Last update: 12/09/2023
Current fishing tips and conditions for Strawberry Reservoir in Mountain Home, UT.
- Ice is forming but it’s a bit of late start to the ice fishing season due to warmer weather.
- Ice should be thick enough over the next few weeks to hit ice fishing hard.
- Kokanee season is closed.
- Fishing for rainbows and cutthroats is still strong.
- Target rainbows and cutthroat trout in 20′-25′ using white tube jigs tipped with a worm or corn. Garlic power bait on a treble hook is also effective.
- Boat anglers are seeing good catch rates of cutthroats using 1/4-ounce jigs with white tubes tipped with nightcrawlers or cut bait
- Shore fishing is still viable but fishing from boat is best.
- If you’re getting short strikes while fishing tubes use a nose-rigged tube jig
- Flies continue to produce good catch rates. Nymph trailers are working well. Anglers are also fishing flies behind tubes with success
- Target points and steeper shoreline
- Soldier creek side continues to produce nice size catches
- Reminder: Anglers may not possess kokanee salmon from Sept 10 through Nov 30
Monthly Fishing Reports
Monthly fishing reports and conditions for Strawberry Reservoir.
During early March much of Strawberry Reservoir is still iced over. During warmer years the reservoir may be ice free by late March—but this is rare.
When water is cold during early spring trout range freely and can be fished shallow, deep, or near the surface. However, deeper waters offshore tend to be more productive.
Anglers will find small to mid-size rainbows in some of the back bays. Larger rainbow and cutthroat trout are found in the open water. During early spring trout will take a variety of lures. Local anglers recommend the Li’l Jakes gold spin-a-lure with red dots or black stripes. Trout are also taken with jigs tipped with nightcrawlers, plastic grubs, meal worms and powerbait.
Late March anglers can start fishing from shore with ice conditions permitting. Trout often cruise the shoreline foraging. Fishing a nightcrawler or powerbait just off the bottom is an effective method for fishing the shallows. Lures fished close to shore is also productive.
April can provide good fishing conditions on Strawberry Reservoir, however, fish can still be difficult to reach when there is ice on the lake. Complete ice-off usually occurs in late April or early May.
Once the reservoir is ice free, fishing from a float tube can be productive.
Most years Strawberry Reservoir is completely ice free by early May. This is when fishing from shore really picks up. Large cutthroat and rainbow trout scour the shallows near the shoreline for scuds, snails, and leeches. This period where trout are abundant near shore lasts only a few weeks until spring runoff mixes with reservoir waters and fish scatter.
For fly fisherman, fishing darker leech patterns, wooly bugger, and articulated streamers near shore typically produced strikes. Casting grub-style jigs and black marabou from a boat toward the shore and retrieving out is also productive for targeting trout.
During mid-to-late May fishing for larger cutthroats begins to slow as they lose interest in feeding to search out spawning grounds.
Early June trout—especially cutthroats—move offshore throughout the lake. Large cutthroats are now migrating to tributaries to spawn. Cutthroat spawns extend through the end of June early July.
During late May early June mayflies begin to emerge and surface on the reservoir. Fishing dry fly patterns early morning as the sun is just breaking and the wind hasn’t picked up is a great time to catch feeding trout. Look for trout gulping flies off the surface and target these areas.
Fly fishermen report success fishing with scud and damselfly patterns through the end of June.
Surface temperatures can reach a warm 70 degrees Fehrenheit by mid July. Trout and salmon move deeper to find cooler water. Rainbow and cutthroat trout can be found in about 20 feet of water. Kokanee hold deeper at 40-50 feet, or deeper. If shore fishing, try to find the deepest water possible. Fish baits just off the bottom.
Anglers will often troll using downriggers or leaded lines to get bait down where cutthroat troat and salmon are holding. Fishing a heavy jig tipped with bait is productive approach for fishing deeper waters. When the wind picks up in the later evening slow drifting a jig just off the bottom is effective.
Even as water warms, rainbow trout can still be found near the shallows in areas with weedbeds. Casting power bait, grubs, or marabou jigs along the edge of vegetation will often produce bites. Fly fishing scud, damselfly, wooly bugger and leech patterns on sinking lines near weedbeds is also productive for catching rainbows.
