Lost Creek Reservoir has been a bright spot on Utah's fishing scene for most of last year and has been providing good to excellent ice fishing this winter.
Of course word travels fast when a water is providing some fast fishing and Lost Creek has become a very popular place to fish. As a matter of fact when I took a bunch of boy scouts from troop 981 up to Lost Creek a couple of weeks ago I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the number of anglers on the water and the number of holes in the ice. It looked like a million ice gophers had been busy digging new burrows.
There have been so many people fishing Lost Creek that the area near the dam and along the road toward the boat ramp has been fished heavier than I have ever seen it fished before. Consequently the fishing has slowed down in those areas. Now that doesn't mean you can't still catch a few fish near the dam but it does mean that you will have to work a little harder to find them.
You'll probably have better luck if you hike away from the heavily fished areas and get into some new territory.
The coves and cliff faces on the far side generally provide some fast fishing and if you drill some holes along the peninsula that juts out into the reservoir you should be able to tie into some nice fish.
There is a good population of rainbow in the reservoir and they can be most easily caught by using ice flies tipped with meal worms, salmon eggs, cheese or Power Bait. There are also some nice cutthroat in the reservoir and they seem to find white hair-head jigs or feather jigs to their liking. Tip the jig with a meal worm, wax worm or a piece of bottled or frozen minnow. Lower it down into the water 15 or 20 feet and then every 20 or 30 seconds give the lure a good bounce. Vary the stroke and rhythm until you discover what the fish like and then keep on doing it. Don't jig the lure any more than is necessary to keep the fish interested.
Sometimes the cutthroat will be right on the bottom but other times they will be suspended. Before you drill too many holes, fish one hole from the top to the bottom to try to figure out just where the fish are.
Better yet, bring along a portable fish finder and then you will know in a matter of seconds what the fish are doing and what depth you will need to fish.
As the winter progresses, the fishing at Lost Creek will get more and more spotty and the fish will be harder to find, so go prepared to move around and to drill several holes. Once you pay your dues you should be able to get into some nice fish.
The typical cutthroat will run 10 to 14 inches long but there are some bigger fish in the reservoir, up to about 18 inches. Most of the rainbows will be in the 8 to 10 inch range.
One word of caution, it won't be long before the reservoir will start to fill and the ice will begin to pull away from the bank. Watch for soft ice or slushy ice near the edge of the reservoir. Once you get wet your fishing trip just won't be as much fun and it could be deadly. It might even be worth it to throw a 2 x 8 into the back of your car or truck to use as a bridge.