Weekend Angler: Salt Lake City

The Blacksmith Fork
  |  Gorp.com
Blacksmith Fork Practicalities

Species: Rainbow, brown, cutthroat and whitefish. A 30-plus-pound brown was once discovered during an electroshocking of the river by the state's division of wildlife resources.

Tackle: 7½- to 9-foot rods with 36 weight line. Hip or chest waders if you wade but in the summer, you can get by with wading boots and neoprene socks.

Flies: Baetis, pale morning duns, caddis, stonefly. Try Pale Morning Duns in the afternoon and Caddis patterns in the late afternoons and evenings. You'll see caddis come off all day on cloudy days. Terrestrials play an important part of fly selection. The tops are Hoppers such as Dave's Hopper or Parachute Hoppers (#8#10). Ants are effective as well. Local favorites for nymph dropper patterns include the Copper Bead Z-wing Caddis, Flashback Caddis Pupa in Olive or Tan, BH Caddis Larvae, or Peaking Caddis (#14#16). For attractors, try Royal Wulffs and Humpies.

Regulations: The Blacksmith Fork has split regulations above and below the dam so check the regs book.

Fly shops: Spinner Fly Shop, Salt Lake City, (801) 583-2602; Western Rivers Flyfisher, Salt Lake City, (801) 521-6424; Anglers Inn, Salt Lake City, (801) 466-3927.

Directions: Blacksmith Fork River runs along Highway 101 east of Hyrum toward Hardware Ranch about eight miles southeast of Logan.

Lodging: Plenty of public camping along the river. Anglers will also find nice accommodations in Logan. Some of the favorite digs include Beaver Creek Lodge, (800) 946-4485, Alta Manor Suites, (801) 752-0808, Zanavoo Lodge, (801) 752-0084, and Best Western Weston Inn, (801) 752-5700. In Salt Lake City, you can stay in any of a hundred hotels, motels, lodges, and bed & breakfasts. You can find exactly what you want by calling one of these: Utah Reservation Service, (800) 557-8824, Utah Travel Council, (801) 538-1030, Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau and Information Center, (800) 222-UTAH.

Suggested Reading: Utah Fishing Guide, by Steve Cook (Utah Outdoors); Hunting and Fishing Utah, by Hartt Wixom (Wasatch Publishing).

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The Blacksmith Fork is a tad smaller than the Logan, but looks and fishes similarly. Like the Logan, the water is so pretty, and you'll want to fish dries. But if you want to consistently reach trout, especially bigger browns, fish with nymphs and streamers.

Blacksmith Fork holds mostly wild brown trout with some cutthroat and rainbow trout. This canyon stream offers about 20 miles of fly-fishing water above Hyrum, and, because the road is not a main thoroughfare, gets nowhere near the traffic or anglers.

The left-hand fork of the Blacksmith Fork has quite a bit of public access in case you run into too much private water on the main stem. The water below the second water dam runs through a canyon and if the fish are not taking flies on the surface, you'll have to work nymphs and streamers in the runs and pocket water. Use weights and sinkers to get deep enough in the pools.

If the river is clear, the fish can be spooky, so you'll have to fish the shadows and the edges of light. The deeper channels can be rich with plump trout, even during the heat of the day.

The ten miles above the dam are largely a meadow section and ideal for dry fly fishing. Few anglers venture into the upper reaches of the Blacksmith River, so if you want to fish by yourself, drive on upstream.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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