The Upper section of the Strawberry River is a beautiful stream that runs through high mountain meadows as it flows to Strawberry Reservoir It’s meandering course has developed many pockets that hold fish. Getting to the river is easy, but might take some walking through sagebrush covered fields before getting to the actual river. Once there, be prepared for small distance casting with deep pools created by beaver dams.
To get to the Upper Strawberry leave Heber City and head Southeast on Highway 40 through Daniels Canyon. Once you crest the summit that you enter the Strawberry Valley. This high mountain valley is a large wetland due to the Reservoir and the various feeder streams that feed that waterbody. There are hundreds of feeder streams that both feed into the Strawberry River and its reservoir, all of which contain fish and every fisherman should lead an encounter on each of those streams. The river is closed between May and July for spawning trout from the Reservoir. Please check current regulations for the exact dates and boundaries that the river is closed.
We like to fish our 7’6” 3 wt on this section of the river. It’s a small creek that at it’s widest point is probably no more than 15 feet across and in a lot of areas you will be perfecting your bow-n-arrow cast. A shorter leader can also be used on these low pressured fish, as well, a thicker tippet can be used. Due to all of these factors, the upper section is a great place for a beginner fly-fisherman to learn more technical techniques.
As with most small streams, there are fish in most pocket water, however, there are not many and their average size is generally a little more than a hand’s breadth in length. Don’t be coming to the Upper Strawberry looking for the monsters that you’ll find in the Provo. Some do lurk there but they’re closer to the reservoir. You’ll find Browns, Rainbows, and Cutthroats in the river. Once again, read the regulations for this stretch of the river, you may have to release any and all fish that have cutthroat markings.
This river is a lot of fun to fish. It’s close to civilization, right at Daniel’s Summit is a lodge that you can stop and get an ice-cream if it’s a hot day, yet you’ll feel like you left everything behind as you skip a fly across this integral waterway. As always, Good Luck and Guid Luck!