Fishing Report for Northeastern Utah, March 15, 2012

BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR: (March 15) There haven't been any recent reports from anglers about fishing or ice conditions.

BROUGH RESERVOIR: (March 15) The lake ice is almost gone. Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows. We aren't seeing the browns yet. Brough 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.

BROWNE LAKE: (March 15) The last fishing report indicated fair to good fishing. Ashley National Forest has closed the roads at the lower gates. The region received snow during the last few storms, so you'll need skis or a snowmobile to access the lake.

BULLOCK RESERVOIR: (March 15) There haven't been any reports from anglers on the fishing conditions. The ice on the reservoir is almost gone.

CALDER RESERVOIR: (March 15) Check the ice carefully before venturing out. Fishing has been fair to good considering the no-bait regulation, which has made the catch rate a bit slower than other reservoirs. Try using jigs and lures that glow. They may be effective in spots where the thickness of the ice and snow has made the depths quite dark. 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.

COTTONWOOD RESERVOIR: (March 15) The ice on the reservoir is almost gone. There are no new reports from anglers on fishing conditions.

CROUSE RESERVOIR: (March 15) There haven't been any recent reports from anglers about fishing or ice conditions.

CURRANT CREEK RESERVOIR: (March 15) Check the ice carefully before venturing out. The last few reports indicated good fishing. On snow-packed, icy roads, four-wheel drive vehicles with good clearance and traction are essential. You might not make it all the way to the dam. Anglers reported catching four species: rainbows, cutthroat, brook and tiger trout. Anglers have been fishing near the dam (in 25 feet to 50 feet of water) but said most of the fish were within the 15- to 25-foot range. Some anglers fished near the inlet with good results; however, the ice in the inlet bay is rotten and unsafe so this area should be avoided. Glow and brightly colored jigging spoons and jigs tipped with a mealworm were the hot gear.

EAST PARK RESERVOIR: (March 15) Ice covers the reservoir. Check the ice carefully before venturing out.

FLAMING GORGE: (March 15) There still might be some fishable ice in the northern arms, but the new ice in the main channel and its bays is now mostly gone. There is no safe ice in Utah. Test any ice before venturing out. Anglers are reporting good fishing in the open water in Utah and up to about Buckboard for the trout species. Fishing is good from both shore and boats. Those staying out around sunset have caught burbot. The Utah boat ramps were clear of snow and ice as of Wednesday.

Lake trout: Lake trout fishing has been good to excellent with anglers finding fish almost everywhere. In Utah, anglers have caught lake trout while fishing from the shore for rainbows in 15 to 20 feet of water. Schools of pups have been reported from close to the surface to 100 feet down. A good line (either fluorocarbon or braid) can help you feel the strike and get a good hook-set when jigging. You can help the Flaming Gorge fishery by harvesting a limit of smaller lake trout. The limit is eight fish, with one over 28 inches.

Kokanee salmon: Anglers haven't reported much success for kokanee, which is expected during the winter. Although Utah has stocked millions of kokanee over the last few years, the population remains low because of predation by lake trout and burbot. Anglers need to harvest small lake trout and burbot to reduce their impact on kokanee.

Rainbow trout: Anglers report fair to good fishing from the shoreline and from boats (casting and trolling). A boat is essential to access most of the reservoir, but some anglers are shore-fishing near the visitors center (by the dam) and by the boat ramps. Fish can be anywhere, including close to shore. Look for schools near cliffs, points and submerged ridges in about 10 to 60 feet of water.

Burbot: Ice conditions are changing rapidly from one spot to the next. There may be good ice still in the northern arms but not in Utah or the main channel. The last reports from anglers said they were are catching burbot through the ice in the northern arms. They are also doing well from shore and boats below the ice pack and into Utah. Some fish are over eight pounds. Try fishing for a few hours, starting around sunset, along the rocky points, cliffs and the old channels. Burbot will hit during the day, generally in the deeper waters; however, they become more active during the twilight hours when they move into the shallows to forage. Fish the bottom, or just slightly above it, in depths from 10 to 50 feet. Use just about anything that glows (spoons, tube jigs, curly-tailed jigs, minnow jigs) and tip it with some type of bait (cut bait like sucker meat is recommended). Place your lure close to the bottom, within inches, and recharge the glow frequently. It is common to catch a fish immediately after re-glowing and dropping a lure. You can use up to six lines through the ice. So far, there doesn't seem to be much of pattern as to jigging technique, some nights dead sticking works best and other nights active jigging brings in the most fish. You'll help the Flaming Gorge fishery by harvesting as many burbot as possible. There is no limit on burbot.

GREEN RIVER BELOW FLAMING GORGE DAM: (March 15) Anglers are mostly using winter presentations, but there have been a few hatches on warmer days. Try a double rig with a large fish imitation with a scud, shrimp or imitation salmon egg trailer. Often the fish are attracted to the larger presentation and then hit the smaller. Watch for hatches, which can occur on the warmer days. On windy days, anglers who use lures have been more successful because it's easier to cast. Try Rapalas (floating, countdown and husky jerk), spinners, spoons, black, brown or olive marabou jigs, and plastic jigs.

LONG PARK RESERVOIR: (March 15) Ice covers the reservoir. Check the ice carefully before venturing out. The roads are closed at the gates and the area has received snow during the last few storms. You'll need skis or a snowmobile to access the area.

MATT WARNER: (March 15) Fishing has been good to excellent using jigs and spoons that glow or are brightly colored. Try using smaller presentations because the fish will be picky. Tip the lure with bait such as a mealworm or nightcrawler. There have been mixed reports on access since the last set of storms. The road may have been reopened. We heard a secondhand report of someone breaking through the drifts to get in. At least two groups reported getting stuck in the snow a few days earlier.

MOOSE POND: (March 15) Ice covers the pond and few anglers are fishing it. Try a small jig or ice fly tipped with a mealworm or wax worm.

PELICAN LAKE: (March 15) The lake is melting out quickly. The ice around the edges is almost all gone. Any remaining ice is rotten and unstable. There are no recent angler reports on fishing success.

RED FLEET RESERVOIR: (March 15) There are no recent angler reports on fishing success. The ice is questionable. Proceed with caution and check the ice carefully before venturing out.

Check out the Utah Walleye Seminar for tips and techniques on fishing all of Utah's walleye lakes.

SHEEP CREEK LAKE: (March 15) No recent reports. Ice covers the lake however ice conditions aren't well known so proceed with caution and check the ice carefully before venturing out. The gates are closed and roads snow covered and a bit icy so access is now by skies and snowmobiles.

SPIRIT LAKE: (March 15) The ice is likely fishable, and fishing should be fair to good. The roads are closed, so you'll need skis or a snowmobile to access the lake. Check the ice carefully before venturing out.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: (March 15) Anglers are reporting mixed results from fair to good fishing from the shore and boats. There is still some ice, especially from the bridge to the inlet—but it is unsafe. Most of the reservoir is open water. Watch for ice sheets while boating.

Check out the Utah Walleye Seminar for tips and techniques on fishing all of Utah's walleye lakes.

STEINAKER RESERVOIR: (March 15) The lake is mostly open water and the leftover ice is unsafe. The open water near the north end continues to expand, and there is now shoreline fishing for most of the east side. The ramp was still iced in, so there is no boating access yet. Angler reports have been mixed. Some reported good fishing, while others thought it was slow. The waters are cold so fish are moving slow—summer casting techniques are likely too active for the fish. Think small and slow. Try using small bait presentations (like half of a worm), about six feet under a bobber or suspended above the bottom.

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