Although Utah in the US is often associated with the desert, there are really a surprising amount of rivers there. Due to the fact that they pass through well-known picturesque landscapes that support tourism and agriculture, these rivers have a big impact on the state. Following is a list of Utah’s 10 longest rivers.
1. Green River
The Green River comes in first place. In one of the most picturesque locations in the nation, it supports trophy brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout. The renowned fishery begins at the foot of the Flaming Gorge Dam, which prevents the Flaming Gorge Reservoir from flowing into the lakes region below, which is another excellent fly-fishing location.
Although the top half of The Green has some shore access, to properly enjoy it, you must float it from the dam to Little Hole. The DWR asserts that there are up to 14,000 fish per mile of river in this seven-mile segment. It depends on if you can really capture them. If floating is not an option, there is a route that runs beside the river from the dam to Little Hole, however it may be a challenging climb in some places.
Visit one of the numerous local fly shops before you go on the river to learn about the current conditions and suggested flies. The Green River and Flaming Gorge, which are near Vernal, are roughly three and a half hours from Salt Lake City (SLC).
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2. Provo River
The upper, middle, and lower portions of the Provo River are separated. The higher segment, which starts in the Uinta Mountains, has unique advantages over the other sections. It’s filled with tiny brook, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, as well as the rare arctic grayling, if you get high enough. The Jordanelle Reservoir, a premier trout, and bass fishery, is where the river runs through before entering the Heber Valley.
The Middle Provo is the valley area below, where extensive river restoration work have been completed. With gentle bends and gorgeous holes teeming with fish, the restoration added more than four miles of river. The river bottom is cobblestone and has several amazing formations that house large brown trout. All of the browns in the Provo are reproducing naturally.
The Middle Provo is well recognized for its outstanding dry fly fishing, where the main ingredients include mayflies, caddis, midges, and stoneflies. Before ultimately entering the bottom part, the river first enters Deer Creek Reservoir. A swifter stream called the Lower Provo flows through Provo Canyon. The roughly 10-mile area is dotted with ski resorts and breathtaking waterfalls.
Trophy rainbows, large brown fish, and the rare cutthroat may all be found in the lower river. This area’s relative proximity to population centers is one of its main charms. The river is within a short drive from Provo and Orem. Sowbugs, midges, and scuds may be found in good numbers in the bottom part, which helps the fish gain weight.
Throughout the spring, summer, and autumn, the lower and middle parts also have fantastic mayfly hatches. There are several fly shops around where you can find out about current flows and hatches.
3. Weber River
Another sectional river on our list that also happens to be one of the top fly fishing streams close to Salt Lake City is the Weber. In the Uinta Mountains, where the upper part originates, you may probably catch rainbows, brookies, cutthroats, and the sporadic grayling. You could also come across whitefish a little farther downstream, although still in the upper portion.
Rockport Reservoir, a terrific place for ice fishing and good for trout and smallmouth bass fishing, is filled by the Upper Weber. The central part of the Weber River is located below the dam. The large browns in this location will eat a streamer at any time of the year. The Weber prefers not to use dry flies. Nymphs work better for fishing. Although there are a few significant hatches that bring out the dry flies, nymphing or using streamers is often recommended.
The lower portion begins under Echo Reservoir and travels through valleys and canyons until coming to a conclusion near Willard Bay. San Juan worms, nymphs, and woolly buggers may be used to catch good-sized brown trout between the lakes, as well as the odd whitefish. Ogden River In the fall, the Ogden River’s upper sections run serenely under golden, orange, and red leaf cover.
Brown trout fishing is very strong in the river segment between Causey Reservoir and Pineview Reservoir. The Ogden River enters a narrow canyon below the Pineview Dam. The depth of the river itself seldom exceeds three to four feet across this area. More browns than you would imagine may be found in slower pools and eddies, and the river produces well all the way into Ogden’s downtown.
4. Logan Creek
Beginning in southern Idaho, the Logan River flows into northernmost Utah. There are several benefits to visiting this lovely river, but the best one is the excellent fly fishing. The lower segments of the river are home to brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, while the higher levels are home to more cutthroat, brook trout, and the rare whitefish.
This is the place to go if you like large flies. With the late spring and summer, this freestone river is covered in salmon flies and green and gray drakes. Giant bugs indicate large fish. Approximately two hours north of Salt Lake City, in Logan Valley, the Logan flows.
5. Blacksmith Fork
Blacksmith Fork, another freestone river close to the Logan River, offers fantastic brown and cutthroat trout fishing. Almost as popular as the fishing is the landscape. A smaller, swifter brook in the upper half transforms into a more fishable river in the lower canyon. The larger fish hold in the bottom part, while the brookies and smaller cutthroat reside in the higher area.
6. Brown River
The Bear River originates on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains and flows through Wyoming and Idaho before coming back into Utah. Numerous brookies and smaller cutthroats may be found in the top portion, and giants may be hidden there as well.
A streamer is needed in deeper pools to lure the larger fish out to play. Kids may learn the sport quickly and on smaller fish in the shallower areas. The fish become larger after the river flows back into Utah. Sections of the river are home to 18-inch brown trout, trophy rainbows, enormous cutthroats, and the sporadic whitefish.
