Utah, with its diverse landscapes and abundant waterways, offers anglers a paradise of fishing opportunities. From serene mountain lakes to rushing rivers, the Beehive State boasts some of the most picturesque and productive fishing spots in the western United States. This comprehensive guide explores the top 10 fishing destinations in Utah for 2024, providing anglers with insider tips and essential information to make the most of their fishing adventures.

1. Strawberry Reservoir

Nestled in the Uinta Mountains, Strawberry Reservoir is widely considered Utah’s premier trout fishery. This 17,000-acre reservoir is renowned for producing trophy-sized cutthroat and rainbow trout, with fish over 10 pounds caught regularly.

Strawberry Reservoir
Strawberry Reservoir

Key Features:

  • 17-mile long reservoir at high elevation (7,600 feet)
  • Strict slot limit regulations to maintain trophy-sized fish
  • Ice fishing opportunities in winter

Best Time to Visit: June through September for open water fishing; January through March for ice fishing

“Strawberry Reservoir is a must-visit for any serious angler looking to land a trophy cutthroat in breathtaking surroundings.” – Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Insider Tip: Try fishing the Soldier Creek area using a pink or orange trout lure for a chance at landing a monster cutthroat.

2. Green River (Below Flaming Gorge Dam)

The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam offers some of the best fly fishing in the western United States, with crystal-clear waters teeming with trout.

Green River
Green River

Key Features:

  • 7-mile stretch known as the “A Section” with up to 14,000 trout per mile
  • Scenic float trips available
  • Year-round fishing opportunities

Best Time to Visit: April through October for dry fly fishing; winter for midging

Insider Tip: Fish early mornings in summer to avoid the heat and catch the prolific morning midge hatches.

3. Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Straddling the Utah-Wyoming border, Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a world-class fishing destination known for its trophy-sized lake trout and kokanee salmon.

Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Key Features:

  • 91-mile long reservoir with stunning red rock cliffs
  • Home to the state record lake trout (51 pounds)
  • Excellent for both shore and boat fishing

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall for lake trout; summer for kokanee salmon

Insider Tip: Hire a local fishing guide to learn the best techniques and access prime fishing spots like Linwood Bay, Jarvies Canyon, and the Skull Crack.

4. Provo River

The Provo River, particularly its middle and lower sections, is a blue-ribbon fishery celebrated for its brown trout population and accessibility.

Provo River
Provo River

Key Features:

  • Close proximity to Salt Lake City and Provo
  • Abundant hatches, including the famous PMD and caddis flies
  • Catch-and-release regulations in some sections

Best Time to Visit: Late spring through early fall for dry fly fishing

Insider Tip: The Provo River sees heavy fishing pressure. Focus on fishing stealthily and targeting less-pressured water to fool wary trout.

5. Jordanelle Reservoir

Located just outside Park City, Jordanelle Reservoir offers great fishing for smallmouth bass, trout, and panfish in a scenic mountain setting.

Jordanelle Reservoir
Jordanelle Reservoir

Key Features:

  • Diverse fishing experiences for cold and warm-water species
  • Good shore fishing access and boat ramps
  • Proximity to world-class ski resorts for multi-sport vacations

Best Time to Visit: May through September for most species

Insider Tip: Fish rocky points with jigs, crankbaits, and drop shot rigs to connect with chunky smallmouth bass.

6. Pineview Reservoir

Pineview Reservoir in Ogden Valley is a great spot for warm water fishing, offering good populations of crappie, perch, and bass. The tiger muskie fishing here is also notable.

Pineview Reservoir
Pineview Reservoir

Key Features:

  • Home to trophy tiger muskies
  • Good shore fishing access and boat ramps
  • Scenic mountain backdrop with nearby hiking trails

Best Time to Visit: Early summer for tiger muskie; year-round for panfish

Insider Tip: Troll large plugs along weed edges for a chance at hooking into a trophy tiger muskie.

7. Utah Lake

Utah Lake is the state’s largest freshwater lake, spanning over 95,000 acres just west of Provo. While the lake has faced water quality issues, it still offers good fishing for several species.

Utah Lake
Utah Lake

Key Features:

  • Excellent white bass fishing, especially during spring spawning runs
  • Good opportunities for walleye and channel catfish
  • Expansive shoreline access for bank fishing

Best Time to Visit: Spring for white bass; summer and fall for walleye and catfish

Insider Tip: Look for birds feeding on baitfish to locate schools of white bass. Cast into the surfacing fish for non-stop action.

8. Scofield Reservoir

Scofield Reservoir, located near Price, is known for its excellent trout fishing and growing populations of tiger muskie and wipers.

Scofield Reservoir
Scofield Reservoir

Key Features:

  • High-elevation reservoir (7,600 feet) with cool water temperatures
  • Good ice fishing opportunities in winter
  • State park with camping and boat rentals

Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall for trout; summer for tiger muskie

Insider Tip: Try trolling small spoons or spinners behind a dodger for consistent trout action.

9. Bear Lake

Straddling the Utah-Idaho border, Bear Lake is famous for its endemic species, including the Bonneville cisco and Bear Lake whitefish.

Bear Lake
Bear Lake

Key Features:

  • Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its turquoise waters
  • Unique fishing experience for species found nowhere else in the world
  • Ice fishing opportunities in winter

Best Time to Visit: Summer for open water fishing; January for the Bonneville cisco spawn

Insider Tip: Use small jigs tipped with cisco meat to target trophy-sized Bonneville cutthroat trout.

10. Fish Lake

High in the mountains of central Utah, Fish Lake offers anglers the chance to catch large lake trout (mackinaw) in a serene alpine setting.

Fish Lake
Fish Lake

Key Features:

  • Utah’s largest natural mountain lake
  • Home to the state record splake (lake trout/brook trout hybrid)
  • Good shore fishing access and boat rentals available

Best Time to Visit: June through September for open water fishing; January through March for ice fishing

Insider Tip: Try jigging large tube jigs in deep water for a chance at hooking into a trophy lake trout.

Conclusion

Utah’s diverse fishing spots offer something for every angler, from novice to expert. Whether you’re seeking trophy-sized lake trout in Flaming Gorge, battling cutthroats in Strawberry Reservoir, or fly fishing the pristine waters of the Green River, the Beehive State promises unforgettable fishing experiences. As you plan your 2024 fishing adventures, remember to check local regulations, obtain the necessary licenses, and practice responsible angling to help preserve these incredible resources for future generations.

By exploring these top 10 fishing destinations, you’ll not only have the chance to land the catch of a lifetime but also to immerse yourself in Utah’s breathtaking natural beauty. So grab your gear, plan your trip, and get ready to create lasting memories in some of the best fishing spots the American West has to offer.

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