Fishing Report for Southern Utah March 23, 2012

BAKER RESERVOIR: (March 23) Catchable-sized rainbow trout will be stocked this week. Fishing is slow to fair. A recent survey found good numbers of quality-sized brown trout (weighing up to four or five pounds). Early spring is a good time to target browns with minnow-imitating lures and flies or frozen minnows.

BARKER RESERVOIRS (NORTH CREEK LAKES): (March 23) Most lakes on Boulder Mountain are closed to fishing until April 21. Barker and Lower Barker reservoirs are open year round. The last storm put another foot of snow on Boulder Mountain, so access is still difficult.

BEAVER MOUNTAIN LAKES: (March 23) Conservation Officer Brent Farnsworth reports that access to the lakes on Beaver Mountain is limited this time of year. Puffer Lake is the only water accessible by wheeled vehicles. SR-153 is plowed to Puffer Lake throughout the winter. The ice is beginning to deteriorate on the lower-elevation lakes, so use caution if you're venturing onto the ice. There have been some ice fishermen on the lakes, with Kent's Lake and Puffer Lake receiving the most pressure. There haven't been any recent reports from anglers.

BEAVER RIVER, LOWER: (March 23) Conservation Officer Brent Farnsworth reports that the river below Minersville Reservoir is receiving fishing pressure almost daily. Anglers are mostly catching rainbows, with an occasional brown trout in the mix. Minersville Reservoir is full and spilling, so flows in the river are higher than normal for this time of year. The water is clear and the fish are wary; approach the stream with stealth.

BEAVER RIVER, UPPER: (March 23) Conservation Officer Brent Farnsworth reports that flows are low and clear. There is a lot of anchor ice, especially in the upper stretches. The lower stretches (near the mouth of Beaver Canyon) have some fishable areas and more spots are opening up as the weather warms. The fish are wary, so use stealth when approaching the stream.

BOULDER MOUNTAIN: (March 23) Most lakes on Boulder Mountain are closed to fishing until April 21. Check the current Utah Fishing Guidebook to see which lakes are open year round. The snow is beginning to melt at lower elevations, although reports still mention large amounts of snow on the north slopes. All lakes have safe ice, but access is limited by snow. Anglers report fair to good fishing at the lakes that are open. The last storm put another foot of snow on Boulder Mountain, so access is still difficult.

CLEAR CREEK: (March 23) Summer storms caused major flooding in Clear Creek and its tributaries last year. Trout appear to be absent from most of the drainage.

CORN CREEK: (March 23) Winter fishing is difficult because of ice and snow.

DUCK CREEK POND / ASPEN MIRROR LAKE: (March 23) Duck Creek Pond, Duck Creek and Aspen Mirror Lake are closed to fishing until April 21.

EAST FORK SEVIER RIVER IN KINGSTON CANYON: (March 23) Otter Creek Reservoir is full, and releases have increased to 100 cfs, so expect some turbid water. Despite the faster water, the flows are still fishable.

EAST FORK SEVIER RIVER, BLACK CANYON: (March 23) Flows are somewhat murky with early runoff. Fly anglers report fair fishing with streamers.

EAST FORK SEVIER RIVER, UPPER: (March 23) There haven't been any recent reports on snow or access.

ENTERPRISE RESERVOIR, UPPER: (March 23) Both reservoirs are ice free. Anglers report fair to good fly fishing from a float tube. Others have had similar success while bait fishing from shore. Ten-inch rainbows have been stocked in the lower reservoir.

FISH LAKE: (March 23) Ice on the north end of the lake is starting to get a little soft in spots, so use caution. In addition, there is a large crack and some open water along the shore near Twin Creeks. We may only have a few weeks of ice fishing left at Fish Lake, especially if mild weather continues. Contact the Fish Lake Lodge (435–638-1000) for up-to-date road and ice conditions. Action is generally good for perch and fair for smaller trout near the weeds in 15–20 feet of water. Use jigs and ice flies tipped with mealworms, nightcrawlers or perch meat. Anglers report that splake fishing has improved in depths of 20–25 feet of water. The bite is often best before noon, but it can stay fair all day. Small lake trout (and an occasional large fish) can be found anywhere from 80 to 100 feet. For lake trout, use larger jigs tipped with pieces of perch, chub or sucker meat and add a healthy dose of patience. A fish finder can be invaluable in finding lake trout.

FORSYTH RESERVOIR: (March 23) Access is generally good, but four-wheel drive is recommended to drive on any of the dirt roads. The ice should still be safe, but it can start deteriorating at any time, so use caution. Anglers report good fishing for perch in 10 to 15 feet of water. Most perch are small, but some have been as large as 11 inches. Remember that it is not legal to use perch meat for bait at Forsyth. Trout fishing is slow to fair, with an occasional good day. When you're targeting tigers and splake through the ice, tip your jigs with cut bait (sucker or chub meat) or pieces of minnows.

FREMONT RIVER: (March 23) Access above Mill Meadow is good because there hasn't been much snow. One angler reports fair fishing for small browns with bead-head nymphs. Flows are low, so the fish spook easily.

GUNLOCK RESERVOIR: (March 23) Visit http://www.stateparks.utah.gov for the most current boat ramp schedule.

GUNNISON BEND RESERVOIR: (March 23) There haven't been any recent reports.

IRON COUNTY COMMUNITY FISHERIES: (March 23) Leigh Hill Reservoir (Lake at the Hills) is now open to fishing, and catchable-size rainbow trout have been stocked there as well as at Parowan Pond.

