Utah: A Comprehensive Fly Fishing Guide

I. Introduction

Known for its jaw-dropping landscapes and national parks, Utah is also an angler’s paradise with an abundance of blue-ribbon trout waters scattered across the state. In this guide, we dive into Utah’s prime fly fishing locations, exploring the local conditions, the best times to fish, fly recommendations, and rounding up with the must-visit local eateries, accommodations, and attractions.

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II. Top Fishing Spots

A. Provo River

i. Local Conditions and Tips

The Provo River, particularly the Middle Provo River, offers prolific hatches and robust populations of brown and rainbow trout. Stealth is crucial here as the clear waters can make the trout skittish.

ii. Best Times to Fish

Year-round fly fishing is possible, but the spring and fall seasons are peak times due to significant hatches.

iii. Recommended Flies

Nymphs such as Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges are effective, and Sow Bugs are local favorites. During the summer, dry fly fishing is excellent thanks to Caddis and Mayfly hatches.

iv. Local Eateries and Breweries

After a day of fishing, unwind at ‘Back 40 Ranch House Grill’ in nearby Heber City or sip on local brews at ‘Strap Tank Brewing Co.’ in Springville.

v. Accommodations and Lodging

Provo River Lodge provides a cozy stay with immediate access to the river, and Sundance Mountain Resort offers luxurious accommodations.

vi. Local Attractions

Visit Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for a scenic hike or delve into Utah’s mining history at Park City Museum.

B. Green River

i. Local Conditions and Tips

The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam is one of the best tailwaters in the west, teeming with rainbow and brown trout. Green River info from VisitUtah.com

ii. Best Times to Fish

Green River offers year-round fishing, with spring and fall being optimal due to significant insect hatches.

iii. Recommended Flies

Nymphs are effective here as well. The Green River is renowned for its BWO and caddis hatches, so corresponding dry flies are also a great choice.

iv. Local Eateries and Breweries

Try the Red Canyon Lodge Restaurant for delicious dining options. For a taste of local brews, visit ‘Uinta Brewing Co.’ in Salt Lake City.

v. Accommodations and Lodging

The Red Canyon Lodge and Flaming Gorge Resort both offer excellent lodging options close to the river.

vi. Local Attractions

Apart from fishing, enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, and scenic drives in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.

C. Weber River

i. Local Conditions and Tips

The Weber River, a lesser-known gem, is home to healthy populations of brown and rainbow trout. Stealth and presentation are key to success.

ii. Best Times to Fish

Fishing can be done year-round, but spring and fall are optimal times due to the various hatches.

iii. Recommended Flies

Standard nymph patterns such as Hare’s Ear and Prince Nymphs work well, as do caddis and mayfly patterns during the summer hatches.

iv. Local Eateries and Breweries

Riverhorse on Main in Park City is an excellent choice for a high-end meal, and Wasatch Brew Pub offers locally crafted beers.

v. Accommodations and Lodging

Hampton Inn and Suites in Park City provide a comfortable stay with proximity to both fishing and local attractions.

vi. Local Attractions

Take a break from fishing to explore historic Main Street in Park City, home to numerous art galleries, boutiques, and local events. Also, make sure to visit the nearby Olympic Park, a venue from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games that offers year-round activities and exhibits.

D. Boulder Mountain

i. Local Conditions and Tips

Boulder Mountain is a high-elevation paradise with over 50 lakes full of brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Since many of these lakes are only accessible by trail, a good map or GPS is recommended.

ii. Best Times to Fish

The best time to fish Boulder Mountain is during the summer and early fall, as access during winter can be difficult due to snow.

iii. Recommended Flies

For these mountain lakes, a variety of flies can be effective, including midge patterns, Woolly Buggers, and terrestrial imitations during the summer months.

iv. Local Eateries and Breweries

After a day on the mountain, enjoy a meal at Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder or stop by the Shooting Star Saloon, Utah’s oldest continuously operating bar, in nearby Huntsville.

v. Accommodations and Lodging

Consider staying at the Lodge at Red River Ranch in Teasdale, which offers comfortable rooms and a rustic charm.

vi. Local Attractions

When you’re not fishing, enjoy a scenic drive along Highway 12 or visit Capitol Reef National Park for stunning desert landscapes and unique geological formations.

E. Logan River

i. Local Conditions and Tips

The Logan River is a beautiful small stream that holds brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout. Its clear waters require a careful approach to avoid spooking the fish.

ii. Best Times to Fish

While fishing is possible year-round, the spring and fall seasons are peak times due to significant hatches.

iii. Recommended Flies

Attractors like the Royal Wulff and Stimulator work well here, as do various nymphs and caddisflies during the summer months.

iv. Local Eateries and Breweries

In Logan, try Elements Restaurant for a meal and stop by the Logan River Brewing Company for a pint of locally crafted beer.

v. Accommodations and Lodging

The Anniversary Inn offers unique themed rooms and a comfortable stay near the heart of Logan.

vi. Local Attractions

Check out the Utah State University campus, explore the fascinating exhibits at the Museum of Anthropology, or take a hike in the beautiful Logan Canyon.

VI. Conclusion

From Provo River’s clear waters to the high mountain lakes of Boulder Mountain, Utah offers diverse and rewarding fly fishing opportunities for anglers of all levels. Coupled with the state’s remarkable natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant food and drink scene, a fly fishing trip to Utah is an adventure that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

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