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Rivers offer great spring fishing

Northern Utah has several rivers to try

OGDEN — Anglers are feeling the itch to get out and enjoy great weather and open water as ice leaves reservoirs in northern Utah.

Big brown trout live in the Weber River. The river is a great place to fish for browns in early spring.

Big brown trout live in the Weber River. The river is a great place to fish for browns in early spring.

Photo by Paul Thompson

But Paul Thompson, regional aquatics manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says reservoirs "shouldn't have all the fun."

If you fish them before the runoff gets high, several rivers in northern Utah can provide great fishing in the spring.

Rivers

Right now, the Logan, Blacksmith Fork, Ogden and Weber are the main rivers that are offering great spring trout fishing. And on the Bear River, anglers are starting to catch some catfish.

Water conditions are great on these rivers right now, but that can change rapidly. Thompson likes to check the USGS stream gage website to see if any stream gages are experiencing high flows in the reach he wants to fish. You can get the information online.

Thompson says fishing on the Weber River can be hot for brown trout, Bonneville cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish in the spring. The flies that have worked best for him this spring are a #14 rainbow sow with a midge (#20 RS2 or WD40) dropper.

"Spring is also a great time to throw streamers, crankbaits and spinners," he says. "As trout come out of the winter, they're very hungry."

Reservoirs

In addition to rivers, several reservoirs should offer great fishing in northern Utah this spring.

Reservoirs that typically offer great spring fishing include Hyrum, Birch Creek and Woodruff reservoirs.

Phil Douglass, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says anglers at Hyrum Reservoir have been enjoying good fishing from the shore.

He says Birch Creek and Woodruff reservoirs still have ice on them. "But the ice is starting to pull away from the edges," he says. "Open water could be available at each reservoir within the next two weeks."

Willard Bay Reservoir is another reservoir that can provide good fishing in the spring. Chris Penne, regional DWR aquatic biologist, says walleye and channel catfish fishing can be quite good once the ice leaves.

"Wiper fishing will probably be good later this spring," Penne says.

Stay updated

Weekly fishing reports for northern Utah are available online. You can also receive the free reports via email by subscribing to them.

Two additional websites — bigfishtackle.com and utahwildlife.net — also provide current fishing information.

If you have questions about fishing in northern Utah, call the DWR's Northern Region office at 801-476-2740.

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