Top Fishing Destinations of Central Utah

Few would think, just from seeing it, that the red rocks and desert landscapes of Central Utah would hold some of the most impressive fishing in the entire state, but it's true. From the Fremont River to the Fish Lake Plateau, amazing opportunities to catch trophy fish abound. Here's a list of some of the best places to fish in Central Utah near Fremont, UT.

Johnson Valley Reservoir

Also known simply as Johnson Reservoir, this body of water is unique and challenging. Unlike Fish Lake, this reservoir's max depth is only around 20 feet. It traditionally held trout, but migrating chubs, suckers, and yellow perch have taken over. In 1999 Johnson Valley Reservoir was stocked with tiger muskie, a sterile hybrid between pike and muskellunge, in hopes that these voracious predators would keep the non-sportfish populations under control.

Since 2000, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has stocked Johnson Valley Reservoir with tiger muskie multiple times, the most recent being in April of 2020 when 450 muskie were released into the reservoir. Tiger trout were also stocked in 2020, and may offer angling opportunities as well.

Because the reservoir is so shallow, the best fishing conditions for tiger muskie don't last long. Once aquatic vegetation starts to grow several weeks after ice-off and the water clears up, anglers have the best chance of catching a tiger muskie of over 40 inches, which is a monster, especially for Utah. Johnson Valley Reservoir is one of the few Utah bodies of water where tiger muskie are present, and it's likely the least crowded of all Utah tiger muskie fisheries.

Fremont River

Though small, this river holds monster trout. Due to its remote location and prolific insect hatches, the Fremont river holds a large quantity of quality fish in its lower stretches. Starting at Johnson Valley Reservoir, the Fremont River flows into Mill Meadow Reservoir before flowing down through Fremont and over to Torrey.

The early stretches of the river are home to hungry rainbow and brown trout, but you're not likely to find any monsters. As you descend into the valley, you'll find some quality fish south of Mill Meadow, and the stretch between Bicknell and Torrey is where you'll find the kind of fish that make the Fremont river famous.

Fly fishing is the most popular method of fishing the Fremont River. Successful tactics include swinging large streamer flies along undercut banks for large browns, fishing terrestrials like hoppers and ants, and fishing deeper pools with nymphs and chironomids. If you're planning on fishing Fremont River, check out the latest fishing reports for an idea of what to expect.

Fish Lake

Fish Lake is one of the most popular lakes in the entire state of Utah. It's right up there with Strawberry Reservoir and Bear Lake, and for good reason. This large mountain lake is famous for its monster lake trout, splake, rainbow trout, and millions of perch. Every year, anglers from all over the state cast a line into this lake. It's also a massively popular ice fishing destination. It can get crowded, but the lake is large enough to support all the weekend visitors.

This lake is tricky to fish without a boat of some kind. The lake remains very shallow, barely waist deep, up to 40 yards off shore. There are several locations around the lake where deeper water can be fished from shore, but you'll have a better experience from a boat. Rentals are available from the marina and lodge on the lake's west end. Anglers are encouraged to keep yellow perch, as their large population keeps their size stunted.

If you're interested in perch fishing at Fish Lake, focus on the weedline where the shallow water transitions to the main lake body. You'll catch more perch than you can count with some trout mixed in. For lake trout, focus on the deeper parts of the lake and troll or jig larger baits. 

Mill Meadow Reservoir and Forsyth Reservoir

These reservoirs are often overlooked because of their proximity to Fish Lake, but these reservoirs hold large populations of sizable trout. They are lower in elevation and a relatively short drive north from Fremont.They are fed by creeks that come off of the Fish Lake Plateau and offer great boating and recreational opportunities as well.

Anglers are most likely to catch rainbow and brown trout, but brook trout, tiger trout, splake, and yellow perch are all possible catches. UM Creek, which feeds Forsyth Reservoir, offers the chance to catch tiger trout and splake, which is rare in smaller bodies of water.
You don't have to go far from Fremont River RV Park to find blue ribbon trout fishing, plentiful perch, and even monster muskies.