Brough Reservoir near Randlett, Utah
Brough Reservoir is an important irrigation impoundment located about eight travel miles east of Randlett in Uintah County, Utah. It is 128 acres in area, has a maximum depth of 56 feet, and sits at an elevation of over 5,000 feet. It is known for producing large rainbow and brown trout. The Ouray Park Irrigation Company owns and manages Brough Reservoir--which is the largest landmark in Utah that carries the "Brough" surname.
Brough Reservoir was named after Jesse Samuel Brough who lived in Lapoint, Roosevelt and Randlett, Utah, during the 1900's. Jesse Samuel Brough (1884-1958) was the second son of Mormon pioneer, Samuel Richard Brough (1857-1947). In 1910, Jesse married Luella Nebeker (1888-1970) in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they eventually had twelve children. Jesse became a successful farmer and rancher in the Uintah Basin.
The Brough Family Organization has stated the following about Jesse Samuel Brough: "He contributed very much to the building of canals, roads, etc. in the Ouray Valley, serving as president of the Ouray Park Irrigation Company for several years. He spent a lot of time and effort trying to improve the water system in the Valley. In the year 1972, a reservoir was constructed bearing his name, 'Brough Reservoir'."
Online Information about Brough Reservoir
Ouray Park Irrigation Company
The irrigation water in Brough Reservoir is an asset and resource of the Ouray Park Irrigation Company and its stockholders.
Elevation: [over] 5,000 ft.
Location: About 15 miles east of Roosevelt (6 miles past Gusher).
Access: Take S.R. 88 south from U.S. 40 (Ouray Road). Turn west at the second dirt road past the high power lines. Follow this road about 2 miles staying left at each fork.
Fishing: Brough Reservoir is noted for abundant population of [fish].
Facilities: There is no boat ramp, but small boats can be launched on the north side of the reservoir.
Brough Reservoir is a small irrigation impoundment located in western Uintah County. Brough Reservoir is managed as a trophy trout fishery. Brough is known for producing large rainbow and brown trout. Despite being a trophy trout fishery, Brough Reservoir receives very little angling pressure.
Waterbody type: Moderate coldwater lake 50-200 acres.
Location: Brough Reservoir is located in Uintah County at an elevation of [over 5,000] feet. This water is near the towns of Roosevelt, Fort Duchesne, and Vernal, Utah. The UTM coordinates for this waterbody are 610,473.593 meters east and 4,457,206.475 meters north. Decimal degree coordinates for this water are -109.700903 longitude and 40.258033 latitude.
Regulations: Limit 1 trout over 22 inches. All trout 22 inches or smaller must be immediately released. Artificial flies and lures only. Consult your fishing guidebook for more information.
Bait restrictions: Use or possession of any bait while fishing on waters designated artificial fly and lure only is unlawful. Use or possession of artificial baits which are commercially imbedded or covered with fish or fish parts while fishing is unlawful. Manufactured, human-made items that may not be digestible - including items that have been chemically treated with food stuffs, chemical fish attractants or feeding stimulants - may not be used on waters where bait is prohibited. For additional information consult Section R657-13-12 of the Administrative Rules.
Nearest town: Fort Duchesne, UT.
Distance to Fort Duchesne, UT: 10 [miles].
Directions: From Salt Lake City, travel east on I-80 east and take exit 146 onto US-40 E. Travel on US-40 E for 115 miles. Turn right onto US-191 N/US-40 E and travel for 15.9 miles. Turn right onto UT-88 and travel for 3.8 miles. Turn right at sign for Brough Reservoir and travel 0.7 miles on gravel road. Turn left and travel for 0.7 miles to the reservoir.
Size: Brough Reservoir is 128 acres in area.
Depth: Brough Reservoir has a maximum depth of 56 feet. The average depth of the reservoir is 31 feet.
Elevation: Elevation of this reservoir is just over [5,000] feet.
Fishing information: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, Fathead minnow.
Angling Methods: Shore, Float Tube, Wading.
Suggested Tackle: Spincast, spinning, baitcast, or fly tackle can be used successfully on this water; providing angling opportunities for the novice and the specialized angler alike. Lightweight to medium-light tackle is suitable for all fish you will encounter at Brough Reservoir. Sinking line is recommended when fly fishing from a tube.
