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Fishing in the Uinta Mountains

Lakes offer a variety of fish, including tiger trout

KAMAS — A mix of fishing experiences, ranging from simple day trips to extended wilderness adventures, are waiting for you in the Uinta Mountains in northern Utah.

Arctic grayling

Arctic grayling are among the fish waiting for you in the Uinta Mountains.

Photo by Phil Douglass

Phil Douglass, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says you can spend a lifetime exploring the mountain's lakes and the fishing opportunities they offer. "The lakes really do offer something for everyone," he says.

Brook trout, tiger trout, rainbow trout, Colorado River cutthroat trout, Bonneville cutthroat trout, golden trout and Arctic grayling are among the fish you can catch in the Uintas.

Lakes along the Mirror Lake Highway

If you're new to fishing the Uintas, lakes along state Route 150, also known as the Mirror Lake Highway, are a great place to start exploring.

Some of these lakes are next to the road. Others are only a short hike away.

Casting a worm and a bobber, and then letting the worm dangle two or three feet under the bobber, is often all you need to do to catch fish at these lakes.

But, as Douglass mentioned, the lakes offer something for everyone.

"For my family, caching tiger trout on a fly rod was their first fly fishing experience," says Paul Thompson, a regional DWR fisheries biologist. "They had a blast."

Tiger trout

Tiger trout are a hybrid cross between a brown trout and a brook trout. These feisty fish have quickly become popular among those who fish the Uintas.

"Two years ago," says Craig Schaugaard, aquatics manager for the DWR's Northern Region, "we tried stocking catchable-sized tiger trout in some of the lakes in the Uintas on an experimental basis. The experimental stocking was so popular among anglers that we've decided to stock catchable tiger trout in the Uintas permanently."

The following are the lakes in the Uintas that have tiger trout: Butterfly, Lily, Mirror, Moosehorn, Pass, Teapot, Trial and Washington.

Douglass says tiger trout are fairly aggressive predators. He says they'll readily take spinners in gold or copper colors. "Small CountDown Rapalas in brown trout colors also work well," he says. "Traditional baits such as worms can also be effective."

For fly anglers, Douglass recommends using big streamers and tiny nymph patterns. Scud patterns on a number 18 hook can also be effective.

Learn more

Reading the DWR's weekly fishing report is one of the best ways to stay current on fishing in the Uintas. The report is available at wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.

Another great source is Wade Jacklin, manager of Angler's Den in Roy. "Wade fishes most of the river drainages in the Uintas," Douglass says. "He's an excellent source of information."

You can reach Jacklin at 801-773-1166.

You can also learn more about fishing the Uintas by calling or visiting the DWR's offices in Ogden and Vernal.

The telephone number for the Ogden office is 801-476-2740. You can reach the Vernal office at 435-781-9453.

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