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Utah DWR Gorge Report

by: Dale Daugherty 10/24/2017

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Elevation is 6,033 feet and stable. The water temperature is 60 degrees F in the canyon (Utah region). Fishing is slow to good, depending on what species you target.

Kokanee salmon: Fishing for kokanee is now closed until Dec 1st.

Rainbow trout: Fishing is fair. Catchable rainbow trout were recently stocked in the Utah portion of the reservoir. Now that water temperatures have cooled, trout are moving shallow and becoming more active along shoreline habitat. Fishing will get even better once the reservoir cools into the upper 40s to low 50s. If fishing from a boat, casting jigs near creek inlets has been productive. Trolling in 10 to 15 feet of water with pop gear, spinners and small spoons is also effective. If fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some, and slowly retrieve with occasional jigging strokes. Marabou jigs in earth tone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. Look for rising fish on warm days when hatches are more prevalent. When you catch one, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs for quick release.

Lake trout: Fishing is fair. Fishing will get even better once the reservoir cools into the low 50s. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. You may find fish suspended above the bottom using a fish finder. Troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows, and #3 Needlefish to target aggressive pups. Vertically jig a white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot) on a 3/8-ounce head tipped with sucker/chub meat. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work really well. Linwood Bay closes to nighttime fishing (sunset-sunrise) starting Oct. 15th. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

Smallmouth bass: Bass fishing has slowed down considerably with cooler temps and shorter days. Expect patchy success, as smallmouth bass will concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter and colder temps. Fish shallow for higher catch rates, but try fishing depths greater than 20 feet for bigger fish. Smallmouth bass will remain active until water temperatures drop consistently into the mid 50s. Jigs mimicking crayfish (earth tone colors), their primary forage, are the best option. Jerkbaits and crankbaits in copper, silver and rainbow trout colors may also entice fish. Expect patchy success, as smallmouth bass will concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter. Smallmouth bass will remain active until water temperatures drop to the mid 50s.

Burbot: Fishing is good. Some recent reports indicate fishing success has picked up since water temperatures have consistently fallen into the 50s. Many are being caught while jigging for lake trout, even during the day, but the best activity has been at night. Boaters can target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 20 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. Hot spots are uplake of Buckboard near the Confluence/Lost Dog and Firehole Boat Launch. (10-24-17)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: Due to maintenance in the power plant of the dam, flows have dropped to a stable 1,500 cubic feet per second. Water temperatures have also dropped to the low 50s. Flows can change daily so be sure to check them before you head out. Dry fly fishing has been fair to good. Terrestrials like 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 earth tones are a good option in shallow or deep water. Rainbow or brown trout-patterned crankbaits will also entice fish. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. (10-24-17)

Little Montes Reservoir: The reservoir has been drained for final repairs on the outlet gate. Construction will begin in October and be done by January. We will begin to refill the lake as soon as the repairs are complete. Division biologist are also looking for Eagle Scouts or community members to build fish habitat structures over the next few months. We want to install these while the lake is empty. If interested, please contact Natalie Boren at 435-219-2644. (10-24-17)

Long Park Reservoir: The reservoir is full and shore anglers are having good success either casting or trolling small spinners (Roostertails) and spoons (Jake's) or fishing bait (PowerBait) near the bottom. Gold colored blades have been best. (10-24-17)

Matt Warner: Anglers are reporting good fishing after the slower fishing of the summer during the algal bloom. The reservoir was surveyed at the end of the summer and although catch rates were lower, the fish were extremely healthy. Rainbow and tiger trout were observed up to 19 inches and averaging 17 inches. The surveyors also observed only large fish, nothing smaller than 16 inches or so. Most 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. (10-24-17)

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Dale Daugherty
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