Fish Lake Plateau rises a few miles north of the hoodoos, pinnacles, and arches of Capitol Reef National Park. Nested within the high desert uplift are a few stillwaters that give life to the desert valleys below — this is where the Fremont River’s story begins.
The Fremont is a tailwater fed by a couple of streams worth fishing, if you are already in the area. Seven-mile Creek, which feeds Johnson Valley Reservoir from the north, houses a healthy population of brook trout and cutthroat trout. Look for deep pools, undercuts and shaded sections of the creek to sneak in a cast with a rod recommended in the zero to three-weight class. Johnson Valley Reservoir is an interesting ditch. Tiger musky and trout cohabitate, while cruising the banks looking for an opportunistic meal. Stories of stripping small wooly buggers for trout and coming up with a 30+ inch tiger musky keep anglers guessing what might be on the end of their line.
The Fremont is released from Johnson Valley Reservoir and winds 8 miles downstream towards its second impoundment, Mill Meadow Reservoir. Be prepared to battle dense brush and casting obstructions when fishing this middle section for small rainbow and brown trout.
Historically, the section below Mill Meadow has held some substantial trout. The river descends the plateau towards the town of Bicknell where springwater cools the flow and adds some much-needed depth to the river. Presently, the most productive part of the Fremont begins at Bicknell Bottoms and continues towards the town of Torrey. There are few miles of water to fish in this section before it picks up color, but this is notorious big fish water. Pull out the streamer box and strip meat silty undercut banks or fish dry dropper with an ant and zebra midge. Or you might want to rig up some mayfly and chironomid nymphs and plunge the deep holes.
Fishing information adapted for Visit Utah by Bloodknots/Asher Koles. Please visit Bloodknots.com for Utah fly-fishing information, journals, multimedia and guide services.