6 Tips to Lure Fishing in Utah’s Creeks
Many people who enjoy the great outdoors drive by some of Utah’s beautiful creeks and pay no attention to the possible fishing opportunities. The size, the shallow water, and the location may lead them to believe there are no fish in these waters. Most of Utah’s creeks have a population of fish. The fish are either planted by the Division of Wildlife Resources or the creeks are populated by the lakes that feed them. There are dozens of small fishable creeks within an hour of the Wasatch front.
How many creeks can you think of? Let's name a few: Big Cottonwood Creek, Little Cottonwood Creek, Millcreek, American Fork, Thistle, Nebo Creek, and Peteetneet Creek. These creeks are populated in most cases with catchable 5” to 10” trout, with the occasional larger fish.
There are many methods of fishing these creeks, such as fly fishing, spinners or lures, worms, salmon eggs, and other baits.
My preferred method of fishing Utah’s small creeks is pitching lures or spinners. In this article, I’m going to share some lure fishing tips that have helped me catch numerous fish in the many creeks available around the state.
Tip #1 - Approaching the creek
The water in most of Utah’s creeks is crystal clear. So, before you approach your fishing hole, you must have a plan of attack or strategy. Take advantage of vegetation, rocks, or trees as a way to get into position without be seen. Also pay attention to the sun so that you don’t cast your shadow over your fishing hole. If you scare the fish, you will have to move on to another fishing hole.
Tip #2 - Use the creek’s current to work your lure
When using lures or spinners to fish small creeks, the most effective way I have found is to use the creek’s current to work the lure. I first cast the lure into the calm water around the fishing hole and reel into the current. At this point the current works the lure, which allows the lure to appear more natural. Using the current allows you to adjust your retrieve speed, which can trigger more strikes. I also choose to fish downstream and retrieve my lure upstream, once again using the current. In some cases, you may find a nice fishing hole that is surrounded by brush, rocks, and trees. This may force you to cast upstream and work your lure downstream. In this case, you will have to increase the speed of your retrieve.
Tip#3 - Curious fish and short bites
For those who have fished with lures, you know that it is not uncommon to watch a fish follow your lure or to feel that little bump, as if the fish was just taking a little taste. Once again, using the current and adjusting your retrieve speed can sometimes trigger the curious fish to bite. Where bait is allowed, you could also tip your lure or spinner with a small piece of night crawler to entice more bites and catches.
Tip #4 Work the creek
If you flip your lure into a fishing hole more than 10 times, it’s probably time to move to a new hole. Don’t automatically assume it’s your lure or the color of your lure or spinner. There is a good chance the fish may have been scared away, or they may not be biting. To be successful at fishing in small creeks you must move up or down the creek trying different, pockets, holes, and undercuts.
Tip #5 - Use the flip cast
Using the flip cast will allow you to position your lure into those small pockets and holes. This cast will also help you be more accurate and avoid snags in the trees or vegetation around the creek. To see the flip cast in action, check out the video above.
Tip #6 - My favorite fishing lure or spinner
My favorite fishing lure or spinner is the Panther Martin. This brand of lure has consistently produced since I started fishing as a young child. This is the lure I use in all of Utah’s creeks and small lakes. If this color does not produce after fishing for a while, I try another color or patterned Panther Martin. For example, we had an amazing trip lure fishing in the Diamond Fork River during the Brown Trout Spawn. This color didn’t produce on this trip; however, the Nature Serious Brook Trout and the Classic Regular Gold knocked em’ dead. You can find the Panther Martin in any store that sells fishing gear. You can also buy directly from Panther Martin, which allows you to access different colors, patterns, and kits that may not be found in the store. Panther Martin also offers discounts and closeouts, and you have the opportunity to browse new lure designs before they hit the store.
I hope you enjoyed these 6 tips to lure fishing in Utah’s creeks. If you enjoy fishing, get out and wet your hook in one of Utah’s many small creeks. Catching the small, feisty trout that populate these creeks is a fun, affordable outdoor activity to be enjoyed by all. Before you fish any creek around the state, please refer to the Utah Fishing Guide Book for updated rules and regulations.
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