Anytime I think about fishing, the radio in my head starts playing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s, Fishing in the Dark, and my summers of working at the Lodge in Fish Lake, Utah come flying back. My friends and I took those song lyrics to heart. We DID go fishing in the dark … a few times.
I haven’t been back to Fish Lake in almost 20 years – despite the fact that I still think it’s one of the most breathtaking mountain locations on the planet and one of Utah’s best kept secrets. Fish Lake is a cold, deep (160 feet in places), glacier lake located in the Fish Lake National Forest. With an elevation of 8,850 feet above sea level, it’s the perfect place to escape the summer heat.
Fish Lake is home to Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout (popular with those hoping to tell a real “fish” story), Splake, which is a cross between a lake trout and a brook trout, and abundant Yellow Perch. You can fish from the shore, but the best summer fishing is done on the lake from a boat. In recent years, scuba divers, who brave the chill of the lake, have found success with spear fishing as an alternative to boats or shore fishing.
Is fly-fishing your thing? Two nearby creeks, Sevenmile Creek and the Fremont River, hold interest for the fly fisherman. Both creeks hold various species of trout. I know catch and release is the popular philosophy of the day, but I spent my childhood summers in Idaho, where my grandma would fry up the catch of the day brought home by my dad and grandpa. I can still taste the daily summer feast of fried trout and creamed potatoes and peas — fresh from the garden, with a big slice of the sweetest, juiciest watermelon I’d ever worn on my face. So I’m a big fan of catch and eat whenever I get the chance. If only I could replicate my grandma’s cooking.
Ready to go fly fishing, but can’t make the trip to Utah? Try these recommended fly fishing locations, with one likely near you.
Rather do some deep sea fishing? This list of 8 Great Places for Deep Sea Fishing may be just the adventure you’re looking for.
Do you have a favorite local fishing hole? I’d love to hear about it.