5 Best Places for Fly Fishing in Utah – Where to Fish UT

Fly Fishing Utah

From scenic small streams to deep lakes, and rivers that are blue-ribbon waters. You’ll find more than a thousand places to cast a fly while in Utah.

If you’re hoping to go on a trip to do some fly fishing in Utah, we’ve got good news for you as we’ve put together a complete guide to fly fishing in Utah!

We cover the best lakes in Utah for fishing to the licenses you’ll need and more. Read on to find out and prepare for an amazing fly fishing Utah experience!

Utah’s Top Fly Fishing Destinations

Here’s our list of the top Utah fly fishing waters from calm lakes to fast-flowing streams, you’ll find it all in the Beehive State.

1. Green River

Green River

Green River is, without a doubt, the most famous fly fishing destination in Utah. Starting in the rocky mountain high country of Wyoming, the Green River runs into the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah and then down into the Colorado River, and the best fishing spots can be found below the Flaming Gorge dam.

The Flaming Gorge tailwaters make this a first-class tailwater fishery, with a year-round supply of crystal clear cool water and a ton of food for the trout populations sitting below. The water is so clear that you can see the absolute lunker trout held up in the pools which only gets your excitement going even more.

This means you can fish for trophy trout here. Both the rainbows and wild brown trout grow to immense sizes in this excellent environment with brown trout pushing 30 inches, and rainbows over 10 lbs. Cutthroat trout can occasionally be found here, too, so get the slam if you can.

Fishing on the Green River is an incredible experience, with a healthy population of hundreds of trout. It’s easy to spot the huge trout sitting in crystal-clear water, so you can sight fish for them, and get your flies right to the exact big fish you want to catch.

The Green River is not just a top fly fishing spot – it’s a beautiful, jaw-dropping location. The river flows through a deep canyon with red stone walls which makes fly fishing here an experience like no other.

Dry fly anglers should make sure they experience the dry fly fishing this river can deliver as it is one of the best places for fishing dry flies in the US. Time your fly fishing adventure with the cicada hatch and you’ll be blown away.

We recommend fishing from a drift boat on the Green River with pro fly fishing guides, as you can only access the river from 3 spots – the dam, Browns Park, and Little Hole. Plus, being with guides means you’ll catch fish all day long.

That being said, you can hike into the river from the dam and you’ll find trails taking you down to the river, but it is quite a hike.

Where To Fish On The Green River

As I already mentioned, the best place to go fly fishing on this river is below the dam, and you will find a map below showing you exactly where. If you are in a boat, your guides will get you there but if not, hike to the Dowd Mountain Picnic spot.

https://goo.gl/maps/6nErZ3jC9Bnab6Hq9

Great Flies For The Green River

  • Cicadas during the hatch
  • Size 20-24 BWOs, Adams, Gnats
  • Size 4-14 Black or Tan Fat Albert
  • Size 16-22 Soft Hackles, Zebra Midges, and Pheasant Tails
  • Terrestrials – size 2- 16 Chernobyl Ant, Hoppers, Beetles

2. Strawberry Reservoir

Strawberry Reservoir

If you’re a fly fisher that prefers stillwater fly fishing, get yourself over to Strawberry Reservoir, the best stillwater fishery in Utah.

It’s one of the top spots for fishing for trophy trout in the state including bonneville cutthroat trout, as well as Kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, and smallmouth bass.

Another spectacular spot, the Strawberry Reservoir is located in north central Utah in a gorgeous mountain valley around 65 miles from Salt Lake City. This makes it an ideal location for a day trip if you’re staying in the city.

Wild trout are prolific thanks to the perfect water conditions for both feeding and spawning. Rainbows and salmon are also stocked to keep fish numbers high and consistent, for an excellent fly fishing experience where you catch fish all day.

You’re limited to take 4 fish per day home, but catch and release is strongly encouraged.

Head here during the spring or fall, if possible, when the water temperatures are cooler when a fly fisherman can enjoy dry fly fishing as the fish will happily rise up to eat your flies at the surface.

If you visit during the summer, consider hiring one of the local pro fly fishing guides to show you the coolest spots to catch some fish.

