Exploring the Abundance of Utah: A Guide to Fishing Opportunities in the State

What Can I Fish for in Utah?

Utah is a fisherman’s paradise, offering diverse fishing opportunities throughout the state. With its numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, anglers can enjoy a variety of fishing experiences and target different species. Whether you are an experienced angler or just starting out, there is something for everyone in Utah’s bountiful waters.

Fishing Opportunities

Utah provides ample opportunities for both recreational and sport fishing. The state boasts over 1,000 fishable lakes and more than 7,500 miles of fishable streams and rivers. From high mountain streams to large reservoirs teeming with gamefish, there are countless places to cast your line in pursuit of your favorite catch.

Lake Fishing

Lakes offer some of the best fishing experiences in Utah due to their abundant populations of various fish species. The largest natural lake in the state is Bear Lake on the Utah-Idaho border. It is known for its trophy-sized cutthroat trout and tasty whitefish. Other popular lakes include Flaming Gorge Reservoir (known for its massive lake trout), Strawberry Reservoir (famous for its record-breaking rainbow trout), and Lake Powell (home to bass, walleye, catfish, and more).

River Fishing

If you prefer river fishing or fly-fishing, Utah has plenty to offer as well. The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam is renowned for its blue-ribbon trout fishing with beautiful scenery along its banks. Provo River near Park City is another popular spot where you can find both brown and rainbow trout year-round.

Main Species You Can Target:

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout are one of the most sought-after fish species in Utah. They thrive in both lakes and rivers, providing excellent angling opportunities. Strawberry Reservoir is particularly famous for its trophy-sized rainbow trout, attracting anglers from all over.

Brown Trout

Brown trout are known for their elusive nature and can be a thrilling challenge to catch. These wily fish inhabit many rivers and streams throughout Utah, including the Provo River and Logan River. Their beautiful golden-brown coloration makes them a prized catch among anglers.

Cutthroat Trout

The native cutthroat trout is highly prized by fly-fishing enthusiasts due to its stunning colors and feisty fight. Bear Lake is renowned for its trophy-sized cutthroats, while High Uinta’s remote streams offer exciting backcountry adventures targeting these majestic fish.

Largemouth Bass

If you enjoy bass fishing, Utah won’t disappoint! The warm-water reservoirs such as Lake Powell, Sand Hollow Reservoir, and Quail Creek Reservoir provide excellent habitat for largemouth bass. These powerful predators offer an exhilarating fight once hooked.

Fishing Licenses in Utah

Before you embark on your fishing adventure in Utah, it’s important to obtain the necessary licenses and permits:

Resident Licenses:

  • Annual Fishing License: Allows residents to fish all year long.
  • Youth Fishing License: Available at a reduced cost for children under 14 years old.
  • Senior Combination License: For residents aged 65 or older; includes fishing privileges along with hunting privileges.

Non-Resident Licenses:

  • Short-term Fishing License: Ideal for visitors planning a short fishing trip in Utah.
  • Annual Fishing License: Allows non-residents to fish all year long.

Special Permits:

In addition to the basic licenses, special permits may be required for certain types of fish or locations. These include:

  • Lake Powell Special Use Permit: Required when fishing at Lake Powell.
  • Bear Lake Cisco Slam Permit: Needed specifically for targeting Bear Lake’s unique cisco population.


Utah offers an abundance of fishing opportunities and a wide variety of fish species to target. Whether you prefer lake fishing or fly-fishing on rivers, there is a perfect spot waiting for you. Don’t forget to obtain the necessary licenses and permits before heading out on your angling adventures. So pack up your gear, prepare your bait, and get ready to experience the thrill of fishing in beautiful Utah!