From pike to trout, anglers will find healthy and active populations
Anglers in north-central Utah will be happy to learn that fishing is great at several waters right now. Mike Slater, regional aquatics manager with the Division of Wildlife Resources, says October and November are peak months for fishing.
To kick off fall fishing, Slater suggests anglers target northern pike. Yuba Reservoir is home to an abundant population of northern pike. These fish can reach more than 40 inches in length.
Northern pike are ambush predators and can be caught by casting fish-imitating lures into five to 20 feet of water. Fly anglers should try casting larger patterns with a fairly quick retrieval. A word of caution: northern pike have sharp teeth, so bring a long pair of needle-nose pliers to remove your fly or lure. These fish often bite through the line, so anglers should use a strong leader.
Deer Creek and Jordanelle Reservoirs
Both Deer Creek and Jordanelle reservoirs are stocked with tens of thousands of catchable rainbow trout each October. This month, Deer Creek will receive 70,000 10-inch rainbow trout. In the first part of November, Jordanelle will be stocked with 60,000 8-inch rainbows.
Brown trout in the Provo River are feeding aggressively as they prepare for the November spawn. Spinners and small, dark fly patterns work well on the Provo in the fall. As fall transitions to winter, try using egg-patterns (glo-bugs).
Sections of the Provo River have special fishing regulations, so check the 2013 Utah Fishing Guidebook for information on the section you plan to fish.
The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
Tibble Fork Reservoir
For a great fishing experience at a smaller water, try Tibble Fork Reservoir up American Fork Canyon. Slater says about 3,000 trout were stocked there the week of Sept. 29. This scenic reservoir not only provides good fishing, but
beautiful fall colors too.
October and November are great months to fish at Strawberry Reservoir.
For example, during a single fishing trip during the week of Sept. 29, angler Tom Ogden and two friends fished from 7:30 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m. They caught and released 27 cutthroats and 28 rainbows while fishing from kick boats.
“It was my personal best day at Strawberry in the 10 years that I have fished there,” Ogden says.
Ogden says all of the fish were more than 14 inches long and very frisky. He and his friends caught them in the Renegades area using medium- to fast-sinking lines and size 4-8 bead head wooly buggers in black/blue, purple, red/green, and tan/green/pearl colors. “We also caught some on leech patterns in olive, Canada blood, and purple,” he says.
Ogden says a number of anglers were fishing from boats, a canoe, and pontoons and float tubes. “There were also a couple of shore anglers,” he says. “Just about everyone we observed were catching some fish.”
DWR Conservation Outreach Manager Scott Root isn’t surprised by Ogden’s report. He says it’s not uncommon for two or three anglers, fishing together in a boat, to catch and release more than 50 fish this time of the year.
“Personally,” Root says, “fall is my favorite time to fish at Strawberry. The crowds are not as large, the days are often warm and the fishing is often good to very good. Between catching fish, I love to take in the breath-taking scenery while fishing from my float tube or the shore.”
If you’re not finding success, Root encourages you to switch techniques and locations. He also encourages you to read page 31 of the 2013 Utah Fishing Guidebook. “Strawberry has some special fishing regulations that you need to be aware of,” he says.
For help in telling the difference between a Bear Lake cutthroat trout and a rainbow trout, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/strawberry/pdf/strawberry_brochure.pdf.
Logo courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources