(Note: This article was provided by Utah's DWR)
Great shore fishing should start soon
Scofield -- Scofield Reservoir is on the verge of losing its ice cap. And that means some fantastic trout fishing is about to begin.
If the weather stays warm, wildlife officers expect a ring of open water to appear near the shoreline by April 20.
One of Utah’s best trout fishing waters, Scofield Reservoir is just north of the town of Scofield in central Utah. The reservoir is only an hour’s drive from Provo. From Salt Lake City, you can reach the reservoir in about 90 minutes.
Stand on the shore; catch lots of fish
Fishing at Scofield is usually best just after the ice leaves the reservoir. That's when hungry trout, trapped under an ice sheet all winter long, finally gain access to food that’s on or near the water's surface.
Access to food and a surging metabolism create a feeding frenzy of sorts among the fish. Insects aren't active until later in the spring, so it’s easier to entice trout using nightcrawlers and commercial baits, such as salmon eggs.
As the ice comes off, trout can be caught using just about any kind of tackle. A "Barbie" rod and reel, with a worm on a hook, is about as sophisticated as you need to get!
From ice off until June, the water temperature near the bank remains cool enough for trout to school close to shore. That makes spring the perfect time to catch trout from the shore at Scofield.
Baits, lures and flies
Three types of trout—rainbow, cutthroat and tiger—live in Scofield.
If you’re after rainbow trout, nightcrawlers, PowerBait on cheese hooks and salmon eggs are great baits to try.
Tiger trout and cutthroat trout are more predatory than rainbows, so they’re often looking for something different than cheese bait or worms.
Spinners and lures will often stimulate a tiger or cutthroat trout to strike. Jake's Spin-A-Lures, Kastmasters, Mepps, Roostertails and Panther Martins are among the best spinners to use at Scofield.
A minnow- or trout-imitating Rapala, in sizes 5 or 7, is also a good choice for both cutthroat and tiger trout.
The best artificial fly pattern to use in the spring at Scofield is a brown or green sparkle leech in sizes 6 to 10.
As far as natural baits go, Utah chubs are an excellent bait to use at Scofield in the spring. Chubs are found in abundance in the reservoir.
You can catch chubs in a minnow trap, and then put them on your hook. But before you can place them on your hook, please remember that the chubs must be dead.
You can fish chubs whole, or you can chop them into chunks that will be easier for the trout to bite.
A sac of trout eggs is another bait that will grab the attention of trout in Scofield in the spring. You can harvest eggs from a female trout, and then bundle the eggs together inside a nylon mesh bag that’s about the size of a marble. Hide a hook inside the sac, and then cast it out for the trout to bite.
Please remember, however, that if you take eggs from a trout, the trout you took the eggs from must be counted as part of your trout limit. It’s illegal to "squeeze" a fish for eggs and then release her. The trout will die if you do.
DWR Sergeant Stacey Jones says more and more cutthroat trout between 15 and 22 inches long, and ripe with eggs, are being seen in Scofield. Please remember that you may not keep these fish. And you may not strip or “squeeze” them for eggs either.
If you catch a cutthroat trout that’s between 15 and 22 inches long, you must release it immediately.
“You may not harvest eggs from cutthroats that are between 15 and 22 inches long,” Jones says, “and then release the fish. It’s illegal to keep these fish or strip them of their eggs.”