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Head to Utah for Prime Fall Fishing

If you’re looking for a destination for some excellent fall fishing, head to Utah. Fall colors, blue skies, cool weather and fewer crowds mean great fishing!

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Here’s a list of reasons why Utah tops the list for fall fishing:

1. Less crowded conditions: What’s better than peace and quiet? Fishing areas tend to be much less crowded in the fall.

2. Fall scenery: Gorgeous fall foliage provides for the perfect fishing backdrop.

3. Cooler temperatures: With the tremendous heat of summer gone, the cooler temperatures of fall make fishing much more enjoyable.

4. Active fish: The fish are out and about this time of year! The cooler water temperatures make fish more active and thus hungrier and more willing to take your bait.

5. Hungrier fish: The fish sense that winter and a limited food supply are rapidly approaching. They begin to feed more aggressively to pack on some extra weight.

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6. Fall spawning: Brown and Brook Trout spawn in the fall, which means they lose some of their wariness. This makes them more aggressive and willing to take your bait!

7. Almost all techniques work: Try out a new technique, or go with your favorite. Because fish are hungry and active, every fishing style has a great chance of working.

“If you want to enjoy great fishing,” says Randy Oplinger, sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, “in less-crowded conditions, fall is the time to do it. Recreational boating and fishing pressure drop off dramatically in the fall.”

Best Waters to Fish

Oplinger says fishing opportunities will be great this fall for families and anglers who enjoy beating the crowds while fishing in a scenic place. This fall, the following waters should provide some of the best scenery and the best fishing in the state. He also lists the best species to target in each water.

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Family Fishing:

  • Weber River (Northern Utah) — Brown trout
  • Provo River (North-central Utah) — Brown trout (lower and middle sections of the river)
  • Starvation Reservoir (North-central Utah) — Walleye (Walleye fishing is best from a boat.)
  • Lakes, streams and rivers in the Uinta Mountains (North-central and northeastern Utah) — Trout and grayling
  • Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir (Northeastern Utah) — Trout
  • Lake Powell (Southern Utah) — Striped bass and walleye (A boat is required to fish Lake Powell effectively)


  • Blacksmith Fork River (Northern Utah) — Brown trout
  • Diamond Fork River (North-central Utah) — Brown trout
  • Thistle Creek (North-central Utah) — Brown trout

Also, if you’re going to hunt big game this fall, Oplinger encourages you to take a fishing rod and reel with you. “Big game hunting is typically best early in the morning and later in the day,” he says. “During mid-day, there’s often lots of down time. That’s a great time to grab your fishing rod and reel and take advantage of the many rivers, streams and lakes in Utah.”

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