Suggested Lures: Retrieve or troll small spoons, spinners, and crankbaits. A fly and bubble combination or small jigs will also provide good action.
Seasonal Environmental Conditions: Ice typically begins forming on Brough Reservoir in late December. Ice-off varies, but usually occurs in late March/early April. Water temperatures (oF) range from the lower 40s in spring, to the high 60s in mid-summer, and back down to the low 50s in the fall.
Fall is a great time for color. And for most of Utah's anglers, there are few colors they'd like to see more than those on a big brown or rainbow trout.
Fall is also a good time to check out new fishing waters. There are fewer anglers in the fall, and the fishing can be red hot.
One place where the fishing has been very hot this fall sits in the middle of the desert south of US-40 in northeastern Utah.
"Brough is a little sleeper of a reservoir that few know about," says Ed Johnson, fisheries biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "Those who fish at the reservoir in the fall often find that they're the only ones at the reservoir, or one of only a few groups."
The lack of anglers is somewhat surprising because the reservoir produces some big trout.
"Brough was full of stunted bass just a few years ago," Johnson says. "We [UDWR] treated it a few years ago with rotenone. Then we restocked it with salmonids [trout]. Our goal is to produce a fishery with big fish. We often refer to this type of management as 'trophy' management.
"We've kept the brown and rainbow trout stocking rates low to reduce competition among the fish. That produces bigger fish. By changing the regulations to a catch-and-release, flies-and-lures only restriction [bait is not allowed], and setting a size limit of 22 inches, we've managed to get some nice fish in just a few years.
"Last week, a group of us caught fish in the one- to three-pound range. The fish we caught averaged around one-and-a-half to two pounds."
"The reservoir is south of highway 40 between Gusher and Vernal," Johnson says. "From US-40, turn south on highway 88 to Pelican and Ouray. Just before you reach a farm, you'll cross under some big metal power lines; when you do, start looking for a Brough Reservoir sign on the fence line to the west. It should be close to a wooden telephone pole line.
"From there, follow the dirt road through the gate, and then look for the small fish signs that will lead you to the reservoir.
"Brough is a small reservoir in the middle of the desert," Johnson says. "There is nothing there. You can camp anywhere. Camping is free but there are no restrooms, drinking water, boat ramps, tables...nothing. It's completely undeveloped."
Johnson says during high water, you can launch boats from the rocks on the north side of the reservoir. "But during low water, it gets pretty muddy or too rocky, so I do not recommend trying to launch a boat," he says. "It's a good way to get stuck, and there isn't anyone around to pull you out."
Johnson says fishing at the reservoir will remain good until the water company begins filling it. Then the fishing will slow as the water gets murky. But you can still catch fish; it's just harder.
The reservoir is also open to ice fishing, but remember that you may not use bait.
Directions: Southeast of Duchesne. Turn off Highway 40 and head south on Highway 88 for five miles, then west for two miles on windy road. About 12 miles north of Ouray.
Description: This is a small - about 90 surface acres - lower elevation reservoir. Mostly rolling, sagebrush covered hills around it. little vegetation. An irrigation reservoir so is drawn down in late fall and winter.
What works: Good water using worms, especially a worm off a small bobber, for trout. try crayfish-colored crankbaits and rapala-type minnow lures and bass poppers for smallmouth. Also try flies near inlets.
Details: This is a good water to use waders and float tubes. Because of the size a boat is not necessary. Weedy in the shallows, but can wade out beyond to open water. When working with a worm and bobber, use enough leader to keep hook about foot from the bottom. Also stay near bottom when ice fishing. Use small flies around inlets.
Notes: Good place to spend a day. Excellent chance for a trophy rainbow or smallmouth. Not much camping near reservoir, but good accommodations at nearby towns. Does not get a lot of pressure. Good for rainbow when ices over in the winter.
GPS-N.40.15.359-W.109.42.254. Elevation-5,010 ft. 128 Acres. Depth Maximum-55.8 ft. Mean-1.2 ft.
Brough Reservoir is accessible from U-88 between Ouray and US-40. The turnoff to U-88 is 15 miles west of Vernal and 15 miles east of Roosevelt on US-40. Approximately 3.7 miles south of US 40, U-88, a gravel road to the west is an access road to the reservoir. Hunting is popular at the lake. There is no boat ramp at the reservoir, but small boats can be launched at certain points.