Spring is an excellent time to fish for trout in Utah.
As the water warms in the spring, fish become more active. They will often go on a “feeding binge” of sorts, trying to make up for a lack of food during the winter months.
Several lakes throughout the state are ready for spring fishing. Lakes at higher elevations, however, will stay iced over for a few more weeks.
The best ice-off fishing happens in the shallow parts of a lake, where the water tends to be warmest. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Regional Aquatic Manager Richard Hepworth said shore anglers often make the mistake of casting their bait or lure too far out.
“Look for fish to be active near shore, especially near rocky areas or areas that have a gravel bottom,” he stated. “Rocky points are often excellent areas to fish.”
Current conditions at several area waterways are encouraging. DWR Aquatics Biologist Calvin Black reported that on March 23 he fished Joe’s Valley Reservoir on the rocky east shoreline under the cliffs. He used a dead chub under a bobber to catch a 22 inch, three pound splake on his first cast. In addition to the chub and bobber, Black worked another rod rigged with a tube jig and chub meat.
Most fish seemed to be in shallow water right off submerged boulders. He cast his line across the shoreline rather than out from shore to keep the bait in the zone where most fish were apparently holding. The cutthroat trout he caught ranged from 14 to 18 inches.
Just before 5 p.m., Black hooked and landed a 10 pound, 30 inch tiger muskie. During the course of the day, Black landed 12 splake, 10 cutthroat trout, a five pound tiger trout and a 30 inch muskie.
Closer to town, DWR Conservation Officer James Thomas reports fair to good fishing using worms or PowerBait at the Carbon County Community Fishing Pond. Fairground employees recommend artificial flies or lures.
Finally, anglers are urged to use caution at Scofield Reservoir. DWR officials recommend that anglers wait until the ice melts before fishing at this location. Ice conditions continue to change rapidly at Scofield.
On March 29, DWR Conservation Officer J.D. Abbott observed anglers, a snow machine and a four-wheeler on the ice. Then on March 31, Ranger Larry Johansen emailed that the ice was turning blue and conditions were unsafe.
On April 2, DWR Conservation Officer Wyatt Mecham reported that the surface was covered with a layer of new snow and the shoreline ice was weak and slushy.
Although spring is the perfect time to catch trout in Utah waterways, it can be dangerous. Keep up-to-date on fishing conditions at wildlife.utah.gov. There anglers will find weekly fishing reports.