Fishing Report for Northeastern Utah May 17, 2012

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BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR: (May 17) There are few anglers fishing the reservoir. They report doing fair to good for rainbows. It also sounds like some of the bass are starting to move into shallow water.

BROUGH RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report fair fishing for rainbows and browns that range from 13 and 20 inches. Try fishing deep with brightly colored spoons, fish imitation crankbaits and leach imitations. 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.

BROWNE LAKE: (May 17) The gates are open and the ice is gone. There are reports of good fishing for trout using small, brightly colored lures.

BULLOCK RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report slow fishing; however, based on their techniques, they were targeting a species not found in the reservoir and any catch would have been incidental. The fishing should be fair to good for black bullheads, which feed on the bottom. Temperatures are still around 53 degrees F, which is a bit cold for bass.

CALDER RESERVOIR: (May 17) Several reports indicate that the fishing is good with flies and lures. 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: (May 17) Anglers have been out, but they aren't catching much. The anglers we checked were not using a technique that is effective for any of the fish in the reservoir. Fishing should be good for black bullhead. Try using bait on the bottom. It is still a bit cold for bass and other warm-water fish.

CROUSE RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing. The reservoir is full and fish from last year have over-wintered well. Try trout baits, brightly colored spoons, fish imitation crankbaits and flies that imitate midges, black ants or leaches.

CURRANT CREEK RESERVOIR: (May 17) The lake is ice-free and anglers report slow to good fishing, depending on the area. The best fishing has been on the north end near the inlet. The water is still cold, so the fish will be sluggish. Try baits such as a worm and marshmallow or a floating bait a few feet below the surface. Flies and brightly colored lures should also work well.

EAST PARK RESERVOIR: (May 17) There haven't been any recent reports, but the ice on nearby waters has melted and fishing should be fair to good.

FLAMING GORGE: (May 17) Reports are of good to excellent fishing, depending on the species.

Lake trout: Anglers report good results for lake trout. In Utah, anglers who are fishing the shore for rainbows in 15 to 20 feet of water have also caught lake trout. Schools of pups (young lake trout) have been reported from close to the surface to 100 feet. A good line (fluorocarbon or braid) helps 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: We're hearing spotty reports on fishing for kokanee. The schools may be deep, around 50 to 60 feet, while others are reporting schools in the 15 to 25-foot depths. Try using a flasher or dodger, followed closely by a shrimp/squid imitation or small colorful lightweight spoon. Most of the anglers are reporting mainly third-year fish. If you release them, do it carefully because kokanee are highly sensitive to improper release techniques. Biologists recommend not releasing them. Although the DWR has stocked millions of kokanee over the last few years, the population remains low due to 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 good to excellent fishing from the shoreline and from boats (casting and trolling). A boat is essential to access most of the reservoir; however, there is 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.

Smallmouth bass: It's a bit early, by several weeks, but the smallmouth have moved into the shallows and anglers are having a blast catching them on warm afternoons. This is a great opportunity for kids and other anglers to catch all sizes of smallmouth. Surprisingly, anglers have found that using crankbaits and spoons for rainbows are working better than many of the jigs and bass lures.

Burbot: The last reports of anglers catching burbot were from those who fished from shore and boats. 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 10–50 feet. Use just about anything that glows (spoons, tube jigs, curly-tailed jigs or minnow jigs) and tip your lure with some type of bait. Cut bait, like sucker meat, will work well. 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. Anglers are now limited to the summer regulations on poles. You may have one pole with a fishing license or two poles with a two-pole permit. 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: (May 17) Anglers are mostly matching the hatches of midges and blue-winged olives on the warmer days, and fishing nymphs or cicadas in between. Try a double rig with a large fish imitation with a nymph trailer. Often the fish are attracted to the larger presentation and then hit the smaller one. Watch for hatches of stoneflies, which can occur on 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: (May 17) The roads are open and the ice is gone. The fishing success should be fair to good.

MATT WARNER: (May 17) Anglers report mostly good fishing. Try black or dark brown wooly buggers and leaches, brightly colored flashy spoons, fish-imitation crank baits or the standard trout baits (like nightcrawlers) or commercial baits.

MOOSE POND: (May 17) There haven't been any recent reports from anglers. The pond is scheduled to be stocked this month.

PELICAN LAKE: (May 17) Anglers report good to excellent fishing, even though the windy weather has made boating rather exciting. Anglers are catching bluegill and bass, and some of the bass have been fairly large. Try fishing the open areas in the reeds and right along the reed line in deeper water. Use small lures, flies and bait presentations for bluegill and larger lures for bass. Watch the weather carefully—high winds can pick up without much warning.

RED FLEET RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows. A few bass and bluegill are being taken as well. The bass and bluegill are moving into the shallows, so try fishing the open areas or along the edge of the reeds and submerged vegetation. For trout, try baits like a nightcrawler, brightly colored spoons or fish-colored crankbaits fished 10 or more feet below the surface. In a recent Division netting, biologists caught trout, a few nice bass and several walleye including some in the seven and eight-pound range. Water temperatures are climbing with the warmer days.

SHEEP CREEK LAKE: (May 17) There haven't been any recent reports, but there are signs that Sheep Creek Lake is being fished. The ice is gone and the USFS opened the gates almost a month early. Some roads may still be muddy.

SPIRIT LAKE: (May 17) At 10,000 feet there could still be ice—and if there is, consider it unstable. It is likely that the ice is melting, and some areas along the shoreline could be fishable. As of last weekend, there is no road access. Snow blocked the road.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report good fishing for rainbows and browns from shore and boats. There are reports of bass and perch being taken by anglers targeting another species. With the last few days of really warm weather, bass and perch should be moving into the shallows and backs of bays. Some anglers have done well targeting walleye on the rocky points, now that the temperatures have gotten into the mid to high 50s. The backs of the bays are warmer than the main channel.

STEINAKER RESERVOIR: (May 17) Anglers report mostly good fishing for rainbows and big browns. Bass and bluegill are now moving into the shallows and are now accessible to some of the shore anglers. Try fishing for the warm-water fish in the open areas near submerged vegetation—use small bait presentations, like a worm under a bobber, flies, small brightly colored flashy spoons or fish-colored crankbaits.

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