Logan River

The Logan River is a fantastic blue-ribbon trout stream. The Logan emerges from a gorge northeast of Logan and is easily accessible by US Highway 89. There are nearly 25 miles of superb trout fly fishing here. The Logan is essentially a rainbow and brown trout fishery, with rainbows and browns averaging 12-14 inches in length. 

A series of three impoundments known as the First, Second, and Third Dams are located on this river. These impoundments tremendously aid in the growth of the trout in this area. A 37 3/4-pound brown trout was once recovered from First Dam, leaving one to wonder what else lurks in the river’s depths. These impoundments are also heavily stocked with rainbow trout, making it an excellent location for beginners to try their hand at fly fishing.

 The river is predominantly a wild trout stream above the impoundments, with a substantial Brown and Cutthroat Trout population. The Cutthroat populace takes control as you advance in rank. They want to spawn, but they are also looking to bulk up for the next chilly winter months. This is the time to target the big nasties and prepare to hang on. 

Key Species: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout

Best Fishing Methods: Lures, baits, Flies 

Best time of the year to fish:  All-year-round

Boulder Mountains

The Boulder Mountains, like the High Unitas, offer a spectacular backcountry experience, especially if you are willing to hike. Anglers can select from over 80 lakes and streams in these mountains. 

Boulder Mountain features several smaller lakes where trophy tiger and brook trout can be found. Brook trout, including the state record 7.5-pound brookie, grow especially large in this area. 

Boulder Mountain is located in southern Utah and is not easily accessible. It takes about the same time from SLC as from Las Vegas. Check-in with a local tackle shop in Boulder after you arrive to learn about the best tactics and where the fish are biting. Some guides in the area are pretty priced to assist you in finding the proper lake and catching that once-in-a-lifetime 5-pound-plus brook trout. 

Tiger trout, which are aggressive, are also planted in the area. You can see them with a lure topped with a piece of minnow or a worm—the mountain stands in stark contrast to its surroundings. There are many slot canyons and natural arches, and a minor mountain range with a summit of over 11,000 feet. 

Key Species: Rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, tiger trout, grayling, and splake

Best Fishing Methods: Flies, bait, spinners, jigs, and spoons

When to fish: Summer and Fall

Ogden River 

This Blue Ribbon Fishery is located about 20 miles northeast of Huntsville along State Road 39. Common catches include native Bonneville cutthroat, brown trout, and whitefish. This river is teeming with brown trout and maybe one of the best in Utah for catching them. Traditional baits such as salmon eggs and nightcrawlers are excellent choices. Small lures and spinners will also catch fish on the Ogden’s South Fork. 

In most parts, the river is shallow, with depths rarely exceeding four feet. In these conditions, waxworms and mealworms frequently produce excellent results. The traditional hopper/dropper technique is popular among fly anglers. Suppose a fish looks at the grasshopper or stimulator on top and determines it seems suspicious. In that case, it will consume the bead-head nymph dropper. Small jigs work well in the river’s deeper pools and beaver-dammed regions.

Key Species: Brown trout

Best Fishing Methods: Bait, lures, and flies

When to fish: All-year-round

Unita Mountains

The Unita Mountains are certainly one of Utah’s most valuable fishing treasures. The range features hundreds of lakes and is located about an hour east of Salt Lake City. The Unitas has about 1,000 natural lakes, most of which support fish. These one-of-a-kind mountains make any fishing excursion worthwhile.

 Several lakes are accessible by car, or you can arrange overnight or week-long hiking excursions. In the summer, these mountain ranges are an angler’s paradise. When other trout fisheries begin to slow, the Unita’s provides tranquility, stunning views, and excellent fishing. Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, tigers, and even arctic grayling will follow a well-placed Joes Fly or Jakes Spin A Lure.

 Mirror Lake, one of the range’s more giant lakes, features crystal-clear water teeming with rainbows, brook trout, and tiger trout. This lake is well-known and conveniently located near the city. Within a few miles of Mirror Lake, Trial Lake and Washington Lake are excellent trout lakes with quick action for ‘bows. Furthermore, the length of tiger trout up to 18 inches have been caught in Washington, and albino fish are frequently planted in Trial. 

Key Species: Rainbow trout, Brook trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, grayling, and golden trout

Best Fishing Methods: Flies, lures, and spinners

When to fish: Summer and Fall  

Minersville 

Minersville Reservoir is approximately 15 miles west of Beaver and six miles east of Minersville. It is a 900-acre body of water with a trout fishery that delivers some excellent trophy-sized trout fishing. Anglers can attempt a trout slam in Minersville. The most regularly caught species are rainbow trout, but brown, cutthroat, and tiger trout can also be captured.

 In addition, smallmouth bass can be found in the reservoir. The best periods to fish here are from late March to June and from September to late November. The water is used for irrigation in the summer so that the lake level might drop dramatically. If the water is low and warm, avoid this lake, and don’t stress the fish by bringing them to the net too rapidly. Fly fishing is the preferred approach here, with black, olive, and brown streamers being the most popular hues; casting from shore, wading, or using a float tube all work. 

Key Species:  Cutthroat trout, Rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass

Best Fishing Methods: Artificial lures and Flies

The best seasons: Spring and autumn.

Honorable Mentions

These lakes may not yield as consistently, but they offer excellent trophy trout fishing.

Weber River

Within 15 minutes of Park City, the Weber River is another blue-ribbon trout fishery. The “Weeb,” as locals refer to it, is an excellent alternative to the Provo River in the middle of the summer when the crowds on the Provo River swell. The Weber River meanders through gorgeous rural Utah farmland, passing through deep pools, massive undercuts, and productive riffles. Although the river flows mainly through private land, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has worked with local landowners to create a public access program for anglers.

 The Weber River also has rainbow and cutthroat trout, which can be caught in large numbers in certain parts. Mountain Whitefish, sometimes known as “rocky mountain tarpon,” are abundant along this stretch and can keep your rod bent. Mayflies, stoneflies, midges, sowbugs, and scuds are also available to feed the trout. On the Weber River, White Dog provides full and half-day outings. You can fish both the Provo and Weber rivers on a full-day excursion to taste Utah’s diverse fishing.

East Canyon 

East Canyon is a 45-minute drive from SLC from late spring to fall. The straight route from the city to the lake is closed after the first snowfall, adding an hour to the journey duration. 

Rainbow, cutthroat, tiger, splake, brown, kokanee trout, smallmouth bass, black crappie, and wipers are probable catches. The preferred method for catching trout is trolling. Other lures fished in 20 to 40 feet of water perform well, like tube jigs with a minnow or sucker meat. Browns can be found in schools of kokanee, although they’re rare to get by in this area. Smallmouth fishing can vary from good to fantastic depending on the day. Bass fishing is better between the dam and the state park, while trout prefer to stay in the lake’s main channel. Nightcrawlers or garlic PowerBait can be used to catch rainbows from the shore. The majority of the lake has shore access; however, it might be challenging to get.

Conclusion

Utah is a fantastic area to go trout fishing and offers excellent angling chances. Compared to many other traditional Western fishing destinations, fishing in Utah can be a unique experience. It is rarely crowded, the fish are enormous and voracious, and the river systems’ extensive lengths provide an inexhaustible supply of water to explore. Anglers will find a broad selection of magnificent rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. This article should have aroused your curiosity about Utah’s trout fishing opportunities. If you’ve ever considered visiting a new state for fishing, Utah is a fantastic choice!

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