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Utah DWR Flaming Gorge Report

Blog by: Dale Daugherty 12/10/2017

Kokanee salmon: Fishing for kokanee reopened Dec. 1.

Rainbow trout: Fishing is good. Now that water temperatures have cooled, trout are active along the shoreline. Casting jigs and spoons and retrieving with the occasional jig and pause is most effective. Watch your line during the pause, as many of the hits will come as the lure drops through the water column. Good lures are 1/4-ounce marabou jigs in earth tones and spoons in silver, copper and chartreuse. If fishing from shore, cast the lure in a 45-degree angle from shore, and let the lure drop 10 to 15 feet before retrieving.,Trolling 10 to 20 feet deep and 1.5-2 mph with pop gear, spinners and small spoons has also been effective. Let the lure out 100 to 150 feet before attaching the line to the downrigger or inline weight. The longer set-back will help decrease spooking of shallow fish. You might catch lake trout using these same tactics.

Lake trout: Fishing is fair. The spawn is coming to an end and lake trout are hungry once again. Anglers are consistently catching smaller lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Fish may be located 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. Some lake trout are being caught while casting jigs and spoons along the shoreline, and longline trolling shallow running crankbaits like Rapala Shad Raps and Xraps. Linwood Bay is closed to nighttime fishing (sunset to sunrise) until December 9. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

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

Burbot: Fishing is good. Some recent reports indicate that fishing success is picking up. Many are 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. Ice will start to form uplake with the next cold snap. 

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: Flows are currently 2,800 cfs and water temperatures are at 48 degrees F. Flows can change daily, so please check out the USBR website for current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. Streamers in black and olive are the best bet for snagging big brown trout around the Little Hole boat ramp area, so trying up or downriver from that spot should produce consistent action. Dry fly fishing has been fair. Terrestrials like hoppers, crickets and ants are still an option this time of year but midges, small mayflies, and even caddis have been reported. Nymphing is good using midge, mayfly, caddis and scud patterns. Try a dry dropper with an ant or hopper on top and a nymph or egg trailing a three to five feet below. Spin fishing is good. 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. Medium-sized silver spoons and spinners will also work. Pinch down the barbs for quick release.

Blog content © Dale Daugherty