Fly Fishing in Utah

Key Takeaways:

  • Utah offers diverse fly fishing opportunities, with 27 popular spots featuring various fish species, unique landscapes, and special attributes.
  • Spots for Fly fishing in Utah include the Green River, Middle Provo, Lower Provo, Flaming Gorge, and many more, each with its own fish species and charm.
  • The best time to fly fish in Utah depends on the season, with spring, summer, and fall offering prime angling conditions and even winter providing opportunities in tailwater sections.
  • Utah boasts an array of fish species for fly anglers, including native cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and more.
  • Staying informed about Utah’s fishing regulations is vital since the Utah Wildlife Board regulates licenses, daily limits, and waterbody-specific regulations, which may change over time.

List of 27 Popular Fly Fishing Spots in Utah

List of 27 Popular Fly Fishing Spots in Utah

Utah has an abundance of fly fishing opportunities within its stunning landscapes. Here’s a list of 27 great fly fishing spots in the state, each with its unique charm and the promise of an unforgettable angling experience.

  • Green River
  • Middle Provo
  • The Lower Provo
  • Ostler Lake
  • Weber River
  • Logan River
  • Duchesne River
  • Ogden River
  • Sevier River’s East Fork
  • Flaming Gorge
  • Fremont River
  • Utah Lake
  • Pineview Reservoir
  • Lower Barker Reservoir
  • Deer Creek Lake
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon Creek
  • Fish Lake
  • Bear River
  • Blacksmith Fork River
  • Big Dog Lake
  • Lake Powell
  • Strawberry River
  • Lower Fish Creek
  • Huntington Creek
  • Beaver River
  • Red Castle Lake
  • Mirror Lake

Take a closer look at each of the 27 popular fly fishing spots in Utah, exploring their locations and special attributes.

1. Green River

  • Located in the mountains of Wyoming, flowing into the Colorado River.
  • Famous for rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout.
  • Known for crystal clear water and exceptional dry fly fishing.

2. Middle Provo

  • Located in Utah County and Wasatch County, flowing from Jordanelle Reservoir to Deer Creek Reservoir.
  • Famous for its abundant brown trout population, with trophy fish reaching up to 25 inches.
  • Accessible within 30 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, making it a convenient destination for fly fishing enthusiasts.

3. The Lower Provo

  • Situated in the scenic Provo Canyon, flowing from Deer Creek Reservoir to Utah Lake.
  • Offers a mix of rainbow and brown trout, known for their size and fight.
  • Close proximity to amenities makes it a convenient choice for anglers.

4. Ostler Lake

  • Located in the Uinta Mountains, accessible via a challenging 6-mile hike from the Christmas Meadows Trailhead in Ashley National Forest.
  • Known for its pristine beauty and crystal-clear waters, home to Cutthroat and Tiger Trout, as well as Brookies.
  • Offers a remote and rewarding fishing experience, with the need for backpacking due to its remote location and limited accessibility.

5. Weber River

  • Flows through northern Utah, with notable access points around the town of Coalville.
  • Abundant brown trout, with some rainbows and cutthroats.
  • Close to Park City and Salt Lake City, offering a diverse fishery.

6. Logan River

  • Located in Cache Valley in northern Utah and flows through the city of Logan.
  • Known for its wild brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.
  • Beautiful mountain setting with various access points.

7. Duchesne River

  • Flows through the Uinta Mountains, northeastern Utah.
  • Home to brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.
  • Remote and scenic fishing location, perfect for solitude.

8. Ogden River

  • Flows through Ogden Canyon, which is located in the city of Ogden.
  • Blue Ribbon trout fishery in an urban environment.
  • Accessible to wade fishermen, offers good fishing for a variety of species.

9. Sevier River’s East Fork

  • Flows through the Fishlake National Forest, southern Utah.
  • Known for its native cutthroat trout.
  • Offers a quiet and serene fishing experience.

10. Flaming Gorge

  • Straddles the border between Wyoming and northeastern Utah, with the Green River being a significant part of the fishery.
  • Offers rainbow, lake trout, kokanee salmon, and smallmouth bass.
  • Requires a boat for best access, known for trophy-sized fish.

11. Fremont River

  • Flows through southeastern Utah, and a particularly scenic section is within Capitol Reef National Park.
  • Desert trout fishery with wild brown trout; occasional splake, tiger, or rainbow trout.
  • Parts of the river are less typical trout waters but have healthy fish populations.

12. Utah Lake

  • Shallow freshwater lake located in Utah County, just west of Provo.
  • Known for its largemouth bass, but also offers carp and catfish for fly anglers.
  • Great for warm-water fly fishing.

13. Pineview Reservoir

  • Located in Ogden Canyon, approximately 7 miles (11 km) east of Ogden, Utah
  • Warm stillwater fishery with crappie, bass, perch, and Tiger Muskie.
  • Tiger Muskies are challenging to catch but can be found near shore structures.

14. Lower Barker Reservoir

  • Situated in Garfield County, Utah, in the Boulder Mountains.
  • Home to Tiger trout and splake.
  • Requires some hiking but offers trophy-class fishing.

