From alpine lakes tucked among snowy peaks to a huge reservoir that grows trophy-sized trout, Beaver County, Utah, is filled with great opportunities for anglers. Fly fishermen, spin casters, and bait fishermen will all enjoy the county’s diverse lakes and streams, as well as its spectacular mountain scenery and easy access. The county’s waters, filled with brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout, as well as Arctic grayling, wiper, and bass, lie within a short drive of Beaver and Interstate 15. Summer is the best time to cast your line, with perfect weather, plentiful campsites, and productive insect hatches. If you’re the kind of fisherman who keeps a rod and tackle box in the backseat, then head to Beaver County and find your new favorite fishing hole. Here are some of the best bets for a fishing adventure here.
1. Upper Beaver River
The Upper Beaver River, rising on the snowy crest of the Tushar Mountains, is a sparkling river, riffling over rounded rocks and slowing in deep pools. It provides one of Beaver’s County’s best fishing experiences. The river’s upper 12 miles, paralleling Utah Highway 153, offers brown and rainbow trout up to 14 inches long, while the higher tributary creeks, including Merchant Creek, North Fork of Three Creeks, and Lake Stream, yield native cutthroat trout. Highway pullovers give easy access to the river and anglers can stay overnight at Little Cottonwood and Mahogany Cove Campgrounds. Ponderosa Park Picnic Area has two wheelchair-accessible fishing sites so everyone can cast a line.
2. Lower Beaver River
After dropping out of the mountains, the Beaver River begins a long meander across the bottomlands west of the town of Beaver. Much of this river section crosses private property, but some areas have walk-in trails from Highway 21, and some public access is available on BLM land. After pooling in Minersville Reservoir, the river uncoils for five miles across a sagebrush-covered valley south of the Mineral Mountains. The river’s best trout fishing is the cold tailwater gushing from the reservoir’s dam, especially when irrigation flows are released. Use flies, lures, and bait to catch rainbows and browns up to 20 inches long, with a legal limit of four fish. The twisting section below the tailwater has pools and riffles, but low water levels can make trout fishing difficult.
3. Minersville Lake Park
Minersville Lake, 11 miles west of Beaver, is a watery playground for anglers. The lake sprawls across the broad valley, covering 990 acres when it’s full. The big lake is the place to catch big trout. Trophy-size rainbows approaching close to two feet are regularly pulled from its depths. To catch those big fish, anglers may only use flies and lures, and they can keep only one catch, which must be bigger than 22 inches. Anglers also catch wiper and smallmouth bass. Shore fishing, float tubing, and boat fishing are all popular, depending on the season. Use a boat in summer to cast a line into the coldest water. For a weekend expedition, set up a tent at the county campground on the south shore and use the paved ramp to launch your boat.
4. Little Reservoir
Little Reservoir, 11 miles east of Beaver, is a four-acre, tooth-shaped lake that’s at an elevation of 7,360 feet, the lowest lake on the west flank of the Tushars. It’s a quick drive to the lake from Beaver, making it a perfect afternoon getaway for family fishing time. The lake is stocked with brown and tiger trout and 10-inch rainbows, which feed on small redside shiners. It’s a good enough fishery that anglers occasionally catch trophy-sized brown trout. Make it an adventure by staying lakeside at an eight-site forest campground.
5. The Three Kents Lakes
The Kents trio—Lower Kents Lake, Kents Lake, and Upper Kents Lake—form an accessible and fun fishing outing on a wooded beach above South Fork Creek. Anglers pull brook, rainbow, tiger, and Bonneville cutthroat trout from the lakes, some up to two pounds. You can cast bait, toss spinners, or fly fish on all the lakes. At 48 acres, Kents Lake is the biggest, with depths reaching 30 feet, while six-acre Lower Kents Lake is the smallest. The lakes are also good for non-motorized boat fishing, kick boats, and float tubes. Summer is the perfect time for a Kents adventure, with long days and cool nights spent at Kents Lake Campground and Tushar Lakeside Rec Site by the lakes. Non-fishermen can watch the wildlife on the area hiking trails.
6. LeBaron Lake
LeBaron Lake, one of Beaver County’s highest lakes at 9,900 feet, is nestled in a grassy hollow below Circleville Mountain and the crest of the Tushar Mountains. Covering 23 acres and reaching a max depth of 21 feet, LeBaron makes a gorgeous fishing retreat in mid-summer. The cold water grows big rainbow trout, brook trout, and Arctic grayling, a salmon species. On calm mornings, head out in a small boat, kick boat, or float tube to catch the abundant brookies. Afternoon often brings wind gusts so cast from the shore. The national forest’s LeBaron Rec Site offers 13 undeveloped campsites shaded by spruce, fir, and aspen on the lake’s western shore.
7. Puffer Lake
The gorgeous, 65-acre Puffer Lake occupies an alpine valley above Eagle Point Resort, Beaver County’s local ski area. The popular fishing lake, the largest natural lake in the Tushars, was enlarged to store irrigation water. Puffer Lake reaches depths of 50 feet, making it a great trout fishery during the summer. Anglers catch plenty of big rainbow and brook trout and occasional cutthroats from the shoreline and non-motorized boats. Late in the summer, the lake draws down to half its capacity for irrigating the lowlands. Private property surrounds much of Puffer but there’s unrestricted fishing access. Turn off Highway 153 above the ski area on Forest Road #129, which winds along the lake’s north shore, to find the best fishing holes.
Written by Stewart Green for RootsRated Media in partnership with Utah Office of Tourism.