Trout and salmon can be caught throughout the day but early mornings and late evenings are the most productive times to fish.
In late July fishing for giant kokanee salmon starts to pick up.
Surface water temperatures remain warm through August. Larger trout and salmon hold in deeper water.
Trolling small lures in 20-40 feet of water will get you plenty of rainbows and cutthroats. A lot anglers troll Li’l Jakes and wobblers with success.
August is one of the best months for kokanee fishing before the fall spawn. The key to catching kokanee is finding the schools. Kokanees are typically found in anywhere from 20—50 feet down this time of year. Trolling leaded lines and downriggers is typically necessary to get your bait down deep enough. Adding a little pizzazz to your presentation, such as pop gear or dodgers, will attract kokanee.
Vertical jigging a jig tipped with bait or a tube jig from a boat or float tube is an effective alternative to trolling. The key with jigging is finding where the fish are so you can get your bait seen. Using a fish finder helps.
Toward the end of August kokanee start to color up and fishing slows.
If you’re practicing catch and release, remember that mortalities rates for fish are higher during the warmer summer months. Avoid fishing with bait, or baited rigs, if your goal is catch and release.
As the water cools, and fall settles in, fish typically becomes more aggressive and will hit more lures. Rapalas, pointer minnow lures, and minnow imitations will catch fish when casting or trolling. Colors that consistently produce include white, silver, and gray.
With cooler water temperatures, fish are now moving out of the deeper parts of the lake and range freely near the surface and in the shallows. This makes it easier to troll without using downriggers.
With fish moving into the shallows, fishing from shore becomes much more productive. Fishing the shore from boat is also popular. Cast your bait up into the shallows and then work it into deeper water (25ft). You’ll find most trout in 15 to 20 feet of water.
If cutthroats are your target, fish both the deep and shallow waters. Effective cutthroat lures include Strawberry wobblers, rapalas, flatfish, and fish imitation lures.
Kokanee can be harvested through September 10.
While most fishing on Strawberry Reservoir is by boat, September offers great fishing conditions for fishing from shore and wade fishing.
Fishing conditions on Strawberry Reservoir in October are much as they are during September. Fish can still be found just about anywhere throughout the reservoir.
Fast trolling (2-3 mph) can be effective for targeting rainbows and cutthroats. Trolling or casting a fly behind a bubble in the shallows or open water is a popular technique employed on Strawberry this time of year. Leave about 6′ of leader between the bubble and fly. You want to use a fly that floats well.
Anglers report some their biggest catches during late fall.
Fishing in November is still productive, but unpredictable. Cold, stormy weather can make it more challenging for anglers. Fishing remains productive until ice starts forming.
Trolling minnow-imitating lures or a Li’l Jake is a great way to cover a lot area and find where fish are holding. Once you find where the fish are holding, fishing a tub jig tipped with nightcrawler will catch trout.
Mid November boat ramps on Strawberry Reservoir begin to close. November is a popular month for float tube fishing. Fly fishing for cutthroats and rainbows from float tubes is popular and productive.
Leech patterns continue to produce throughout November.
Fishing on Strawberry Reservoir slows down considerably during early December as water transitions to ice.
Usually in mid to late December when ice is sufficiently thick—and safe to walk on—ice fishing kicks into gear and anglers return to fish the hard deck. Ice fishing is at its best just after first ice.
Ice fishing on Strawberry Reservoir is at its best during January. During mid January ice is now thick enough to safely fish the entire lake include the Soldier Creek side. This is a great season to target larger trout in the 18-24″ range.
It’s best to fish within 1 to 2 feet off the bottom. Some of the best baits for ice fishing Strawberry include jigs tipped with a piece of nightcrawler or minnow, Foxy jigs, feathered jigs, or glo-colored mini-jigs tipped with bait. Powerbait works for targeting rainbows. A Rapala jigging lure works well even without bait.
Wind can be a factor when fishing Strawberry Reservoir, especially in later afternoon. Early morning on Strawberry Reservoir typically provides the best conditions for ice fishing.
February provides great conditions for ice fishing on Strawberry Reservoir. The same baits and presentations reported for ice fishing during January are also productive throughout the month of February.
Top fish species
The following are the most common catches on Strawberry Reservoir reported by anglers.