15. Deer Creek Lake

  • Situated on the other side of Boulder Mountain in southern Utah.
  • Known for its rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and brown trout.
  • Offers boating and camping options.

16. Big Cottonwood Canyon Creek

  • Located in Big Cottonwood Canyon, near Salt Lake City.
  • Home to wild brown, brook, and cutthroat trout.
  • Easily accessible from the city for day trips.

17. Fish Lake

  • High alpine lake on the Fishlake Plateau in south-central Utah.
  • Known for trophy brook and lake trout.
  • Boat fishing is recommended for reaching deep waters.

18. Bear River

  • Mountain river flowing through Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.
  • Holds brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.
  • Various access points along the river.

19. Blacksmith Fork River

  • Flows through Blacksmith Fork Canyon, northern Utah.
  • Contains wild brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout.
  • Beautiful canyon scenery and excellent hatches.

20. Big Dog Lake

  • Located in the High Uintas Wilderness, northeastern Utah.
  • Offers remote fly fishing for brook and cutthroat trout.
  • Requires hiking or backpacking into the wilderness.

21. Lake Powell

  • An artificial reservoir on the Colorado River.
  • Offers year-round striped bass fishing.
  • Fish move to the surface in the fall and summer.

22. Strawberry River

  • Located in the Wasatch Mountains of the western Uintah Basin in northeastern Utah.
  • Features cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout.
  • Excellent for stream fishing.

23. Lower Fish Creek

  • Situated in Central Utah, near the town of Colton, a section of the Price River that eventually flows into Scofield Reservoir.
  • Offers access to brown trout.
  • Provides solitude due to its less frequented status.

24. Huntington Creek

  • Flows through the Manti-La Sal National Forest, central Utah.
  • Contains brown trout and occasional large fish.
  • Accessible via scenic drives in the mountains.

25. Beaver River

  • Located in western Utah and stretches for approximately 110 miles (180 km).
  • Known for its small stream fishing and Cutthroat trout.
  • Remote location for solitude and stunning scenery.

26. Red Castle Lake

  • Located in the High Uinta Wilderness Area of Utah, accessible via a challenging 13-mile hike.
  • Known for its stunning natural beauty, characterized by towering red rock pillars and vibrant glacial waters.
  • Well-suited for backpacking fly fishing enthusiasts who are seeking a secluded and tranquil fishing experience.

27. Mirror Lake

  • Situated in the high Uinta Mountains of Utah, only a 45-minute drive from Park City via Mirror Lake Highway (UT-150) from Kamas.
  • Renowned for being a classic stillwater fishery, known for its near-perfect reflection of the surrounding mountains.
  • Offers a picturesque fishing experience with its stunning scenery and diverse fishing options, 

When is the ideal time for fly fishing in Utah?

When is the ideal time for fly fishing in Utah

The optimal time for fly fishing in Utah varies by season. You can cast your line at the following times:

Spring (March-May): In spring, when the temperatures rise, the fish become more active. Lower Provo River is great for Rainbow and Brown trout. The best times are early mornings and evenings, taking advantage of the increased insect activity.

Summer (June – August): During summer, focus on early mornings and late afternoons to beat the heat. Small streams and freestone rivers are perfect post-spring runoff. Try the Middle section of the Provo River during Green Drake hatches. Look out for Caddis and PMD hatches.

Fall (September – November): In the fall, as the weather cools, make the most of the cool autumn days when hatches are abundant. Provo River is still a great option, with caddis and PMD hatches. Keep an eye out for Blue Winged Olives.

Winter (December – February): Even in winter, Utah offers fishing opportunities. Tailwater sections like the Provo and Weber Rivers provide year-round fishing. Concentrate on midge hatches during this season. Half-day trips often contain warmers, soup, and coffee to comfort you.

What fish species can you catch in Utah through fly fishing?

Utah boasts native cutthroat trout species, including the Bonneville Cutthroat, Bear River Cutthroat, Yellowstone Cutthroat, and Colorado River Cutthroat.

In addition, you can also target rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and cutthroat/rainbow hybrids. For Stillwater fishing, Utah offers species such as striped bass, kokanee salmon, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and even carp.

What are the fishing regulations for fly fishing in Utah?

Utah’s fishing regulations are comprehensive and are governed by the Utah Wildlife Board. To fly fishing in Utah, you’ll need a fishing license.

The age at which you can obtain a fishing license varies, with options available for youth (ages 12–13), youth (ages 14–17), adults (ages 18–64), and seniors (ages 65 and older).

Residents and non-residents will have different fee structures for licenses and permits and multi-year licenses offer convenience for those planning extended fishing trips.

Fly fishing in Utah has daily limits, which determine how many fish you can legally catch and keep in a day. For example, daily limits may include 4 trout, 6 largemouth and smallmouth bass (combined), or 20 northern pike with only 1 over 36 inches, depending on the species and the waterbody.

There are also different regulations for reservoirs, rivers, streams, and special waters, which can vary, including catch and release-only zones, slot limits, and seasonal closures.There is a possibility that fishing regulations in Utah can change over time. You should stay updated on any changes to these regulations through the Utah DWR website or the Utah Fishing Guidebook.