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Chris Penne, Division of Wildlife Resources

Where to find big brown trout in Utah this fall

By Spencer Durrant, Contributor  |  Posted Nov 13th, 2017 @ 2:01pm



THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Fall fishing in Utah is one of the most exciting outdoor activities the state offers. Just like the elk come out of hiding for the rut, so do the Beehive State's big brown trout.

Brown trout are one of the most popular sport fish in America, and rightfully so. They're smart, tough and one of the hardest-fighting trout in the world. The fact that they grow to monstrous sizes helps, too.

If you want to get your own giant brown trout this fall, then head to these fisheries in Utah. With enough work — and just a bit of fisherman's luck — you'll catch something worth hanging on your wall.

The Green River

Utah's most well-known river isn't a slouch when it comes to producing big brown trout. There aren't many rivers in Utah where you can consistently catch so many browns that are so large on average, but every now and then, a real brute shows up.

This fish was caught in the first week of November by anglers visiting the Flaming Gorge Area.

Streamers — particularly black and olive — are the best bet for snagging big browns off the Green River. The trout congregate around the Little Hole boat ramp area, so trying up or downriver from that spot should produce consistent action.

The Duchesne River

The Duchesne River is a big, winding piece of water that drains the entire Grandaddy Basin area of the Uinta Mountains. Its upper reaches, near the Duchesne Tunnel and Grandaddy Lakes Trailhead, are home to brook, brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout, and even Rocky Mountain whitefish.

The stretch of the Duchesne through the town of Tabiona, though, is where the big browns are at. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has established angler access points along the river since almost all of it flows through private property. As long as you access the river from one of those spots, you'll be in business.

Egg-pattern flies are effective here, along with muddler minnows and other traditional streamers. Make sure to use sinking line to get your flies to the bottom of the fast, deep holes that dot this section of the Duchesne.

Straight Canyon Creek

This bit of water is out in the middle of nowhere, but the gorgeous scenery is worth the drive by itself.

Heading south on Highway 10 from Price, you'll come to the town of Orangeville. Continuing west will put you in Straight Canyon, and on the south side of the road is Straight Canyon Creek.

It doesn't look like much, but the aquamarine water is rich in food. The higher up the river you travel, the deeper the holes get until they're finally massive enough to hold some truly big fish.

Fall fishing in Utah doesn't always guarantee trophy fish, but it does guarantee unforgettable time on the water.

What's the biggest brown trout you've caught in Utah? Let us know in the comments.

Spencer Durrant

About the Author: Spencer Durrant

Spencer Durrant is a fly fishing writer, outdoors columnist, and novelist from Utah. His work has appeared in Field & Stream, TROUT Magazine, Hatch Magazine, and other national publications. He's also the Managing Editor of The Modern Trout Bum. Connect with him on Twitter/Instagram, @Spencer_Durrant.

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