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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Folks,

I'm going to start scouting the Fish Lake area in earnest starting this weekend if possible. I have a few general questions about the area if anyone is willing to educate me.

1. Is there any cell service? I have kids coming to join me and may need to update them on our location or leave a bunch of paper plate instructions. :ROFLMAO:
2. There are a lot of first-come-first-serve campsites on recreation.gov. How hard is it to get a spot on an average Friday night? Should I plan on finding a dirt camping spot if I show up Friday night?
3. If I'm traveling west on I-70 is it faster to get to fish lake via the Freemont exit or just continue around to Richfield and come in that way. (upside is the ability to stop at Wmart)
4. Does Powerbait and or earthworm and bubble work on fish lake? I fished it once in a rented boat and killed them with pop gear and a worm. I won't have a boat this time and would like to catch some fish with the kids.

Any help is appreciated!

Sky Mountain Natural landscape Formation Landscape
 

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1. Is there any cell service? Like most areas in rural Utah, it is spotty.

2. There are a lot of first-come-first-serve campsites on recreation.gov. How hard is it to get a spot on an average Friday night? Should I plan on finding a dirt camping spot if I show up Friday night? Campgrounds at the lake will be busy, especially on a weekend. You might find one -- and you might not. Just have a backup plan of where you're going to go if the campgrounds are full -- you could continue on to Frying Pan, or Johnson res (campgrounds, may have openings), or up 7 Mile, back to Mitoge, High Top, etc...


3. If I'm traveling west on I-70 is it faster to get to fish lake via the Freemont exit or just continue around to Richfield and come in that way. (upside is the ability to stop at Wmart)

Where are you starting from? Whether you come from north (Wasatch Front), or south (Cedar City, St. George) there are better routes than "west on I-70".
From the north, I'd exit I-15 at Scipio, take highway 50 south, exit to Aurora --> Sigurd, highway 24.
From the south, take highway 20 exit over Bear Valley, 89 north to SR62 (Kingston) to Otter Creek, north at Otter Creek --> Koosharem, head up the hill.
If you really want Walmart, then head into Richfield, then use 119 over to 24.

No reason at all to exit at the Fremont Indian exit....you do not want to go south towards Piute / Junction -- that would add a bunch of time to your drive.

4. Does Powerbait and or earthworm and bubble work on fish lake? I fished it once in a rented boat and killed them with pop gear and a worm. I won't have a boat this time and would like to catch some fish with the kids.

this all depends on what you are wanting to catch. If you want rainbows, then give the Powerbait a try. If you want something else (splake, perch, lake trout, etc...) then I'd use a worm. Fly and bubble should work too. Just keep in mind the weeds...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are a prince among men! If I knew your venmo I would send you $10. Thank you for taking the time. I'm planning to stay at Frying Pan so maybe there will be a spot if I show up early Friday evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Highway 72 is a good road off of I-70

I've struggled finding good primitive sites off the main USFS road but that was in the autumn with tons of hunters around.
Thanks @backcountry Highway 72 is what I was calling the fremont exit. I believe it's called Freemont River Road. In the uintas it's less crowded in the camp areas during the hunts. It sounds like it's more crowded down there? I can find a campsite all weekend long during the elk hunt in the uintas for instance. Is it not the same in the fish lake unit?
 

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It was for me but I've only tried primitive camping there twice and only off the main road & UM. I found a camp just not an amazing one (I got spoiled by years of midweek camping). I was also there with a storm series forecasted and didn't want to be too deep into side roads I didn't know.

Others have a lot more experience than me over there though.
 

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you can get cell service at the very top of gooseberry.

Are you camping in a tent or a trailer? I’d hit gooseberry campground if you’re in a tent.

if you have a trailer, go to the top and turn down the road that takes you to gates lake there’s great camping.

if I’m going there to hunt, I take 70 up Salina canyon then drive up gooseberry.
If I’m just heading to Fishlake to fish, I go around Richfield.

if you’re hitting Fishlake, use two poles, one for spinners to catch smaller trout then use as bait, the other as a bait pole.
powerbait works fine until you catch a bait fish.

As for which spinner to use, I usually have great luck with blue fox #3’s, all gold
 

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I'm starting from the Moab area, so I'm not sure if the highway 20 exit is the fastest way.


...Highway 72 is what I was calling the fremont exit.
Ah! That makes so much more sense!

Yes -- I would definitely take the 72.

Another option is the 7 Mile / Gooseberry road (exit 63)-- it's paved the whole way now, allthough it may not be the quickest.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You folks are the best. Took Richfield in and it took way longer than I thought so you were right. Drove Gooseberry home and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. We caught 18 smallish trout in the wind at fishlake and had the best fathers day ever. I'll check out Gates Lake next time. I towed my trailer down gooseberry and I'm glad I have some experience. You could overheat your brakes and/or transmission on that downhill.

The best part was the 125+ elk me and my son found this morning in one big canyon. A couple of really nice ones growing out. What an amazing place!
 

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The top of niotche is honestly one of the most beautiful spots in Utah.

you can catch them On basically anything, I swear the trick is to try not catching them, then you’ll catch 100
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd love to catch perch with the kids. And They are delicious breaded and fried!

I think you're right about Niotche. I told my wife I might try to hunt elk right there even if they are smaller just to have the experience of taking a game animal in that breathtaking scenery. We didn't scout that area in the am so I don't know what kind of elk are in there. The elk heards seem to be looking great to my untrained eye. A lot of twin calves with the cows.
 
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