Originally Posted by kayo
define "good fishing"?
Excellent question Kayo, with no easy answers. I guess the definition for "good fishing" would be quite different from one angler to the next - personal criteria certainly plays a role here.
I can offer up these three (3) examples based on my current situation in Sandy, Utah;
The closest stream to my house is American Fork
. It’s a smallish stream (15-20 feet wide) set in a beautiful canyon and it's about 35-40 minutes from home to where I like to fish it. It's got a lot of small (<10") wild browns and quite a few stocked rainbows. The major drawbacks for me is that it runs through several heavily used campgrounds, so in addition to the areas of channelization and "urban" structure, it gets incredible amounts of rubbish thrown into it. Plus I have to pay $6 (entry fee) every time I want to fish it.
The next closest is Lower Provo River
– a world class tailwater fishery about 45-50 minutes away with world class detractions for me. The fish are there to be sure (some quite large), but it sits far too close to 2.5 million people so there is quite a bit of crowding. On top of that, a highway runs right next to it so you're never really removed from urban sprawl and the highway noise. And thirdly (during the summer) there is a non-stop parade of tubers, rafters, kayaks, boaters coming down the river.
So the middle
section of the Provo River
(Midway, UT) is the closest trout river that fulfils my needs. It's removed enough to feel wild and although it gets used heavily, there always seems to be room to get away from people, and it's got a fantastic trout population with terrific hatches. The area I fish is an hour to 1:10 away from home (barring traffic issues). Next "preferred" option would be middle Weber River
(1:30 drive) for all the same reasons.
So you see, for some (maybe "most") the first two may be perfectly acceptable… in fact #2 (lower Provo) is actually a destination river in some fly-fishing circles. I personally can't stand it and only wind up there if I happen to be fishing with someone else that absolutely has to be there. But I can easily see someone listing the lower Provo as their favorite trout river… it's just not for me.
Having said all that, I'm still fairly new to the area so maybe this is all subject to change with more local experience gained with time, but that's how it sits now.