Where chiseled red sandstone walls intersect with the mountain peaks of the Pine Valley Mountains and Markagunt Plateau a less-traveled road bisects Zion National Park and rises to little fishing paradise: Kolob Reservoir.
The 250-acre Kolob Reservoir sits above 8,000 feet and is surrounded by aspens and evergreens. It is about as close as you can get to a real fishing experience at one of Utah’s Mighty 5® national park destinations.
The reservoir is unique in that it has never had any official sport fishing management plan, yet it has gained blue ribbon status. Life is simply drawn to this place.
About the Fishing
Anglers will find:
- Bear River cutthroat
- Colorado River cutthroat
- Rainbow trout
Fly-fishers retrieve large leech pattern flies to hook up. Plastic tube jigs and spinners can also be effective. Traditional baits fished suspended off the bottom should bring in a few fish.
Fishing is done from shore, in float tubes and on boats. There is a boat ramp to aid in access onto the water. Having a boat can be helpful as fish tend to head toward cooler waters in the middle of the lake when the reservoir heats up in the summertime.
Access to Kolob Reservoir is via unmaintained dirt roads which are typically only accessible by vehicles April through December. But don’t count out winter — the reservoir is especially stunning during cold-weather months, when snow blankets the surrounding slopes and aspen forests.
In addition to the great fishing, there is great primitive camping along the banks of the reservoir as well. Turn your stay into a multi-day adventure and pitch your tent next to the water or off in the shade among the trees. Whichever you choose, you will be delighted by the views. If you don’t want to camp at the reservoir, there are plenty of other spots off the mountain in Zion and the surrounding towns.
To get there from the town of Virgin, follow SR-9 to the turnoff at Kolob Terrace Road and continue north for 23 miles. From Cedar City head five miles up Cedar Canyon on highway 14, turn right onto Right Hand Canyon Road and continue for eight miles as the road changes to Kolob Road. Follow Kolob Road for another 11 miles to reach the reservoir.
Special fishing regulations at Kolob are part of the appeal of this the remote water:
- Anglers are allowed a daily possession limit of two trout under 15 inches or more than 22 inches long (all trout between 15 and 22 inches must be released).
- Fishing is limited to artificial flies and lures during certain times of the year
For the latest regulations and more specifics, consult the Utah Fishing Guidebook
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