PRICE — School is out and families are planning summer vacations and weekend get-aways. With the price of gas approaching $4 a gallon, recreational destinations closer to home have become more attractive.
The Manti-La Sal National Forest in central Utah offers multiple camping and fishing destinations without spending a lot of time and money on travel.
Consider a weekend get-away along State Route 31 that connects the town of Fairview with Huntington. Within several miles of each other are Mammoth Reservoir, Cleveland Reservoir, and Electric Lake. Just below Electric Lake is Huntington Creek, which is a Blue Ribbon fishery. All three reservoirs and Huntington creek are easily fished from the bank.
The U.S. Forest Service has a number of campsites and developed campgrounds along State Route 31. Learn more about the variety of campsites and campgrounds by visiting the Manti-La Sal National Forest on the web or by calling the Manti-La Sal National Forest office in Price.
Of the three reservoirs mentioned, only one has special regulations. At Huntington Reservoir, cutthroat trout must be returned to the water. Huntington Creek is managed by special regulations in order to offer anglers several specialized fishing experiences.
A variety of trout species are found at the fisheries along State Route 31. Huntington Reservoir is home to tiger trout and cutthroat trout. Cleveland Reservoir holds tiger, cutthroat and rainbow trout. Resident trout in Huntington Creek are predominantly browns with a few cutthroats in the mix.
Fishing conditions change regularly at these and all other bodies of water.
To find the latest fishing information, check out wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots. The report will provide you with a starting point. All reports must be taken with a grain of salt.
Fishing conditions change all the time. Angling success fluctuates by time of day, weather conditions, phase of the moon, insect hatches, water temperature, skill of the angler and just plain luck—just to name a few.
Although angling results are unpredictable, some generalities exist. The best baits for rainbow trout are night crawlers and PowerBait with the most effective PowerBait colors being rainbow and chartreuse with glitter. Tiger trout and cutthroats are most easily caught with night crawlers, dead minnows and spinners. For years, the best spinner has been the Jakes Spin-a-Lure. Night crawlers continue to be the #1 bait. The best artificial fly patterns are leeches, wooly buggers, soft hackle flies and prince nymphs.
At the three reservoirs, the trout limit is four. Along the fly-only zone in Huntington Creek, the limit is two trout. For the most part, trout range from 9 to 12 inches, although much larger trout can be caught at any of these waters.
Best fishing occurs in early morning or late evening.
Whether your preference is catch-and-release fishing or a fish fry, the fisheries along State Route 31 offer inexpensive and enjoyable recreation without spending a lot of money. If you couple fishing with camping, you are in for a fun-filled weekend or week with very little travel and expense.