Thursday, June 22, 2006
Lakes along the popular Mirror Lake Highway
KAMAS - The very popular and scenic Mirror Lake Highway (SR-150) in northern Utah is open now, and so are the spectacular roadside lakes that make this area one of Utah's most-fished places in the summer.
All of these pristine little lakes have recently been stocked with fish. They'll continue to be stocked, most of them weekly, through the summer. Fish being stocked into the lakes range from the popular rainbow trout, brook trout and tiger trout to the very visible albino rainbow trout.
The jewel of the highway is the picturesque Mirror Lake where you can see a reflection of Bald Mountain from one angle on the water and Hayden Peak from a different angle. A trail for those with physical challenges runs around the entire lake and allows fishing access that isn't usually available at most lakes.
Don't forget to bring your binoculars to watch the mountain goats that live on Bald Mountain. You can easily view them from the lake. Ospreys also nest in the area. They're always doing a little fishing for themselves, and they're fun to watch.
Trial Lake also has physically challenged access that allows vehicles to pull to the water's edge.
Fishing is the main reason people come to these roadside lakes. Ted Hallows, supervisor of the Kamas State Fish Hatchery, provides some information that will help make your next fishing trip more enjoyable:
Both novice and seasoned anglers fish these regularly stocked lakes, and a lot of them do really well using power bait and worms during the middle of the day. If you fish early in the morning, or during the evening hours, you can also enjoy some exceptional fishing using flies and lures.
Some of the lures that work best are Panther Martins, Jake's Spin-a-Lures and small Rapalas. The flies that I like best are: Grayhackle Yellow, Mosquito, Adams, Renegade, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulff, Pheasant Tail Nymph and a Gold Bead Prince Nymph.
With a fly rod, use two flies for twice the fun, with the top fly being fished dry and used as a strike indicator and the bottom fly fished as a nymph. This combination works really well, but you can also catch a lot of fish, especially those that are out in the middle of the lake, using a spinning rod with a fly and a bubble.
- Fishing ethics
- If you're fishing with power bait or other baits, and you're practicing "catch and release" methods for 20 to 40 fish a day, then it's time to start fishing with flies and lures. Even though they seem to swim away fine, many of the fish you catch with power bait will die soon after you release them.
- These fish are planted so that anglers can enjoy catching fish and taking some home to eat, but please help the resource so that others can enjoy it for another day. Power bait is an excellent way to get novice anglers hooked on fishing, but there are many other ways to fish that are challenging and fun and better for fish that are released.
- If you put fish on a fish stringer, then they're part of your limit and cannot be released back into the lake, even if they look healthy. Utah law requires that you keep any fish you put on a stringer, since any fish you put on a stringer will usually die soon after you release it.
- Please release immediately any fish you don't plan on taking home with you.
- A pass is required to park along the Mirror Lake Highway. You can purchase a day parking pass, or a season parking pass, at many locations near Kamas and along the highway.
- Mosquitoes can be a major nuisance, so don't forget your bug spray.
- The weather in the Uintas can change in an instant, so be prepared for all kinds of weather.
- Many deer, elk, moose and livestock live along the highway, so please slow down or you'll be "grilling" the wrong type of game with your car!
- Electric motors can now be used on Lost Lake, Mirror Lake, Trial Lake and Washington Lake, which provides an even greater fishing opportunity for those with small boats or float tubes.
The Mirror Lake Highway is one of those family destinations that provides enjoyable fishing, camping and sight seeing. Whether you spend a few hours or a few days, the Mirror Lake Highway has something for you and your family this summer, so come up and enjoy yourself!
For information about campgrounds along the highway, or for other U.S. Forest Service information, call the Kamas Ranger District at (435) 783-4338.
Click here to see more information about Uinta Mountain lakes.