JOHNSON RESERVOIR: (March 23) Poor access limits fishing opportunity.

KOLOB RESERVOIR: (March 23) Kolob is closed to bait fishing until May 19. There is generally very little ice-fishing pressure because it's difficult to access the reservoir. One angler reported making it as far as the cabin area near Blue Springs Reservoir before the road became impassable. The trout limit is 2 fish, and all trout between 15 and 22 inches must be immediately released.

KOOSHAREM RESERVOIR: (March 23) The ice should still be safe, but it can start deteriorating at any time, so use caution. There has not been much fishing pressure lately. To target cutthroat trout, tip your jigs with cut bait (sucker or chub meat) or pieces of minnows.

LOWER BOWNS RESERVOIR: (March 23) The last storm dropped another foot of snow on Boulder Mountain, so access is still a little difficult. It appears that Lower Bowns is still ice-capped, although there haven't been any recent reports on ice thickness or fishing success.

MAMMOTH CREEK: (March 23) There haven't been any recent reports. Flows and turbidity can increase at any time as the snow melts.

MILL MEADOW RESERVOIR: (March 23) The reservoir was not drained last year as planned. The ice should still be safe, but it can start deteriorating at any time, so use caution. Anglers report good to excellent fishing for both trout and perch. Most anglers have found the best fishing on the west shore in 15–20 feet of water.

MINERSVILLE RESERVOIR: (March 23) Minersville Reservoir is full and spilling. The reservoir has been ice free for about two weeks now. Fishing pressure has been increasing, especially on warm days. A few boats have launched, but most anglers are fishing from the shore with fly rods. Success has also improved the last week or so. The best fishing seems to be on sunny days during the early afternoon, as water temperatures increase. Olive-colored flies and marabou jigs are reportedly producing more fish in around six feet of water. Success on crankbaits and flashy lures has been improving.

MONROE MOUNTAIN LAKES: (March 23) Poor access has kept fishing pressure low.

NAVAJO LAKE: (March 23) Highway 14 in Cedar Canyon has been closed due to a landslide. From the east, the highway is plowed to Duck Creek, but there may be snow drifts further to the west. There is little fishing pressure in the winter due to poor access, but fishing for splake should be good if you can get there.

NEWCASTLE RESERVOIR: (March 23) A recent fish survey found abundant rainbow trout, ranging from 10 to 18 inches. Additional rainbows were stocked this week, so trout fishing should be fair to good.

OTTER CREEK RESERVOIR & STATE PARK: (March 23) The reservoir is ice free. Anglers report good fishing from the shore with flies and lures. Bait fishing has also improved. The reservoir is full, so flooded brush is severely reducing the amount of shoreline that anglers can fish. Try wading or using a float tube.

PANGUITCH LAKE: (March 23) The ice is 20 inches thick with a slush layer of 6 to 12 inches. We may only have a few more weeks of ice fishing. Fishing is hit or miss, with slower fishing reported for most days. Small jigs and ice flies tipped with mealworms have caught more fish, and fishing is better before noon. Remember that all cutthroat and tiger trout between 15 and 22 inches must be released.

PARAGONAH RESERVOIR: (March 23) Anglers report good to excellent fishing, but you'll need a snowmobile to access the reservoir.

PINE LAKE: (March 23) Access is difficult.

PIUTE RESERVOIR: (March 23) The reservoir is ice free. There haven't been any recent fishing reports, but based on reports from Otter Creek, ice-off fishing could be good.

QUAIL LAKE: (March 23) Visit www.stateparks.utah.gov for the current boat ramp schedule. Trout fishing has been slow to fair, and the water temperature is in the low 50s. Anglers have caught a few bass at 30 to 40 feet. See the Sand Hollow report for cold-weather bass techniques.

SAND HOLLOW RESERVOIR: (March 23) With recent warm temperatures, success has been improving at depths of 20 feet, although fishing is still slow. The primary key to coldwater bass fishing is slowing down the presentation, even employing dead-sticking. Plastics (like senkos, swimbaits, hula grubs, and drop-shots) are all effective, with the right presentation. A drop-shot rig is one of the more popular cold-weather techniques, due to its natural slow presentation. Concentrate on deeper water at 20 to 30 feet. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits can also be effective during the warmest part of the day. Quagga mussels are present in Sand Hollow, so plan on extra time to have your boat washed before you leave.

SEVIER RIVER IN MARYSVALE CANYON: (March 23) Piute Reservoir is full and releasing over 500 cfs, so fishing is difficult.

THOUSAND LAKE MOUNTAIN: (March 23) The Elkhorn Road from Forsyth Reservoir is impassable due to snow. Solomon Basin is accessible from I-70 in Emery County. Snow makes it difficult to access most of the other lakes. One angler reports fair to good success at Meek's Lake and Morell Pond.

TROPIC RESERVOIR: (March 23) There isn't much fishing pressure because it's difficult to access the reservoir.

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMUNITY FISHERIES: (March 23) All ponds have been stocked regularly since November. Check out the new pond at Sullivan Virgin River Park on 300 East in Washington.

WIDE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: (March 23) A recent fish survey found that rainbows stocked last year have grown to 16–18 inches, and they weigh two to three pounds. Anglers are finding fair success with lures and bait from the dam. Fly anglers should use a float tube to access flooded brush and drag streamers near the bottom, in between the trees. More 10-inch rainbows will be stocked by the end of the month.

YANKEE MEADOW RESERVOIR: (March 23) Fishing can be fair to good, but you'll need a snowmobile to reach the reservoir.

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