Strawberry Reservoir, nestled in the Uinta National Forest, is a fishing paradise and Utah’s ultimate trout fishery. With its consistently good action for large rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as kokanee salmon, it’s no wonder that anglers flock to this scenic location. The reservoir is home to a multitude of fishing opportunities, offering a chance to catch rainbows and cutts up to 24 inches, with the occasional surprise of an even larger fish. In fact, the largest cutthroat ever caught in Utah, weighing a whopping 27 pounds, was reeled in here way back in 1930.
A Fisherman’s Dream Location
Situated just 65 miles east of Salt Lake City and 23 miles east of Heber City, Strawberry Reservoir’s tranquil waters beckon avid fishermen. Standing at an elevation of 7,602 feet, this idyllic reservoir boasts water quality that exceeds standards, making it the perfect habitat for trout. Its tributary streams provide an ideal environment for natural reproduction, resulting in an impressive 60% of the cutthroats in the reservoir being born through this process. The presence of non-game fish adds an interesting twist to the ecosystem, as they compete with the trout, showcasing the phenomenon of natural selection in action. To maintain a healthy balance, the management of Strawberry Reservoir now favors a Utah native variety known as the Bear Lake cutthroat trout, due to its fierce competitiveness against other non-game species.
Pro Tips for Fishing Success
For the best fishing experience, it is recommended to approach Strawberry Reservoir from a boat or float tube rather than the shore. Spring and fall offer the ideal conditions for bank fishermen, as the water is cold and the fish are more active. However, during the summer months, the surface warms up, causing the fish to dive deeper in search of cooler temperatures. If you happen to visit in the summer, be sure to seek out those cooler spots to increase your chances of success. And remember, there are rules in place to protect the fish population. The limit is set at 4 fish, including both trout and kokanee. Additionally, there are specific restrictions on the size of cutthroat trout that can be kept, ensuring the conservation of the species.
The Right Gear Makes a Difference
Choosing the right gear can greatly enhance your fishing experience at Strawberry Reservoir. While flies, lures, jigs, and baits are all viable options, many anglers prefer using flies or jigs as they make it easier to release fish unharmed, especially when using lures with only one hook. Fish have a tendency to swallow baits, which makes releasing them more difficult. By opting for flies or jigs, you can enjoy a successful day on the water while also prioritizing the well-being of the fish.
Explore the Amenities
Strawberry Reservoir not only offers exceptional fishing but also a range of convenient amenities. Four developed marinas with paved boat ramps are available for easy access to the reservoir: Strawberry Bay Marina, Renegade, Soldier Creek Marina, and Aspen. For those interested in camping, the Strawberry Bay and Soldier Creek Recreation Complexes are fully equipped with campground loops, sanitary dump stations, day-use areas, and group pavilions. If you’re in the mood for a meal, the Strawberry Bay Recreation area boasts a restaurant and a full-service lodge. Additionally, the Forest Service operates a Visitor Information Center at the junction of US-40 and the West Side Road, providing helpful resources for visitors.
Winter Adventure Awaits
When the winter season arrives, the Strawberry area transforms into a winter wonderland. Heavy snowfall blankets the landscape, creating excellent snowmobiling trails. For anglers who can’t resist the allure of ice fishing, it is common to use snowmobiles to access their favorite fishing spots on the reservoir. Winter adds an extra dimension of excitement and adventure to the already incredible fishing opportunities available at Strawberry Reservoir.
Discover the beauty and bounty of Strawberry Reservoir, Utah’s premier trout fishery. Embark on a fishing journey filled with tranquility, breathtaking scenery, and the thrill of reeling in magnificent trout. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a novice, you’ll be captivated by the wonders that await you in this fisherman’s paradise.