“Fly fishing is my life,” says Mike Navidomskis, owner of Kaysville-based Mickey Finn’s Fly Box. “It’s everything—it’s artistic, it’s athletic, it’s aesthetic, it’s poetic.” Navidomskis, who also teaches fly fishing classes and hosts a KSL Radio fishing-focused show each Saturday morning, has fished across the world—from New Zealand to Belize—but says that some of his favorite fishing getaways are in Utah’s great outdoors. “Utah is full of great places to fish and relax,” he says.
Navidomskis’ fly fishing passion for Utah’s rivers isn’t unique. Aaron Peterson, executive vice president of sales at Prosper, Inc. and writer of the popular fishing blog, www.flyfishingfrenzy.com
, is another avid angler whose favorite spots include the state’s many majestic waters. He says fly fishing is the best way he’s found to escape the workday stress. “Whatever I do, work is almost always on my mind, except when I’m out fly fishing,” he says. “Because fly fishing requires so much attention, you’re constantly thinking about what fly to use, what depth, how much weight—fly fishing is something that constantly keeps your mind going and really allows you to get away and forget the office.”
Utah is home to numerous fly fishing spots just a few hours drive from downtown Salt Lake. Ranging from the Provo to the Weber rivers, to Seven-mile Creek to Strawberry Reservoir, to the hundreds of streams tucked away in the Uinta Mountains, Utah has numerous one-of-a-kind fishing holes that will help you cast away the everyday stress.
“The Weber River is the most underrated river in Utah,” says Navidomskis. “It is a world-class fishery that contains rainbow, brown brook and cutthroat trout. It’s stocked with catchable fish all summer long, so it’s also a great place to take kids or beginners. And, it’s full of campgrounds, picnic areas and motels and cafes. It’s really a great river for just about anyone looking for a good day of fishing.” Beginning in the Uinta Mountains and emptying into the Great Salt Lake, fly fishing experts cast their lines on this 125-mile river when they need a quick escape from the office—just a short drive through Weber Canyon and you’re ready for prime fishing.
Only a 15-minute drive from Provo or an hour-and-a-half drive from Salt Lake City, the Provo River is considered to be one of the state’s premier blue-ribbon trout spots. “I think the Provo is one of the best fisheries in all of Utah,” says Peterson. “It’s a good place to catch a lot of fish and it’s not that far from wherever you are in the Salt Lake Valley.” With brown and rainbow trout reaching record lengths—a typical fish runs about 18 inches and larger—the Provo is sure to please those hoping to reel in the big one. The Provo River is also acclaimed for its abundance of trout: approximately 3,000 trout are located in a one-mile stretch of the river.
I fish the Provo a lot. I take all of my beginning classes there to fish. Students are always floored by how many fish we catch,” says Navidomskis. “And, it’s a more interesting river. It’s full of twists, turns, drags and drops.”
Known as one of the best trout fisheries in the Intermountain Region, the Logan River offers approximately 30 miles of easily accessible, quality roadside trout fishing. The river’s three impoundments, known as the first, second and third dams, are each stocked heavily with brown and rainbow trout, making the river full of catchable fish and, therefore, kid- and beginner-friendly. Above the impoundments, the river becomes a wild trout stream, with browns and cutthroats easily visible in the crystal clear waters. The best time to cast your line on this river is fall, with browns spawning in the late fall and early winter. And, if you’re looking to catch a record-breaking brown, the Logan River might be the place: a 37-pound brown trout was once pulled from the river.
A River Runs Through It
Defeated HB 187 Gives Anglers River Access
Rivers have long been considered public domain. But, what about when that prime fishing hole is located on private property? For years, landowners with property that included a river running through it were permitted to deny fisherman access to the river—the river’s bottom, after all, is land and, therefore, private property (not public like the river’s water). All that changed when the Utah State Legislature defeated HB 187, granting fishing enthusiasts (and other river lovers) access to the state’s rivers, even when running through private property.