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Flaming Gorge Country Conditions Report

by: Dale Daugherty 10/5/2017

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Fishing is fair to good across the reservoir, depending on which species you're targeting.

Kokanee salmon: Salmon fishing is closed until Dec. 1.

Rainbow trout: Fair to good fishing. Now that the water temperature has cooled, trout are moving into shallow shoreline habitat and are becoming more active. While fishing for rainbows, you might also catch a cutthroat. If you're fishing from a boat, casting jigs near the creek inlets has been the most productive way to catch trout. Trolling 10–15 feet deep, with pop gear, spinners and small spoons, has also been effective. If you're fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some and slowly retrieve the bait, using occasional jigging strokes. Marabou jigs in earthtone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. When you catch one rainbow, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs on your hooks so you can release fish quickly.

Lake trout: Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while trolling for kokanee salmon or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Use a fish finder to locate fish that are suspended above the bottom. To target aggressive pups, troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows and #3 Needlefish. You can also vertically jig a white or glow-in-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot), tipped with sucker or chub meat. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work really well. Linwood Bay closes to nighttime fishing (from sunset to sunrise) starting Oct. 15. See the 2017 Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

Smallmouth bass: Fishing is good. Jigs in earthtone colors that mimic crayfish — the primary forage of smallmouth bass — are the best option. Jerkbaits and crankbaits in copper, silver and rainbow trout colors will also entice fish. Expect patchy success as smallmouth bass concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter. Fish shallow for high catch rates. If you want to catch bigger fish, though, try fishing depths greater than 20 feet. Smallmouth bass will remain active until the water temperature drops into the mid 50s.

Burbot: You'll find fair fishing. There haven't been many reports of anglers catching burbot. Those who are catching fish are mostly catching them while fishing for lake trout. Anglers in boats can target burbot on rocky points and shorelines, in 20 to 40 feet of water. The best activity may be found 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 or chub meat, recharge its glow frequently, and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Fishing will improve once water temperatures are consistently in the 50s. (09-29-17)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: Flows have dropped and are an average of 2,400 cfs. Water temperatures have also dropped to the mid 50s. Flows can change daily, so always check for current information about releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. Dry fly fishing has been fair to good. Terrestrials, including hoppers, crickets and ants, are a great option this time of year. Nymphing is good using midge, mayfly, caddis and scud patterns. Try a dropper with a cicada or hopper on top and a nymph trailing a few feet below. Spin fishing is fair. Marabou jigs or tube jigs, in earthtone colors, are a good option in shallow or deep water. Rainbow- or brown-trout-patterned crankbaits will also entice fish. Pinch the barbs on your hooks down so you can release fish quickly. (09-29-17)

Long Park Reservoir: The reservoir is full, and shore anglers are having good success casting or trolling small spinners (Roostertails) and spoons (Jake's Spin-A-Lures) or fishing bait (PowerBait) near the bottom. Try fishing gold spoons or spinners with gold-colored blades. (09-29-17)

Matt Warner: The algal bloom has subsided, and anglers are catching fish again. DWR biologists surveyed the reservoir recently. The number of fish they captured was down, but the fish they caught were very healthy. Rainbow and tiger trout averaged 17 inches, and some were as long as 19 inches. None of the fish caught was smaller than 16 inches. Most of the fish were eating chironomids, but some also had crayfish and shiners in their stomachs. Try casting marabou jigs or fishing bait (worms, PowerBait) close to the bottom. (09-29-17)

Moose Pond: Angling pressure has been high. Fishing has been fair for recently stocked rainbow trout. Try casting bubble/bait rigs, fly patterns (like ants, stoneflies and midges) or small spoons like a Jake's Spin-A-Lure. Bait fishing is always a good option using PowerBait and a slip sinker to fish on the bottom. You can also fill a casting bubble completely with water, which will allow it to sink to the bottom. (09-29-17)

Pelican Lake: Fly anglers are using a range of patterns, from dry flies to nymphs to tiny jigs. Those using spinning gear are throwing a worm or two-inch Berkley Power Grub on a No. 12 hook. If you're interested in catching larger bass, throw a weedless frog pattern among

Blog content © Dale Daugherty
Member comments
shiverfix, CO   10/6/2017 8:50:29 AM
"Kokanee salmon: Salmon fishing is closed until Dec. 1 ------------------ Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while trolling for kokanee salmon." Seems like those anglers would be breaking the law! :D
Dale Daugherty
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