Pine Valley Reservoir – A Gorgeous Southern Utah Fishing Reservoir


We had a lot of success catching rainbow trout out of Pine Valley Reservoir in Southern Utah.

While we were in Southern Utah, we stopped by a sporting goods store.  I asked one of my favorite questions: If you were going to take kids fishing and wanted them to be successful, where would you take them?  The wonderful gentleman told me that he takes his grandchildren to Pine Valley Reservoir when he wants them to catch fish.  Well, we couldn’t turn down that tip, so we packed up and headed to Pine Valley Reservoir.

To get to Pine Valley Reservoir, head west out of Cedar City on Highway 56 toward Enterprise, UT.  Leave Enterprise, UT, heading south on Highway 18.  You will turn east onto the road at Central, UT, which has signs leading you to Pine Valley.  Pine Valley is a cute little mountain city, but we’re headed to the reservoir.  Follow the signs and leave Pine Valley headed east.  You will come to a ranger’s station.  We paid a four dollar day-use fee. The station didn’t have a ranger there when we came through, so we used the self-pay envelopes. The reservoir is just up the road.  You will see the reservoir on the right and the parking lot on the left.

The view of Pine Valley Reservoir from the parking lot.  It really is a gorgeous, little reservoir.

The view of Pine Valley Reservoir from the parking lot. It really is a gorgeous, little reservoir.

We knew that we weren’t arriving at the right time of day.  We got there at about 11:30.  There were some things that stood out though.  The reservoir is SMALL!  Some of the locals were saying, “Oh, it’s just not very full.”  But, even at full, it would still be small.  Also, there were a lot of people there.  Trying to decide on a good spot to fish was difficult because all of the spots were taken.  I was a little hesitant, but we were already here, we had paid the fee, and the gentleman said that this was a good spot.

We crossed this dike and fished on the opposite side of Pine Valley Reservoir.  There were less people there.

We crossed this dike and fished on the opposite side of Pine Valley Reservoir. There were less people there.

We worked our way around the lake, and found a location where we could almost get all of our party (a lot of people) fishing.  Luckily for us, the group next to us said that they were leaving, so we were able to spread out a little more.  Upon talking to the fishermen already there, the prospects seemed even bleaker.  They reported getting one or two bites, and not having much success.  But, there were fish jumping.  All over the pond.

Daddy Crusader, fishing at Pine Valley Reservoir.

Daddy Crusader, fishing at Pine Valley Reservoir.

After looking around the pond, it seemed most people were using floaters with worms.  We decided to try to use large weights to sit on the bottom of the pond. We tied a large weight on, and using about a six foot leader, floated powerbait above it.  We then cast this into the middle of the pond.  We had several poles set up like this, and several poles using spinners/spoons.

My Toddler, working her way through the rocks at Pine Valley Reservoir.

My Toddler, working her way through the rocks at Pine Valley Reservoir.

It wasn’t very long before one of the kids started reeling in their pole with the weight on it.  They had a rainbow trout on it!  Now, the trout wasn’t very big, but they wanted to keep it, so we put it on a stringer.  We caught seven rainbows using this method, and three rainbows using spinners/spoons cast far and waiting for them to fall deep.

In the end, we took ten rainbow trout home and had a great dinner with them.  None of them were exceptionally large, I would guess the largest to be about 15 inches, but they still tasted great.  The gentleman in the sporting goods store was right.  Take the kids to Pine Valley Reservoir, and you will catch fish with them, at least we did.

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