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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fishing Utah's Uinta Mountains

August is prime time to hike, backpack and fish Utah's expansive Uinta Mountain Wilderness Area. These are the highest mountains in Utah. They are heavily forested and shelter about 1,000 small lakes and reservoirs managed for fishing. There are also numerous streams with thriving populations of sport fish.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this new article about fishing the mountains. Photos and a video clip illustrate the narrative. Below are excerpts.

When it comes to creating memories of fishing in Utah, few places rival the scenery, diversity and opportunity of the state's northeastern corner.

State wildlife officials stock fish where they can reach them with hatchery trucks and use adapted Cessna 185 airplanes to plant fish in back country lakes. Waters along Highway 150 (more commonly called the Mirror Lake Highway running from Kamas to Evanston, Wyo.) are planted on at least a weekly basis throughout the summer with fish in the 8- to 12-inch range. Backcountry lakes are stocked with fish under 3 inches via aerial plants every three to five years.

On the Uintas lakes menu: rainbow, cutthroat, brown and brook trout and grayling. A small population of golden trout remain from a stocking in the late 1970s despite competition from brook trout.

The tiger trout -- a sterile hybrid mix between a brook and a brown trout -- were recently introduced to the Uintas. Some anglers are still trying to figure out exactly what kind of Frankenstein fish they are catching, as the seemingly weekly e-mails and calls to DWR fisheries officials illustrate. But many have grown fond of the aggressive trout with the worm-like mottled pattern across their entire body.

If you are looking to get away from the crowds and have a full day, consider a short hike into the backcountry. Numerous trailheads in the Uintas provide access to 450,000 acres of true wilderness. Once you've made a decision on where to fish, the question is what to use. Most anglers, particularly along the Mirror Lake Highway lakes, use bait. Night crawlers, Power bait and salmon eggs are all good choices. Bait isn't a good choice, however, if you plan on practicing catch and release fishing, as was evident on a recent trip, with dead fish scattered around the edges of several lakes.

Read the complete article.


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