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Utah DWR Flaming Gorge Report

Blog by: Dale Daugherty 11/9/2017

Flaming Gorge Reservoir: Elevation is 6,033 feet and stable. The water temperature is 56 degrees F or less in the canyon (Utah region).

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

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. Biologists are encouraging anglers to keep small lake trout (pups) under 25 inches. The abundance of small lake trout is creating competition for a limited food supply. The competition is reducing lake trout growth rates and reducing the number of kokanee salmon and rainbow trout available for anglers to catch. Catch small lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. You might 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 well. Linwood Bay is closed to nighttime fishing (sunset to sunrise) as of Oct. 15. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

Smallmouth bass: Fishing is slow. 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.

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. Biologists' surveys during the first week of November showed a slight decline in the population. We're encouraging anglers to continue to harvest burbot in the northern reaches of the Gorge. (11-09-17)

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. Try a dropper with a zebra midge or cricket throughout the day, and streamers when it's overcast. Spin fishing is fair to slow. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earthtones 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. (11-09-17)

Blog content © Dale Daugherty