Where To Fish in Utah This Spring

We've got your Northern and Southern Utah recommendations for where to fish this spring.

Flaming Gorge   |  Ryan Kelly

It's time to pack away the snow shovels and grab those fishing poles. We talked with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and below are their location recommendations for this year's best spring fishing. For a list of all Utah fishing opportunities, visit fish.utah.gov.

In Utah, anyone under the age of 12 can always fish for free — and Saturday, June 10, 2023, is Free Fishing Day for everyone. Otherwise, a license is required, but it's affordable and easy to obtain. And before you hit the lake, river or stream, be sure to check the fishing rules for your destination. 

Anglers should also be aware that due to this year's unprecedented snow pack, some lakes may still have ice cover and some rivers and streams may be experiencing flooding. Remember to practice ice safety and always stay out of fast moving water

Southern Utah Waters

Fish Lake is located just 43 miles northwest of Capitol Reef National Park.

Photo: More Than Just Parks

Fish Lake

Fish Species: Lake Trout, Splake, Rainbow Trout, Kokanee, Yellow Perch

The largest natural mountain lake in Utah, Fish Lake sits at more than 8,800 feet of elevation. Located near Richfield, Utah, in the Fishlake National Forest — about 43 miles northwest of Capitol Reef National Park — Fish Lake makes for a very scenic fishing getaway with lakeside lodging options. The best fishing will be from a boat and there are aluminum motor boats and pontoons available to rent at the three boat marinas on the west shore.

Lake Powell offers world-class fishing and incredible scenery.

Photo: Wayne Gustaveson

Lake Powell

Fish Species: Striped Bass, Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish

Lake Powell is a world-class destination for fishing, whether it’s sport fishing or the zen-like fly fishing. Here, the waters are clear, the fish are abundant and your best fishing will be from a boat. The area offers accessible lodging, easy boat rentals and other excellent opportunities for outdoor recreation. Learn more about Lake Powell's fish and how to catch them.

Northern Utah Waters

The Provo River is home to some of the most renowned fly fishing in the state.

Photo: Explore Utah Valley

Middle and Lower Provo River

Fish Species: Brown Trout, Whitefish

A Blue Ribbon stream, the Provo River offers more than 15 miles of angling access, prolific hatches and stunning views of Mount Timpanogos.  Both the Middle and Lower Provo maintain healthy stream-flow year round, enabling consistent dry fly, nymph and streamer fishing opportunities. A popular place to fish, you'll find great options for guided fishing tours and easy access from the Wasatch Front and Heber City. It's urban proximity also promises nearby lodging and great dining opportunities. 

Flaming Gorge is known for record-breaking trout and kokanee salmon.

Photo: Willie Holdman

Flaming Gorge

Fish Species: Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Kokanee, Smallmouth Bass

People travel to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area from around the globe to fish for record-breaking trout and kokanee salmon. When they arrive, diverse and colorful landscapes greet them — and then stick around for the entirety of Flaming Gorge Reservoir’s 91-mile length. Late May to early June are great months to get a grand slam on species. Come for the trophy fish, beautiful scenery, guided fishing opportunities, easy boat rentals and accessible area lodging.

Scofield Reservoir has an uncanny ability to produce big fish in quick fashion.

Photo: Utah State Parks

Scofield Reservoir

Fish Species: Rainbow, Cutthroat and Tiger Trout

A scenic byway passes through a Wasatch Plateau basin, only a few miles from U.S. 6, but Scofield State Park and Reservoir feels like a far-away land, a human-made paradise tucked away in time and space. About two hours south of Salt Lake City, this peaceful, scenic reservoir has an uncanny ability to produce big fish in quick fashion. And ice off fishing in the spring is always great from shore or boat.

Like most hybrid fish, tiger muskie grow very large, very quickly.

Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Cottonwood Reservoir

Fish Species: Tiger Muskie, Wiper

Cottonwood Reservoir is located in Gusher, Utah, near to Fort Duchesne. It’s a small irrigation reservoir where you can target big fish from a paddle board or kayak. Look for wiper in the evenings on top water. Just 23 miles west of Vernal, the reservoir is a lesser known water and offers a quieter, less crowded fishing experience. 

Where To Fish in Utah This Spring

Fishing in Utah

Cool streams descend from rugged snowcapped mountains, feeding shimmering lakes or pausing in reservoirs where trout reach trophy proportions. Throughout the year anglers gear up in pursuit of experiences on waters that measure up to their passion. In fact, Utah has more than 1,000 fishable lakes and numerous fishing streams.

Utah Fishing Destinations

Fishing Regulations

You don’t need to be an expert or have expensive gear to enjoy fishing in Utah, but if you're over the age of 12, you do need a fishing license. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resource is your resource for purchasing a license.

Fishing with bait is allowed at most Utah fisheries, but there are some special regulations to note in certain locations. Make sure to check for special regulations on waters you plan to fish during a trip.

Fishing Reports

The Division of Wildlife Resources also maintains an interactive map showing the latest fishing report for all of Utah's fisheries, including types of fish you can catch and directions to each location. The map is filterable or you can zoom out and evaluate rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs near you or your vacation plans.

See the DWR fishing map

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