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Flaming Gorge fishing report from Utah DWR

by: Dale Daugherty 4/3/2018

The reservoir is currently ice-free and all launches are operable up to Firehole in Wyoming. The Flaming Gorge Fishing Derby is scheduled for May 19 & 20, 2018. To register, visit or call 435-784-3483 for more information.

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

Kokanee salmon: Fishing is unseasonably good. Anglers are catching kokanee while trolling in 1030 feet of water on dodgers and pink squids. Use planer boards to troll shallower water and get the offering away from the boat. You may graph schools deeper in the middle of the day. If you do, use downriggers or lead-core line to troll for the deeper fish. When the fish are in a large concentration, some anglers have successfully caught them while vertically jigging small spoons tipped with Gulp maggots

Rainbow trout: Fishing is excellent from the shoreline or a boat. A boat is essential to access most of the lower reservoir, however, there is shore fishing near the Dam Point Visitor Center and boat ramps. Fish are shallow and cruising the shoreline, especially in the backs of canyons (near inflows) and along shallow rocky points. Where you catch one, you will likely catch many. Marabou jigs are very effective in earth tones and 1/4-ounce weights. Spinner, spoons and other jigs will work as well. Anglers who are trolling should try small spoons or pop gear 1020 feet under the surface at 1.52 mph.

Smallmouth bass: Fishing is slow for the occasional smallmouth and it will be until the water warms into the 50s. Try using earth tone-colored jigs that mimic crayfish their primary forage.

Burbot: Target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 1040 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. (04-03-18)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam: The water flows are fluctuating between 8003,360 cfs, but are a stable 1,680 cfs from sunrise to 4 p.m. (See the current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam.) Dry fly fishing has been fair to good. Blue-winged olive hatches have been best from 14 p.m. on calm, cloudy days near Little Hole. Nymphing is very good using midge, mayfly, caddis and scud patterns. Anglers have recently caught some bigger fish while stripping large streamers or casting jigs close to shore. Olive and brown colors have been best. Spin fishing has been excellent. Try using marabou or tube jigs in earth tones, white or ginger 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. (04-03-18)

Blog content © Dale Daugherty
Dale Daugherty
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