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One of the best times to fish

Braden Cook shows a Rainbow trout caught on the Green River below Flaming Gorge dam
Braden Cook shows a Rainbow trout caught on the Green River below Flaming Gorge dam

Autumn leaves, cool weather, great fishing

There are many reasons why fall is a prime time to fish in Utah. Fewer anglers-and fewer recreational boaters-top the list.

"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."

In addition to having more space to fish, you can also enjoy some of the best scenery, weather and fishing of the year. Oplinger gives seven reasons to consider fishing in Utah this fall. He also lists the top waters to fish.

Reason 1 - Less crowded conditions

Looking for peace and quiet? Head to your favorite fishing water. They're much less crowded in the fall.

Reason 2 - Cooler temperatures

Fishing during the heat of summer can be tough. The cooler temperatures fall brings also bring pleasant outdoor conditions that are often perfect to fish in.

Reason 3 - Beautiful fall scenery

The blazing oranges, reds and other shades of fall provide a backdrop that makes fishing in the fall both rejuvenating and exhilarating.

Reason 4 - Active, hungry fish

In the fall, water temperatures cool to a point that's perfect for many fish. These ideal temperatures make fish more active. And, because they're more active, they're hungrier and more willing to take your lure or bait.

Reason 5 - Preparing for winter

As the water cools and daylight wanes, fish sense that winter-and the limited food supply found in the winter-is on its way. The fish start feeding aggressively to try to pack weight on before their food supply dwindles.

Reason 6 - Fall spawning

Brown trout, brook trout, lake trout and splake are among the fish that spawn in the fall.

During the spawn, browns, brookies, lake trout and splake lose some of their wariness. They become more aggressive and willing to bite your bait or lure. That makes fall a great time to fish for these species.

Reason 7 - Baits, lures and flies work

Because fish are hungry and active, there's a good chance your favorite fishing technique will work. Pull a nightcrawler along the bottom of the water you're fishing, dangle a worm a few feet under a bobber or cast and retrieve a lure or fly, every fishing technique has a great chance of working 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.

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."

Great family fishing

Brown trout

Brown trout (lower and middle sections of the river)



Note: Walleye fishing at Starvation is best from a boat.

Trout and grayling


Striped bass and walleye

Note: A boat is required to fish Lake Powell effectively.


Lake trout

Note: A boat is required to catch lake trout at Bear Lake.

Brown trout

Brown trout

Brown trout