Zion / Bryce National Park Advice


Active Member
I will be heading down to Bryce Canyon and Zion National park the first week of September and I was hoping I could get a bit of advice. I have been doing a bit of research (including the search function on this site. There was a great thread that covered this topic a couple of months ago) about the flyfishing opportunities in this area and I still have a few questions.

I am interested in river fishing and have learned that opportunities exist at the Virgin River and Sevier River. I have also come across references to Parowan Creek, Mammoth Creek and Assay Creek.

1. I know it’s hot down there this time of year; do these rivers fish in early September?
2. If they do, are there any patterns in particular I should be tying/buying for this time of year? I have never fished this part of the country so I am completely clueless.

Feel free to PM if you are more comfortable. I will put out the obligatory “not looking for secret spots, just general info, etc., etc.”. I would be interested in your thoughts on the overall accessibility of the streams I mentioned. I will not have a ton of time to fish since I will be with the wife so knowing I will have at least some access prior to making the trip to a river would be appreciated.

Thanks! And like I always mention when I put out a request for information, I am not an expert on much out west (although I do know the Missoula MT area fairly well). However, I do have a lot of knowledge of the rivers of southern New England if anybody will be finding there way back east anytime soon.

Thanks again!

Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Hmmm....Zion and Bryce, eh? I was there a few summers ago, didn't fish though. All I can tell you is;

A. It's damn hot, I'm sure you are aware of that. It was 107 in Zion when I was there.

B. The Virgin River is very skinny water, at least when I went (sometime in August, I think) and pretty warm (I did the walk up the Virgin River's slot canyon). It's also pretty cloudy, as it cuts through soft sandstone.

This probably doesn't help too much, but it's the only info I can provide. Other than that, they are beautiful parks, especially Zion. I highly reccomend them to anyone. I hope to do a backpack trip in the Zion backcountry one of these days. Good luck, and drink in the scenery, they are truely jewels of the American West.
The fishing in that area is very poor at best. I lived and coached in St. George, Utah for a year and a half. Your closest option is Panguitch and it's lakes and creeks. With waters being cooked by the heat, up into the mountains with the 3 weight and higher elevations are the only moving water options in that immediate area.
Here is a link worth checking out. http://www.utah.com/fish/southern_utah_fishing_waters.htm

Hope that helps. Duff


Active Member
Thanks for the replies and the link coach duff, I had not found that. I know there are places to fish in the area, I'm just not sure of the quality, especially considering the timing of my trip. I was hoping for a tailwater in the area but I don't think that's in the cards. oh well, we'll see. Poor fishing is better than no fishing in my book as long as long as the water temps are within reason.
Like I said, the creek and river fishing more or less sucks this time of year, unless you head up above Panguitch and areas with good altitude and bring the light stuff, 2s and 3s and 4 weights. However....... There is a sporting goods Ace hardware type place in St George who carry a great fly selection and plenty of fly fishing gear, a really will stocked shop for the fly fishing opportunities in the area. The fellas there are good cats and give good advice on fly fishing opportunities and are true locals. I would invest in a cheap pontoon or belly boat there (or bring one) fire up the 5 weight and fish Kolob Resovior, about 45 minutes up a mountain from St George. I would go as far as calling it Blue Ribbon and I landed bows, cutties browns and cutt bows of large assed size in that baby. I have landed fish well over 5 pounds in Kolob. It is beautiful, you will not see many anglers and it has enough altitude to keep things cooler than the burning hell of a furnace the lowlands are. If you like bass, Quail Lake right outside of St George can be a pretty good float tube bass bug show at night. I lived down there and piss pounded everything I could, but I liked Kolob the best in that area in summer. Just my two cents and tight lines. Duffer


Active Member
I drove through all Sothern Utah in August a few years ago on a National Park road trip with my three girls. I used the document in the following link to identify potential places to explore, but with girls age 3, 8, and 13, and several hours of driving each day, only found time to stop at a couple creeks on the last day while headed home.

Not sure how far you can range from Bryce/Zions, but north of Bryce a ways there are quite a few small streams. I fished Beaver Creek near Marysvale for less than 20 minutes, right off the gravel road. Brushy stream with small stream sized rainbows, caught several 6 - 10 inches. Further north, I briefly fished Clear Creek right off the interstate. Saw several nice sized fish (15-inch range) but didn't land any. My brother has fished Antimony Creek in the summer (closer to Bryce) and done very well. If you like small stream fishing with smallish trout and no people, I think you could go to any of these streams in the mountain canyons and find plenty of fish. Most are not in the immediate Bryce/Zion's area, but hey, what's a couple hours drive for an afternoon of fishing? Beautiful country down there, I'd love to explore some more of these areas some day.