Fly Fishing in Bear Lake: Ultimate Guide

Also known as the Caribbean of the Rockies, Bear Lake is an angler’s paradise. The picturesque, turquoise green water is home to a variety of fishing opportunities. From boat fishing to fly fishing and everything in between, Bear Lake is one of the best places to fish in Utah, if not all of America.

This freshwater lake is the second largest of its kind in the state of Utah and is known for having four species of fish that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Talk about a worthwhile catch!

Once you’ve settled into your luxury vacation rental, there’s no better way to spend your trip with us than on Bear Lake itself. And for something unique and seriously fun, we recommend you add fly fishing to your list.

But with so many options to choose from, check out this fishing guide to best plan for your fly-fishing adventure at Bear Lake.

Where to Fly Fish

With options that extend out past Bear Lake itself and into the scenic Bear Lake Valley, it can be hard to decide where to cast your line. Learn a little bit about each location to find a fly-fishing location that is right for you!

Cisco Beach

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL

  • Address: Bear Lake State Park, Cisco Beach Rd, Laketown, UT 84038.

Located within Bear Lake State Park, Cisco Beach is a four-season location for all types of anglers. It’s also one of the best beaches on Bear Lake. Here you will find fishermen along the shoreline fly fishing for cutthroat trout or out on the boat hunting for the deep diving lake trout. The winter months also offer the opportunity to catch the iconic Bonneville Cisco.

Just keep in mind that the water gets deep quickly, reaching a nearly 50-foot depth just a short walk from the shoreline. This does limit the amount of space to move around for anglers on foot.

Rainbow Cove

Photo Credit: Ross Walker via Flickr CC 2.0

  • Address: 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028.

Very similar to Cisco Beach, Rainbow Cove is a Bear Lake State Park location that is ideal for all anglers alike. Located on the eastern shores of Bear Lake, Rainbow Cove is a great alternative to Cisco Beach for travelers looking for a more relaxed, less-populated experience.

It is important to note that this is another location with a rapid depth of about 20 feet not far from the shoreline.

Garden City Community Pond

  • Address: 579 Buttercup Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028.

This 3-acre pond is a hidden gem amongst the best places to fly fish around Bear Lake. Those lucky enough to stumble upon this secret treat are rewarded with an easy afternoon of trout fishing. However, because this pond is stocked by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, there is a two trout catch limit per day.

This location is particularly popular for fly fishing in the late fall.

Utah State Park Marina

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Google Images CCL

  • Address: 940 N Bear Lake Blvd, Garden City, UT 84028

Located right along the Utah-Idaho border, the Utah State Park Marina is a great central location for anglers. The extensive boat ramp makes this a popular place for boat fishing, but it is not uncommon to see fly fishermen along the shoreline as well. This is a great location to catch a variety of trout, cisco, and whitefish.

This is one of the best places to fly fish along Bear Lake because the shoreline doesn’t drop off immediately but rather gradually gets deeper until it reaches a depth of about 15 feet.

Laketown Reservoir

  • Address: Laketown, UT 84038.

Another great option for trout fishing is the Laketown Reservoir and it may even be more of a hidden gem than the Garden City Community Pond. To get here, you will need to travel to the nearby town of Laketown and you’ll end up on a dirt road for two miles before reaching your destination.

Once there, you will be rewarded with an easy place to fly fish for rainbow and cutthroat trout.

The Logan River

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Stretching out more than 30 miles as it winds its way through Logan Canyon, the Logan River is by far one of the best places to fly fish in the Bear Lake area. The river and its many tributaries are home to a variety of fish ranging from spawning big browns to roadside rainbows and everything in between.

Fall is when these fish tend to be in abundance but late spring to early summer is considered unfishable due to the heavy spring runoff.

What You Need

Photo Credit: Zadorozhnyi Viktor

If you are looking to fly fish, then you will need to come prepared with the right gear or at least know what gear to rent at one of Bear Lake’s local shops. Here is a list to help you get started.

  • Fly Rod: Choose the right weight depending on what you are looking to catch.
  • Fly Line System: You’ll need a backing, a fly line, and a leader.
  • Flies: Fishing lures that range from dry, wet, to streamers. Opt for rapalas if you want to try your hand at the jigging method.
  • Waders: To keep you dry!
  • Bonus Accessories: Nippers, forceps, split shots, and dip nets are just some of the ways you can take your fly-fishing experience to the next level.

Where to Rent Gear

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Bear Lake Funtime Rentals

  • Address: 1217 S Bear Lake Blvd. Garden City, UT 84028.
  • Website:

Bear Lake Rentals

Guided Tours

Cisco Charters

Pugstone’s Ripples and Waves Sporting

  • Address: 20 North Bear Lake Boulevard, Garden City, Utah 84028.
  • Phone Number: 435-946-2855

When to Fly Fish

Photo Credit: Edgar Zuniga Jr. via Flickr CC 2.0

Bear Lake is a year-round fishing location but what you can catch and where you can catch it will vary depending on the time of year you visit Bear Lake. Always check out the latest fishing report to see what fish are going to be active during your visit. Late fall tends to be the best time to fly fish with many fish spawning and traveling closer to the surface during this time.

During the winter months, you’ll want to put your fly rod away, but it is a great time and place to try out ice fishing!

What You Can Catch

Photo Credit: Rocksweeper

Bear Lake is home to many different species of fish so there is always something new and exciting to catch on your fly-fishing journey! Plus, the nearby Logan River can widen your horizons even further. Check out this list to see what your fly-fishing catches can consist of and always look at an updated fishing report to see what is biting during your visit!

  • Rainbow Trout
  • Bonneville Whitefish
  • Bonneville Cisco
  • Bear Lake Whitefish
  • Bear Lake Sculpin
  • Lake Trout
  • Bear River Cutthroat Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Common Carp

A Fly-Fishing Adventure

Just a day trip away from Salt Lake City, Bear Lake is the perfect vacation destination for a relaxing weekend of fly fishing. Just make sure to take a look at the local fishing regulations before you cast your line! Bear Lake itself is fishable with either an Idaho fishing license or a Utah fishing license but other options on this list may require more state specific licensing and have other restrictions.

Once you know what you are getting yourself into, it is time to get out IN (or by) the water!

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