Where To Fish On The Strawberry

If you’re fishing the reservoir on foot, be sure to find parts where the water is thin like in the fingers around Island Moutain which you can see on the map below. If you’re on a boat, focus on drop-offs and places with structures that hold food.

https://goo.gl/maps/5gjYXcApJ3ZAj6bNA

Great Flies For The Strawberry

  • Streamers
  • Nymphs
  • Terrestrials
  • Midges
  • Adams

3. Fish Lake

Fish Lake

This large, deep mountain natural lake offers superb angling opportunities, with yellow perch and brook trout, and lake trout in abundance. If you’ve got your sights set on catching a huge lake trout, this is where you need to be.

Huge brook trout and lake trout that push the 30 lb mark are caught in this Utah lake every year.

There are many great spots to fish from the shore or by wading outside of summer, but you can only reach the best spots in a boat. During the summer a ton of vegetation takes over the shoreline meaning you can barely cast a fly past it but there are one of two spots where you can get around it.

You’ll have fantastic success drifting a streamer just below the surface at Fish Lake for the brookies, but don’t forget your fly fishing sinking line and your weighted flies for the lake trout. Those monster lake trout tend to be found deep down, so you need to get your fly down into the strike zone.

If you don’t feel confident, talk to the local guides who will be able to show you where to go, and help you handle the boat while you fish.

If you’re looking for a tranquil destination where you can stay for a few days of relaxing fly fishing, Fish Lake is perfect, with camping and lodges nearby.

Where To Fish On Fish Lake

If you’re fishing on foot then heading to the southern end of the lake is your best bet as it has come easy to access features that you will be able to cast to. Otherwise, you need to be on a boat with a guide who will have you fishing on the drop-offs, structures, and their other great spots.

https://goo.gl/maps/9t3ZGSKR213Ka8fr9

Great Flies For Fish Lake

  • Woolly buggers
  • Zonkers
  • Hot heads
  • Weighted Streamers
  • Big Articulated Streamers

4. Weber River

Weber River

A handy location for a day trip from Salt Lake City, Weber River is a designated Blue Ribbon Fishery for trout. Beginning up in the Uinta Mountains, the Weber winds its way down through valleys and towns and into the Great Salt Lake.

This river tends to be quieter than some of the other big waterways, making it easier to find a calm place to set up for the day and enjoy fly fishing in peace.

You’ll find healthy-sized trout all along the Weber River, with many measuring 16-18 inches. Cutthroat trout and rainbow trout live higher up in the cooler small streams of the river in the Uinta Mountains, while brown trout can be found further down the river.

There is also a healthy population of mountain whitefish that fight hard and keep you entertained while you fly fish all day long.

It’s easy to wade in many places here, as the river doesn’t get too deep – but there are some great deep pools where the fish lurk that you should drift a fly over or through.

Avoid the Weber River during the winter, as the conditions aren’t ideal. Instead, visit during the spring or summer, and make sure you keep to public land only. Check the access spots in advance, so you don’t stray onto private property.

Where To Fish On The Weber River

The Weber is an incredibly long river and certainly one of the best western rivers for fly fishing in Utah but to fly fish isn’t that easy as access is an issue like I mentioned.

The best place to fish it where public access is obvious is below the Echo Reservoir which is featured on the map link below.

https://goo.gl/maps/YpHP31ht2FQCNn9Y8

Great Flies To Use On The Weber

  • Cicadas during the hatch
  • Size 20-24 BWOs, Adams, Gnats
  • Size 4-14 Black or Tan Fat Albert
  • Size 16-22 Soft Hackles, Zebra Midges, and Pheasant Tails
  • Terrestrials – size 2- 16 Chernobyl Ant, Hoppers, Beetles

5. Provo River

Provo River

Provo River is another location that’s easy to get to from Salt Lake City, as you can get to Provo River in just a half-hour drive.

The Provo is divided into three distinct streams: the Upper section, Middle Provo, and Lower Provo, each with its own unique character and appeal. Each section is separated into its own fishery.

In the Middle Provo River is a tailwater that flows from Jordanelle Reservoir to Deer Creek Reservoir and through the town of Heber on its way. On the middle Provo River, you’ll be fly fishing for only brown trout, plus a whitefish or two.

The trout are in good numbers throughout all the way down to Deer Creek and grow to a healthy size too of 18+ inches, making it worth the trip. 

