Good Fishing Close to Home


Rainbow trout fishing should be excellent at Otter Creek Reservoir this spring.

DWR Press Release

DWR biologists share best close-to-home waters to fish this spring

If you’re like many adults, some days feel like a whirlwind, and you need a break. Or, you’re simply looking for something fun to do with your family after the soccer games on Saturday. You want to go fishing, but you know you can’t devote an entire day to being outside.

Fortunately, in Utah, an entire day isn’t required to have a great time. Even if you have just a few hours, there are plenty of places you can go and enjoy good fishing.

So, if you’ve decided to break free for a few hours, where should you go? Which close-to-home waters will likely produce the best fishing in Utah this spring?

Randy Oplinger, sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, stays in close contact with DWR fisheries biologists across Utah. The following are his picks as the best close-to-home waters to fish in Utah in spring 2018:

Northern Utah

If you live in northern Utah, you’re in luck: the northern part of the state has several waters that should provide excellent fishing this spring. Here are Oplinger’s picks, grouped together by the fish he recommends targeting at each water:

  • East Canyon, Echo, Hyrum and Rockport reservoirs (trout)
  • Pineview Reservoir (crappie)
  • Willard Bay Reservoir (wiper, crappie and walleye)

North-central Utah

Great trout fishing is waiting for you at two waters in north-central Utah. The third water should provide fast fishing for white bass:

  • Jordanelle and Settlement Canyon reservoirs (trout)
  • Utah Lake (white bass)

Northeastern Utah

Two waters in northeastern Utah should provide fast fishing for bluegill. The remaining waters should provide good fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye respectively:

  • Big Sandwash Reservoir (smallmouth bass)
  • Little Montes and Steinaker reservoirs (bluegill)
  • Starvation Reservoir (walleye)

Southeastern Utah

Huntington North Reservoir is Oplinger’s pick in southeastern Utah. Wipers in the reservoir are getting big. Hook a wiper — a cross between a striped bass and a white bass — and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

South-central and Southwestern Utah

You’ll likely have to travel a ways to reach Oplinger’s pick in the south-central/southwestern part of the state, but Otter Creek Reservoir should reward you with great rainbow trout fishing.

“Rainbow trout are doing really well in Otter Creek Reservoir,” he says, “with plenty of fat rainbows in the 15-inch range available to catch. Fishing through April should be really good. Fishing will likely slow a bit as the water temperature warms in May, but fishing should still be good.”

Watch fishing reports

To get the most out of the time you have, get online and check out the fishing reports available on the web. In addition to learning how fast the fishing has been, you’ll learn about the tackle and techniques anglers are using to catch fish.

A great place to start is In addition to fishing reports, this DWR-managed site provides information about the waters themselves, including how to reach them, the type of facilities you’ll find and the fish you’ll likely catch. If the fishing report is the only item you’re interested in, you don’t even have to visit the website to get it: you can subscribe to the report online. It will arrive in your email inbox each week.

Two additional websites — and — also provide current fishing information for waters across the state. Utah fishing-related Facebook pages are also good places to check.

Learn-how-to-fish websites

If you’re new to fishing, or you’d simply like to brush up on your skills, lots of online websites and videos cover the basics. A great place to start is

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