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Flaming Gorge fishing report from Utah DWR

by: Dale Daugherty 2/12/2018

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: The water temperature is currently ready 42 to 44 degrees F in the canyon. As of Feb. 5, the ice was down to the Confluence where it's eight inches, and increases as you move further up the reservoir. Buckboard and Firehole launches are iced in, but all others are open and dry.

Kokanee salmon: Anglers are catching some while trolling 10 to 15 feet on dodgers and squids. Use planer boards to get the offering away from the boat.

Rainbow trout: Fishing is excellent from the shoreline and from boats. A boat is essential to access most of the reservoir; however, there is shore fishing near the Dam Point Visitor Center, Jug Hollow and boat ramps. Fish are shallow and cruising the shoreline, especially in the backs of canyons. Marabou jigs in brown/orange and 1/4-ounce weight are effective. Anglers report doing well alternating between Kastmasters and Jake's lures.

Lake trout: Fishing is fair from the boat, but great uplake through the ice! Anglers are catching some small lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Fish may be located above the bottom using a fish finder. Vertically jig a 1/4-3/8 ounce white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot), tipped with sucker/chub meat. Troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows and #3 Needlefish to target aggressive pups. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work well.

Smallmouth bass: Now that water temperatures have dropped into the 40s, bass fishing has slowed down considerably, and they will be the occasional catch until spring. Jigs mimicking crayfish (earth tone colors), their primary forage, are the best option.

Burbot: Target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 10 to 40 feet of water at night using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker/chub meat, recharge glow frequently, and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. During the recent tournaments, anglers had the most success on the ice further up the river arms, and from boats, south of Buckboard Marina. (02-07-18)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: Water flows can change daily, so be sure to see current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. Dry fly fishing has been fair. Trout are rising for small midges and mayflies. Try a larger fly, like a yellow sally, ahead of the small midge, to make it easier to spot strikes. Nymphing is good using midge, mayfly, caddis and scud patterns. Some bigger fish have been caught recently, while stripping large streamers close to shore. Spin fishing has been excellent. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earth tones, white and ginger are a good option in shallow or deep water. Rainbow or brown trout patterned crankbaits and medium-sized silver spoons and spinners have also been working really well. Pinch down the barbs for quick release.

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Dale Daugherty
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