If you’re after scenic views and more variety, head to the Lower section instead. This is where the Provo flows from Deer Creek Reservoir through the stunning Provo Canyon and into Utah Lake.

Here, you’ll find lots of brown and rainbow trout of a similar size to the middle Provo, but access can be more tricky.

Where To Fish On The Provo

You’ll find easy access points on the Middle Provo down from Jordanelle which are provided by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Park at any of the spots on the below maps.

https://goo.gl/maps/n828Yv8qZ1HGgizG6

https://goo.gl/maps/AqedHSijyy8UHMz27

https://goo.gl/maps/PYGsWn9DYqJ79SfD8

When you get to the lower section, access gets harder but you can pull in at the stops below.

https://goo.gl/maps/8Mz9CpTqmS1kevhT9

https://goo.gl/maps/yRwh1EsJrM44QvFR9

Great Flies For The Provo

  • Size 12 red and tan San Juan worms
  • Size 20-24 scuds, zebra midges, and sowbugs
  • Size 2-6 wooly buggers, articulated streamers, sex dungeons
  • Size 14-18 purple BWOs in the spring
  • Size 6 brown hoppers

Utah State Fishing License

If you want to fly fish in Utah, you are required by the Utah Department of Natural Resources to buy a fishing license. With both resident and non-resident licenses available for varying lengths of time, you can choose the license that meets your needs.

If you’re a resident aged 18 or over, you’ll pay $34 for the annual fishing license. Seniors pay $25, while young people aged 12-13 pay just $5. If you’re between 14-17, expect to pay $16 for a one-year fishing license. For kids younger than 12 years old, you don’t need to buy them a license, but you will need an adult license if you’re helping them (even if you’re not fishing yourself!)

The annual non-resident license costs $75, more expensive than in many other states, so factor this into your budget! You can buy online here or in many stores across Utah.

utah fishing

Utah Fishing Regulations

Make sure you’re aware of all the relevant fishing regulations before you hit the water. From bag limits to catch-and-release only restrictions and how many rods you can fish with, you’ll need to find out which regulations are in place for your fishing destination.

There are also specific rules in place in certain locations, so make sure you’re up to date on the latest info. Here’s where to find all the information on fishing regulations in Utah.

Recommended Local Fly Shops In Utah

While you’re fly fishing in Utah, you’re going to need to restock at some point and it’s always worth going to a local fly shop and getting some advice about where it fishing well and what flies are working.

Recommended Guides In Utah

If you’ve never fished a particular river before and you don’t have an extra few days to work it out, you’re best off booking a guide for day one to show you the ropes and then go solo after. Here are some of the top guides in Utah.

flyfish utah

Utah Fishing Reports

It’s essential to stay up to date on the latest conditions on the water before you head out for fishing. Not only will you stay safer, but you’ll know about any flash floods, high water levels, etc.

Fly fishers will also have an improved experience by packing the right gear and flies, so you can catch even more fish. Check out the most recent fishing reports for Utah here.

FAQs

Where can I catch big trout in Utah?

Some of the best places to catch big trout in Utah are Fish Lake, Navajo Lake, and Bear Lake.

What is the fishing limit in Utah?

The daily fish limit varies according to fish species in Utah. For example, you can catch up to 4 Kokanee salmon per day, but you’re prohibited from catching them between the months of September – November.

As for channel catfish, the fishing limit is 8 per day per angler, while you are allowed up to 50 bluegill, crappies, and green sunfish. For some fish, including striped bass and crayfish, there are no limits in place.

Utah Fly Fishing

The Wrap-Up

Utah offers some fantastic fly fish streams, lakes, and rivers throughout the state. If you’re looking to hook some cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, or even some salmon and bass, you won’t be disappointed.

What’s more, you’ll be surrounded by the diverse and stunning countryside of Utah, from the mountains and forests to the open fields and secluded valleys.

So now you know where to go fish in Utah, plus all about the local licenses, rules, and regulations, you’re all set. You just need to grab your gear and head out to your chosen spot!

Whether you hire guides or go it alone, you’ll have an incredible time. With cold water and a thriving aquatic ecosystem, the fish have everything they need to grow to immense sizes and the dry fly action is some of the best. What more could you wish for?!

Don’t miss out on our other fly fishing destination guides, and if you found this article helpful, why not share it on Facebook? Happy fishing!

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