2 Utah areas with great fishing to check out during the Fourth of July weekend
Salt Lake City — With parades and other events canceled due to COVID-19, you might be looking for a fun Fourth of July activity for this weekend. Look no further than fishing one of these great areas in Utah — both of which offer cooler temperatures and great fishing throughout July.
High-elevation lakes in the Uinta Mountains and on Boulder Mountain
While these areas may not be quite as close as your local community fishing pond, they offer a lot of great advantages, including cooler temperatures, gorgeous scenery, a variety of species and fish that are willing to take a variety of baits, lures or flies. Plus, these areas provide great fishing during July.
"This is a great time to fish the waterbodies in these areas because the snow has finally melted, and these lakes are accessible," Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. "Also, the temperatures have warmed up to a point that is good for trout, and the fish are active and hungry as a result, which makes for some fast fishing action."
There are 13 lakes along the 42-mile stretch of Mirror Lake Highway in the Uinta Mountains, as well as hundreds of other lakes scattered throughout the Uintas, and approximately 80 lakes and reservoirs on Boulder Mountain. You can find specific details about each lake by visiting the Fish Utah map on the DWR website. When you look up the individual lakes, you can see when they were last stocked, which fish species they contain and whether other anglers have been catching fish. Many of the lakes in these two areas offer rainbow and tiger trout, and some also have cutthroat and brook trout, as well as splake and Arctic grayling.
"One of the best things about fishing in these areas is the diversity available," Oplinger said. "There are a variety of different fishing techniques that can be used successfully, including using flies, baits and lures. These lakes also provide a fishing opportunity for everyone — you can use a kayak, canoe, float tube or just fish from shore. Some of the lakes you can reach just by driving to them, some require an off-highway vehicle for access, and others are so rugged you'll need to hike into the area. There's something for every type of angler at these waterbodies."
Tips to help you have success at these high-elevation lakes:
- If you're using bait like a worm or PowerBait: Suspend the bait below a bobber, tying the hook with bait about 18–24 inches below your bobber.
- If you're using a lure: Try a spoon (Kastmaster or Daredevil) or spinnerbait (Rooster Tail or Blue Fox) to have success when fishing for trout. Use different colors of lures if the fishing is slow.
- Try retrieving the lures at different speeds — sometimes fish are more attracted to lures that move quickly or slowly through the water.
While some COVID-19-related restrictions have recently been lifted, Utahns are still encouraged to practice social distancing while outdoors and should remain at least 6 feet away from others who may be fishing at the same waterbody. If a waterbody looks crowded and social distancing will be difficult to maintain, you should try visiting a different waterbody. You should also stay home if you are feeling sick.
While fishing, you should also remember to pack out what you pack in and keep the area free of trash. If you're camping, be sure to completely extinguish any campfires. Also note that some facilities, like restrooms or campgrounds, may be closed due to COVID-19 — please respect those closures. Visit the Utah State Parks website for more tips on recreating responsibly.