Fishing the Fifty

My Quest to Fish All 50 States


Like most Western states, Utah is known for its fly fishing, but, as in Wyoming, I wanted to target fish bigger than what are commonly caught on fly rods.  Fortunately, I discovered Flaming Gorge Reservoir and its famously large lake trout.


My Utah trip had the relative misfortune of coming the day after my unbelievable Wyoming trip on which I caught my 49-pound lake trout.  However, the scenery on the southern end of the reservoir was much more spectacular, with more mountains and forested shoreline.  I fished with Terry Collier ( and John Rauch of Cedar Springs Marina in Dutch John, Utah.  I caught a 22-pound, 40-inch trophy lake trout, and a 15.5-pound lake trout, along with two kokanee salmon.  In addition to the beautiful views and quality lake trout, there was also a chance to see wildlife.  I saw a deer swimming in the lake and Terry has even seen a mountain lion from the boat. (On my return trip in 2014, I saw a large herd of bighorn sheep along the southern rim of the canyon.)


Neither Utah nor Wyoming has an official angler award program, but my biggest lake trout from each easily surpasses the 35-inch catch-and-release requirement from In-Fisherman.

Welcome to Utah

My first Utah fish, 40-inch, 22-pound trophy lake trout

The southern end of Flaming Gorge 

The only other things stirring at 4:45 a.m.

15.5-pound lake trout

Flaming Gorge Reservoir with Uinta Mountains in the background

Flaming Gorge Reservoir 

View of Flaming Gorge from trail along southern rim

Herd of bighorn sheep