Four-day trip to Utah (Wasatch Front to the high Uintas)


(russell austin) #1

As part of my increasing enthusiasm for this upcoming trip, thought I would post a new topic here in case any members have experience with the area and want to chime-in or as a general reference for anyone potentially considering a future trip.

A few years ago, my wife and I road-tripped from Grand Canyon thru Page (AZ) and then up the monument valley stretch until we hit Moab. We had an absolute blast and I came away with a great appreciation for the natural beauty in that portion of the state.

So I’m eagerly anticipating this 4-day trip to revisit Utah, however this time around the primary focus will be all Tenkara in an equally beautiful but altogether different terrain than my first visit. I’ll be based in Park City, and have managed to convince my dad and brother to join for their first introduction to Tenkara. Got our permits and WIAA numbers situated.

I’ve engaged in a healthy chunk of research and “think” I’ve got a decent plan. My goal is to get us out on a range of water types with opportunities to hook up with the wide variety of species the area offers.

Here are the waters we’re aiming to hit (generally within a 1hr. radius), it’s rather ambitious I know:

Day 1(I arrive a day early and want to get in some small stream action for myself)
Big Cottonwood Creek (first half of the day) then drive up to South Fork Ogden below Causey (second half)

Day 2
Weber River (first half) then drive up hwy 150 to one of the small Alpine lakes or try the Upper Provo for the rest of the afternoon

Day 3
Middle Provo (first half) then drive around to the American Fork Canyon (second half)

Day 4
Strawberry River canyon (most of the day), possibly the west fork Duchesne or Currant Creek time permitting

other waters under consideration: Hayden Fork, Diamond Fork, Logan River, etc.

Species:
I’d like to get into some cutthroats (Bonneville, Colorado River, Yellowstone) and some wild Brookies if possible as those have eluded me thus far.

Rods:
Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 & Nissin Air Stage 240 (for the small streams/creeks)
Zerosum Oni Honryu 395 (larger rivers)
TenkaraUSA Sato (all-rounder, if needed)

That’s the plan at least for now.

I’d be interested to know:
Any must-fish waters I’ve overlooked?
Best chance at finding Cutthroats and wild Brookies?
Kebari or other pattern recommendations?
Any food & drink recommendations?
Any other thoughts, opinions, suggestions, etc.?

Any and all input is much appreciated.


(ERiK Ostrander) #2

Just a few quick notes:
I never use shorter than a 360 around the Wasatch Front unless it’s really, really brushy. You could get away with a Oni type III (or Itoshiro) at 340, but that’s as short as I recommend.

Strawberry River burned this summer. I haven’t been back after the fire, but it’s something to keep in mind.

There are cuts in the Logan, Strawberry (if the fish are still alive after the fire), Logan, S. Fork of the Ogden, and a small number in the Weber. You may find them in the Upper Provo too.
Go here for the most details:
http://www.utahcutthroatslam.org/utah-native-cutthroat-trout/

There are no brookies in any of the rivers you’ve listed. You might find them in the lakes, but tenkara isn’t really the best for lakes. There are brookies in streams. email me for details on streams with Brookies.
Most of the rivers are dominated by browns.

You’ve got a pretty full schedule, with several hours of drive-time each day. You’ll see a large portion of the state, but mostly you’ll see highways.


(russell austin) #3

Hey thanks for the response and info Erik. Sounds like I may need to rethink my drive-time, it’s awfully hard to catch fish on the highways.

Good to know about rod length, I’ll certainly make note of that. Also noted on the Strawberry, I wasn’t aware of the fire nor the severity of it’s damage—that’s just heartbreaking.

Appreciate the link for cuts and I’ll definitely shoot you a quick note regarding Brookies.


(russell austin) #4

Thought I’d post a quick follow up report to my trip described above.

Other than the first day, the weather overall ended up being warmer than expected. I checked the temps the week after returning and there was a 10-15 degree dip in the daily highs. Most days the mornings were absolutely perfect and then when afternoon rolled around it got rather hot, the winds became challenging and even got “blown-out” of our late-afternoon session on the last two days.

Of the waters listed above I was able to get on 3 of the 4, with BCC being my personal favorite. The one day we got out on the Weber via the WIA program, we noticed the conditions didn’t seem “normal” and the fishing was poor. I was a little surprised but learned the hard way to always check river flow conditions prior to heading out, b/c that particular day was reported to be basically un-fishable.

As expected, the Middle Provo was the best spot for our group of 3 to spread out and explore. It’s easy to see why that stretch of river is so popular, it truly is a gorgeous location with very easy access through a network of trails. We did try the upper Provo for a few hours but overall the water level was just too low—nice scenic drive though.

Just really enjoyed my time in the mountains east of SLC and will definitely be returning in the future to explore more waters and re-visit a few. An absolutely gorgeous region of the country, entirely worth the trip for your Tenkara fix or just good ol’ fashion leisure.

I’ll post a few pics here and some in the Fish photos thread as well.


(russell austin) #5