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Flaming Gorge Fishing Reports

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October 25th, 2017

Flaming Gorge

Surface Temp: 60


Elevation is 6,033 feet and stable. The water temperature is 60 degrees F in the canyon (Utah region). Fishing is slow to good, depending on what species you target.

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

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. Fishing will get even better once the reservoir cools into the low 50s. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. You may 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 really well. Linwood Bay closes to nighttime fishing (sunset-sunrise) starting Oct. 15th. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

Smallmouth bass: 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. Smallmouth bass will remain active until water temperatures drop to the mid 50s.

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. (10-24-17)





Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam



Flows: 2500

Hatches: Fall BWO's


Dry Flies- There are pods of risers in back eddies and near the edge.  Natural BWO's are 22-24.  Floating a small ant or cricket through these pods can be effective.  The fish are spooky and tough to catch at this point.    


Nymph Fishing- Try large attractors such as a worm, egg, or woolly bugger trailed by small 18-22 gray or olive scuds.  Other small gray flies, such as WD40's or BWO emergers in size 20-24.   During BWO hatches look for suspened fish on seems and tail outs.  Fish aren't spawning yet, but glow bugs are an effective attractor at this time of year.  


Streamer Fishing has remained productive.  Lighter colors such as ginger or natural have produced well, especially in low light.

High Country


Browne Lake


The reservoir is full and the fishing has gotten better now that the lake has been restocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout. The fish are smaller than 12 inches, but the action can be fast. Try fish bait near the bottom or cast small spoons and spinners near the inflows. Fly fishing is good early and late in the day. (10-24-17)


Calder Reservoir


The reservoir was recently surveyed and showed good numbers of cutthroat and rainbow trout up to 16 inches. Those fish were healthy, averaged about 12 inches and were consuming scuds and chironomids. The reservoir has special catch-and-release regulations. You must use flies and lures only — bait is not allowed. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details. (10-24-17)


Long Park Reservoir


The reservior has receded a bit, but the fish remains good. Try Jakes Lures or Power Bait.  For fly fishermen try black buggers or glow bugs near the inlet. 


Moose Pond


Angling pressure has been high, and fishing has been fair for recently stocked rainbow trout. Try using bubble/bait rigs, fly patterns (like ants, stoneflies and midges) and small spoons like a Jake's Spin-A-Lure. Bait fishing is always a good option, using PowerBait and a slip sinker to fish on the bottom. You can also fill a casting bubble completely with water, which will allow it to sink to the bottom. (10-24-17)


Matt Warner


Anglers are reporting good fishing after the slower fishing of the summer during the algal bloom. The reservoir was surveyed at the end of the summer and although catch rates were lower, the fish were extremely healthy. Rainbow and tiger trout were observed up to 19 inches and averaging 17 inches. The surveyors also observed only large fish, nothing smaller than 16 inches or so. Most were eating chironomids, but some also had crayfish and shiners in their stomachs. Try casting marabou jigs or fishing bait (worms, PowerBait) close to the bottom. (10-24-17)


Sheep Creek Reservoir


Try black leeches on the weed lines, glow bugs near steeper banks, and woolley bugger of various colors in the deeper water.   (10-03-17)



Spirit Lake


Higher mountain lakes are producing good-size tiger trout. Try using a size 8 black leech pattern to catch them. Anglers casting small spinners (Panther Martins) and spoons (Jake's Spin-A-Lures) are finding some success from the shore. (09-27-17)