Flaming Gorge Reservoir Fishing Report
by Utah Division of Wildlife
The reservoir elevation has increased 7 feet to a current elevation of 6,013 feet, and is forecasted to come up another 15 feet by midsummer. Currently, all of the launches are open with the exception of Anvil Draw. (You can look forward to Anvil Draw being accessible with a few more feet of elevation increase.) Courtesy docks have also been installed for the season.
Lake trout: Recent fishing reports indicate that lake trout fishing success has been variable in the open water. Start looking for fish in 50-80 feet of water; try shallower waters early and deeper waters later in the day. If you're not marking fish, move. If you're not catching marked fish, change up your presentation. Good lures to vertically jig are jigging spoons such as Crippled Herrings, jigging raps, blade baits and 3.5 inch tube jigs in 1/4- to 3/8-ounce weight and tipped with a small piece (size of your thumbnail) of sucker or chub meat. Gulp minnow in 3-4 inch sizes have also been effective. White, glow and chartreuse are good colors to start with. Trolling crankbaits close to the surface has been productive as well. This is a great time of year to target lake trout, specifically small ones that are overabundant. Please help the resource by harvesting some of the overabundant lake trout under 25 inches (limits apply). This size class of fish makes exceptional table fare. Kokanee salmon: Kokanee abundance is low this year. Some anglers have had success trolling close to the surface at a depth of 10-20 feet, using traditional kokanee gear such as dodger/squids and small spoons. Pink mini squids have had the highest success. Rainbow and cutthroat trout: Fishing is really picking up, especially for quality-sized fish. Try fishing close to shore and near inflows using small jigs in earth tones, tipped with a small amount of bait like Gulp maggots or worms. If you're using more than one rod, jig one and deadstick the other with a bait presentation. Trout will commonly hit either option, but may show more preference to one technique. Good jigs to use are tubes or marabous in earth tones. Smallmouth bass: Smallmouth bass are getting more active now that the water has warmed up into the 50s. Target shallow, rocky areas adjacent to deep water. Jerkbaits work well this time of year. The smallmouth bass can also be caught using lures that mimic their primary forage (crayfish) such as tube jigs and single- or double-tailed grubs. Remember the limit in Utah is three fish and catch-and-release only in Wyoming. In Utah, please minimize harvest of the larger bass, considering that they're older, slow-growing fish. Burbot: No recent reports, but they are still active. Target burbot at night along rocky points and shorelines in 10 to 40 feet of water, using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Ned's Bait Box plastics and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with a small piece of sucker/chub meat, recharge the glow frequently, and jig or deadstick the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Please remember all burbot must be killed.
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