Utah’s elevation ideal for fishers over the summer

photo by Ron Stewart, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Tiger trout are among the many species of trout that can be caught in the Uinta Mountains. (Ron Stewart)

Utah’s high elevation is providing excellent trout fishing this summer.

Division of Wildlife Resources Aquatic Section Chief Drew Cushing stated in a press release that trout prefer to stay in 65-degree or colder water, and that Utah’s high elevations make those low temperatures common.

“That’s the ideal water temperature for trout,” Cushing said. “Fortunately, most high-elevation lakes in Utah stay below that temperature throughout the summer. That’s the main reason they’re such great places to fish.”

Trout fishers are recommended to fish in the Uinta Mountains, which are located in the North/Northeastern regions of Utah and the Boulder Mountains, which are located in Southern Utah. While the lakes at the Uinta Mountains are much easier to reach than the lakes at the Boulder Mountains, the Boulder Mountains are the ideal spot for those who want to catch bigger fish because they “provide fast fishing for bigger trout,” according to Cushing.

The Uinta and Bolder mountains also stand out because of their variability.

“What makes both Uinta and Boulder mountains such ideal fishing spots is the fact that there’s a high number of waters available around the area which makes catching fish more attainable,” said DWR public relations specialist Mark Hadley.

Though Utah has the ideal conditions for fishing during the summer, it is important for fishers to do some research before heading out to the water.

The time of day is one of the most important elements when it comes to fishing.

“If the temperature gets warm enough, that makes the fish sluggish so they’re not very active and will slow down your fishing,” Hadley said. “Because of that, the best times to go fishing are either early morning or later in the day when the water isn’t nearly as hot, which makes the fish more active.”

It’s also important to know the distinct types of fish in the area. According to Cushing, trout are the most commonly caught fish in the Uinta and Boulder mountains. Trout variations include brook, cutthroat and tiger.

Cushing recommends using a spinning gear to capture the fish.

“All of these species are more aggressive than the rainbow trout most anglers are used to catching,” Cushing said. “A lure that flashes quickly through the water like a spinner is something brooks, cutthroats and tigers will go after.”

It is also important to bring some emergency items for the trip, even if the plan is to be on the water for only a few hours. Cushing recommends bringing some food, water, a survival blanket, bug spray, sunscreen and a hat.

State wildlife officials have also stressed the importance of preserving Utah’s scenic outdoors for everyone.

“In addition to picking up your own trash, bring along an extra garbage bag,” Cushing said. “Pick up the trash that others have left behind; this includes discarded fishing lines and fishing tackle.”

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