Fishing is a great way to beat the heat and enjoy breathtaking scenery in Utah County, but some would-be fisherman may not know where to go or what gear to use.
Urban fisheries can be found at ponds throughout Utah County and are great places to start. “These fisheries are a great opportunity for young or beginning fishermen,” said Mike Fisher, fishing manager at Sportsmen’s Warehouse. “The Division of Wildlife Resources stocks them with a lot of fish so the beginning angler has an opportunity to go catch.” A list of urban fisheries can be found on Utah’s Fishing Information website.
Wildlife Resources keeps a stocking report so fishermen can see which areas will bring the most promise for a catch. It is best to go two to three days after stocking.
Fishermen looking for bigger fish can try out Utah Lake, Strawberry Reservoir or Scofield Reservoir. The quality of fishing spots can vary and can change from day to day, but urban fisheries remain fairly consistent. “If you want to have great success quickly, don’t get hung up on going to a high mountain stream and fly fishing,” Fisher said. “Keep your options open.”
Knowing how to use fishing gear is just as important as finding the right spot. Beginning fishermen can learn by taking a class, hiring a guide or going with experienced friends. “Just a few hours of being taught the basics can save you days and days of fumbling through just trying to figure it out,” said Ramon Zabriskie, who teaches the fly fishing section of Outdoor Skills Leadership at BYU.
Cold Water Sport Fisheries Coordinator for Wildlife Resources Paul Birdsey encourages all fishermen to leave the area better than they found it. “In addition to picking up your own trash, bring along an extra garbage bag and pick up the trash others have left behind,” he said.
Beginning fishermen shouldn’t get frustrated if they aren’t catching many fish. “Sometimes beginning anglers forget to enjoy the experience of fishing because they’re so hung up on catching a fish,” Fisher said. “Fishing’s not necessarily about catching; it’s about being there with someone you enjoy and having fun.”