Sports

Visit these top Utah destinations for Free Fishing Day, June 8

'It's the perfect time to take someone with you and introduce them to this fun sport,'

UTAH — Utahns can fish at any public waterbody in the state of Utah without a license this Saturday, June 8, for Free Fishing Day.

“Because you don’t need a license to fish on Free Fishing Day, it’s the perfect time to take someone with you and introduce them to this fun sport,” said Trina Hedrick, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sportfish coordinator. “Early June is one of the best times to fish in Utah. All of the fish in the state, both warmwater and coldwater species, are active and willing to bite this time of the year.”

Utah has 57 community ponds located around the state that are are stocked with trout and catfish by the DWR each year, offering opportunities for children and less-experienced anglers. Find a pond near you with the Fish Utah app.

For those looking for a more challenging experience, the DWR has provided this list of larger water bodies that offer more fishing opportunities:

  • Joes Valley Reservoir (Emery County): This is a prime fishing destination because it offers trophy tiger muskie fishing, as well as good fishing for splake, rainbow and cutthroat trout. You can have success fishing for all of these species from the shore or by boat.
  • Lake Powell (Garfield, Kane and San Juan counties): Known for its beautiful scenery and awesome boating, this waterbody is also a great fishing destination, particularly from a boat. This time of year offers outstanding fishing for striped bass, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish.
  • Fish Lake (Sevier County): With its close proximity to Capitol Reef National Park, this is already a fun area to explore, but Fish Lake also offers some excellent fishing, particularly from a boat. Fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch can be good in the early summer. Anglers can also find lake trout and splake at Fish Lake.
  • Strawberry Reservoir (Wasatch County): Located only about an hour and a half from Salt Lake City, this waterbody offers exceptional fishing that’s relatively close for residents along the Wasatch Front. Anglers will find pretty consistent fishing all summer long for kokanee salmon, rainbow and cutthroat trout.
  • Middle Provo River (Wasatch County): This waterbody provides great, close-to-home stream fishing for residents along the Wasatch Front. June and sometimes through July are an ideal time to fish the Middle Provo River, which is when the green drake hatch is happening. It’s a larger fly that hatches this time of year and provides an exciting fishing opportunity for fly anglers. Whitefish and brown trout are the best species to target this time of year. Melting snowpack has many of Utah’s streams and rivers running higher and faster than normal. Please be very cautious if you plan to fish a river or stream in the coming weeks, and check location conditions in advance.
  • Bear Lake (Rich County): Stretching between Idaho and Utah, this large waterbody provides a lot of different areas to fish. Well-known for its iconic Caribbean blue water, this scenic lake is also home to some species of fish that are found nowhere else in the world. Anglers should target cutthroat trout this time of year, and will have the best success from a boat.
  • Starvation Reservoir (Duchesne County): Rainbow trout over 20 inches are relatively common right now at this waterbody, making for a fun fishing experience. Anglers will typically have the most success while fishing from a boat. This time of year offers good fishing for walleye, in addition to rainbow trout. The DWR is still requesting that anglers harvest smaller walleye (10–14 inches) to reduce competition in this abundant size class.
  • Long Park Reservoir, Daggett County: This secluded reservoir offers fast fishing from shore or from a small watercraft, and anglers can expect high catch rates. Using dry flies can work exceptionally well, and this time of year offers great fishing for rainbow and brook trout and Arctic grayling.
  • Pelican Lake (Uintah County): Pelican Lake is a popular fishing destination in northeastern Utah and offers great bass fishing from a boat. Fly anglers should target bass using frog patterns in the late spring months and then switch to minnow patterns in the summer. Fly fish or bowfish for carp for a chance at catching one with a reward tag.

Outside of Free Fishing Day, a fishing license is required to fish anywhere in Utah. Other fishing rules will still be in effect on June 8. Read the DWR Utah Fishing Guidebook here.

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