DWR Central Utah Waters of the Week

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You don’t have to go to one of Utah’s big, popular trout fishing waters to have fun and catch fish. Small, out-of-the-way waters often offer fishing that’s just as good– or better– than the fishing you’ll find at the bigger waters. And you can catch fish right from the bank.

Four small waters in central Utah are good examples of waters– just like them– that are found across the state.

One of the things that make fishing at many of these waters so good is the rate at which they receive new fish. For example, the Division of Wildlife Resources stocks trout into the four central Utah waters every one to two weeks.

Benches Pond and Boulger Reservoir

Benches Pond (also known as Beaver Dam Reservoir or CCC pond) and Boulger Reservoir are just east of Fairview on the central part of the Wasatch Plateau in central Utah. The two waters are just three miles from each other.

You don’t need a truck to reach the ponds — a passenger car will work just fine. And you don’t need a boat or a float tube either– most of the fish that are caught at these ponds are caught from the shore.

The DWR stocks the two waters regularly with 8- to 10-inch rainbow trout. Nightcrawlers, PowerBait and marshmallows are some of the best baits to use to catch rainbows at the two waters. If you want to fish with lures, Jakes spinners are a great lure to try.

In addition to fishing, both waters are well-suited for a family picnic. Benches Reservoir even has facilities for those with physical challenges, including a parking area, a boardwalk and a restroom.

You can reach both waters by driving on state Route 31 from either Huntington or Fairview. At the top of Fairview Canyon, turn onto state Route 264. From there, it’s about two miles to Benches Reservoir. Travel three miles farther on Route 264, and you’ll come to the turn off to Boulger Reservoir and Electric Lake.

Taking state Route 96 from Scofield Reservoir is another way to reach both waters.

Grassy Lake and Petes Hole

Farther south on the Wasatch Plateau lie Grassy Lake and Petes Hole. Both of these waters offer good fishing — just like Benches Pond and Boulger Reservoir offer — but a high-clearance vehicle is needed to reach them.

Just five miles from each other, the waters are east of Ephraim along the dugway between Joes Valley Reservoir and the Skyline Drive. You can reach the dugway via state Route 29 from either Orangeville or Ephraim. (Snow was blocking the road from Ephraim earlier this summer, but it should be melted by now.)

Grassy Lake and Petes Hole lie within a lush spruce-fir forest. Both waters are great places to camp with your family. And both of the ponds are stocked regularly with tiger trout and rainbow trout.

Traditional rainbow trout baits, including nightcrawlers and PowerBait, are great baits to use at the ponds. Tiger trout, on the other hand, are most frequently hooked with hardware, such as spinners, or with meaty baits, including dead minnows.

Lots of advantages

Brent Stettler, a DWR conservation outreach manager, says smaller mountain fishing holes provide advantages you won’t find at larger reservoirs and lakes.

“The smaller waters are too small for noisy watercraft,” Stettler says. “Also, there’s less traffic on the roads. The shorelines aren’t lined with summer homes and private property. And it’s often easier to find a place to camp or picnic.

“And last of all,” he says, “you’ll probably catch more fish than you will fishing from the bank at a larger body of water.

“As summer temperatures soar, try one of the smaller fisheries in the state. You might end up getting hooked on them.”

Stay updated

You can receive free weekly fishing reports from the DWR by subscribing to the reports at https://go.usa.gov/BRz.

You can also read the reports at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.

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