Cutthroat Trout in net

To Fish Or Not To Fish – A Summer Guide to Fly Fishing

If you’re a local, you’ve already experienced a hot summer day in Utah.

We “humans” usually retreat to the mountains to escape the hot city, but this year the mountains may not give much of a break as we hoped. Triple digit temperatures in the first part of June tell us that we have a couple months left of unbearable heat. Add in the lack of snowfall and now we have a summer of low, warm waters.

One of our goals here at Fishwest is to keep the fish safe, in the water and thriving. So we put together a quick reference guide for Anglers to refer to for your next trout fly fishing adventure. The informational chart below offers a quick explanation of the temperature suggested for fishing and when you should absolutely stop fishing.


Thermometer Infographic
This infographic shows the ideal temperatures for trout fishing in Utah


Here are a few more tips to help you have the best day possible on the water. 

  1. Make sure you have a valid Utah fishing license. You can buy one here. After you purchase your license, download the Utah DWR app (Apple / Droid) so that you do not have to keep the paper version on you. The app downloads the license so you do not have to worry about having service to use the app.
  2. Avoid afternoon fishing. Ideally you’ll want to start fishing an hour before sunrise and about an hour or two after dusk. (check the sunrise/sunset page on the internet) 
  3. If the afternoon is your only chance to get out on the water, we suggest looking at local still waters (lakes and ponds) some of them offer more depth to keep the water cooler and give the trout a place for retreat as the day heats up. Use an indicator with a fly below it OR you can set up a “hopper dropper”. Huge thanks to Trout Unlimited for this awesome picture of the perfect Hopper-Dropper Setup:

    hopper-dropper set-up
    With terrestrial season coming on strong throughout the country, it’s an obvious time to start flinging a hopper-dropper rig.
  4. Have a thermometer and check the water temperatures frequently as the day warms up. At Fishwest we have an Umpqua Thermometer that works great, please use best judgement and understand that each thermometer could be off slightly. Always keeping in mind that once the thermometer reaches 68°, it’s time to stop.
  5. Use 3x/4x tippet & bring the fish in as quickly as you can.
  6. Minimally touch the trout, crimp the barbs on your flies so that you can release the fish quickly.
  7. Always have a net on your person and keep the fish horizontal in the water. Never bringing their gills out of the water. We can’t stress this one enough, keep em’ wet. 
  8. Education is key in keeping Utah’s fisheries safe. Always review the most recent revision of the fishing proclamation to know what areas are open. If you do keep fish, how many you can harvest per the specific area. We always suggest recycling your fish. Keep ’em wet and put them back for someone else to catch another day.

Last but not least, come visit us in Kamas for all your fly fishing gear needs and of course, please share these tips with your friends and family.