Flaming Gorge Reservoir Fishing Report
by Utah Division of Wildlife
The reservoir elevation is currently 6,029 feet and water temperature is in the mid-to-upper 50s. Reminder: Anglers may not possess kokanee salmon at any waterbody statewide from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30.
Lake trout: Recent fishing reports indicate lake trout fishing success has been very good. Small lake trout are spawning along the shoreline in key areas along the length of the reservoir. The best reports are coming from Boar's Tusk up to Lowe Canyon on the east side of the reservoir. Target 10-60 feet of water, along steep banks with shale or cobble rock. Cast jigs toward shore and work the lure along the bottom. Sometimes the bite is quick, so watch your rod tip and line for any movement. Also, watch the fish finder for schools of fish holding in deeper water (50-60 feet) adjacent to these shallow spawning areas. Good lures to use include 3-4 inch Gulp minnows, tubes and curly tail grubs rigged on 1/4- to 1/2-ounce jig heads. Colors include white, glow, chartreuse and shad. Try tipping lures with a small piece (size of your thumbnail) of sucker or chub meat. If you're not marking fish, move, and if you're not catching marked fish, change up your presentation. Trolling can be effective as well, using small spoons, dodger/squids, and even crankbaits in colors mentioned above. This is a great time to target lake trout, specifically small ones that are overabundant and consume kokanee salmon. Please help the resource by harvesting some of the overabundant lake trout under 25 inches. This size class of fish makes exceptional table fare. For more information on areas and techniques to target lake trout and burbot, visit the Flaming Gorge Fishery Management site. Kokanee salmon: Closed to possession from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30. Rainbow and cutthroat trout: With water temperatures cooling, fishing has been good for boat and shore anglers. Boat anglers can troll spoons or dodgers/squids at 10-30 feet and about 1.6-1.8 mph. Boat and shoreline anglers can do well casting, too. Good lures include jigs or spoons tipped with a small amount of bait like a Gulp maggot or worm. Vibrant colors work well, like chartreuse or pink. 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. Smallmouth bass: With the water in the 50s, smallmouth bass activity is slowing, but they're still catchable. Target rocky areas along the main channel and adjacent to deep water. The smallmouth bass can also be caught using lures that mimic their primary forage (crayfish) such as tube jigs, Ned rigs and single- or double-tailed grubs. Remember the limit in Utah is three fish and it's 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're getting more active with cooler temps. Target burbot at night along rocky points and shorelines in 10-40 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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