7. Strawberry River
A must-see place is the Strawberry River. You could catch rainbows, cutthroat, browns, and brookies as the river winds past stunning red rock sandstone and white-capped canyons, and you might even see some golden eagles. Be cautious while traveling through these canyons since they are home to black bears and mountain lions as well.
Even though the river is a spectacular location, the reservoir it originates from is well known for its cutthroat, rainbow, and kokanee fishing. One of the top trout lakes in the state is Strawberry Reservoir. Near Duchesne, approximately two and a half hours east of SLC, are the best entry sites.
8. Duchesne River
The Duchesne, or “Do-Shane,” is a significant drainage system for the Uinta Mountains’ south slope. It regularly yields a sizable amount of whitefish, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Also seen in the higher reaches are brookies. It’s crucial to abide by posted signs since a significant portion of this river flows through private property, making access difficult in many places. Through the valley, the Duchesne River makes its way until it ultimately joins the Green River.
9. Flood River
The Fremont is a thrilling, swift-moving river with some hidden monsters. The river is 20 feet broad at its widest point, which is where it begins at Johnson Valley Reservoir before flowing into its canyon. Some of the greatest, least-polluted fishing over the whole length of the river may be found in the first few miles, which are on U.S. Forest Service territory. It’s difficult to get there and calls for a journey across some difficult terrain.
The fishing is still excellent, and the lower parts broaden greatly. High alpine vistas give way to red rock terrain in the scenery. Mother Nature has offered enough of visual pleasure along the river that borders Capitol Reef National Park.
Numerous valleys in the Salt Lake Valley include little rivers and streams that are ideal for a brief retreat. The adventurous fisherman may find plenty of camping and accommodation in Big Cottonwood Canyon, which is home to multiple ski resorts, throughout the summer. Cutthroat, brook, and rainbow trout are found in plenty in the canyon rivers, and some rainbows have also been stocked. These streams are easily accessible from SLC and may become rather crowded on the weekends and in the nights, while they are generally empty of fishermen during the workweek.
10. South Slope of the Uinta Mountains
There are several minor rivers, alpine lakes, and streams in the Uinta Mountains. Choosing a route and finding a beautiful mountain stream brimming with trout and the odd beaver pond is one of the greatest things about the Uinta Mountains.
If you’re daring, spending three or four days trekking in the Uinta Mountains may result in some of the finest fly-fishing adventures of your life. There are many species of trout waiting, including brown trout, mountain whitefish, rainbow, cutthroat trout, arctic grayling, and tiger trout. You’re well on your way to the Utah Cutthroat Slam if you can capture all three strains of cutthroat (Bonneville, Bear River, and Colorado River). Even though there is little to no fishing pressure in certain rural streams and lakes, fly fisherman may still find some of the quickest action available. A two to three hour trip from SLC will get you to the majority of the South Slope.
11. Cunningham Creek
Good rainbow trout in the 15 to 18 range may be found in Currant Creek. Although the valley it’s in is mostly desolate, the stream itself is heavily covered with willows. Bring your waders and spend the day catching tough ‘bows in picturesque pools and beaver ponds before finishing the day throwing streamers at Currant Creek Reservoir. About 112 hours from SLC, Currant Creek is located just north of Strawberry Reservoir.
12. Huntington Creek’s Right Fork
Due to its geographic position and the enormous quantity of fish it produces, Huntington is a fantastic vacation spot. Huntington Creek fishing will make you feel on top of the world. This tailwater meanders through the plains before flowing down the canyon and into Huntington Reservoir as enormous granite cliffs rise above at a height of more than 10,000 feet. Brown trout are abundant in the stream, and native cutthroat and brook trout are willing to accept a dry fly. It’s close to Price, about a three- or two-hour journey from SLC or Provo.
13. Sevier River
Fly-fishing prospects on the East Fork of the Sevier River are really spectacular. The DWR has now repaired what was previously a washed-out river in the early 1990s, adding several miles of great access. The DWR has officially classified it as a blue-ribbon fishery. Cast for brookies, cutthroat, rainbows, and large browns. The higher reaches of the river are where you’ll find most of the brook trout.
For the largest fish and the deepest pools, check out the Black Canyon area. With nearly 9 miles of public access land and stunning scenery, Kingston Canyon is also very accessible. Brown trout are the primary species caught via these parts. Try throwing streamers like bead head nymphs and woolly buggers. Try adding a split shot to the top of the fly to give it enough weight to resist the current in the pools behind waterfalls. Another excellent location to check out is Marysvale Canyon, although getting to the river will need some trekking through willows and bushes.
From mid-summer through the autumn, terrestrials have good luck catching rainbow trout, with streamers working best for browns. Anglers may catch smallmouth bass on the fly in the Sevier Drainage near Delta. Try a Clouser minnow or poppers. You may also target the local northern pike by tying a larger streamer to a steel leader.
These are the most prominent list of rivers in Utah. Whether you are interested in fishing, boating, or any other experience, you may think about visiting any of these rivers.