Oct. 20, 1993; Vol. 7, #18

By Dave Webb

It was late afternoon when I pulled up at Gooseberry Reservoir (see our Skyline Drive map for location). I talked to people fishing there and learned the action had been spotty - hot and cold - not unusual for a high mountain lake.

I started fishing near the dam, giving almost every lure in my tackle box a try. Nothing.

The sun set and the other fishermen faded. As I looked around the reservoir I noticed an incredible number of fish jumping in a small cove on the west side. Dozens of ripples. Fish jumping completely out of the water. Two-inch fish and 14-inch fish. Most between 8 and 10 inches.

I put a renegade fly three feet behind a casting bubble and started to catch them. They hit eagerly and fought with spunk. Lots of fun. I happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Gooseberry is a small reservoir, with a nice Forest Service campground adjacent. It's ideal for a canoe or float tube.

There are lots of good fishing spots in this area. Electric Lake is fishing well, but has special regulations. Beaver Dam and Boulger are stocked heavily, get lots of pressure, but are generally good. Huntington and Cleveland are often drawn down low in the fall, but can be good. Fairview is on private property, and is usually good for those with permission to fish.

Gooseberry and Fish creeks usually offer very good fishing, and a chance to get away from the crowds.

Ice comes early to these waters, and they are often good winter fishing spots. Deep snow also makes this an incredible playground for snowmobilers and skiers.

Gooseberry is just under the Skyline Drive, in the heart of some of the most popular deer and elk hunting country in Utah. It makes a great base camp. If you have never hunted this area, be advised that there will be hunters crawling all over the Skyline Drive and nearby ridges.

There are motor vehicle restrictions in this area - you need to stay on designated roads. There will be 4X4s and ATVs everywhere it is legal, and some places where it isn't. There will be guys on horses chasing down the ridges.

If you don't mind hiking, you can often get away from the crowds by heading into the bottom of the canyons. But be ready for real work if you shoot an animal down there.