Fishing Report for Northeastern Utah May 22, 2012

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BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR: (May 22) There are few anglers fishing the reservoir. They report doing fair to good for rainbows. The bass are moving into shallow water and anglers are seeing some nice fish.

BROUGH RESERVOIR: (May 22) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows and browns. Most of the catches are rainbows between 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 22) 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 22) 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 is good for black bullheads, which feed on the bottom. Temperatures are moving into the 60s and bass fishing has been picking up. Also, for those inclined to try their luck with a bow, the carp are in the shallows spawning. Taking some of these fish out will help the reservoir.

CALDER RESERVOIR: (May 22) Several reports indicate the fishing has been good with both 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 22) 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. The last week of warm weather has perked up the bass, so fishing should be fair to good this weekend.

CROUSE RESERVOIR: (May 22) 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 22) The lake is ice-free and anglers have reported fair to good fishing, depending on the area. The best fishing has been on the north end near the inlet. Try baits such as a worm and marshmallow or a floating bait a few feet below the surface. Flies, brightly colored lures and small crankbaits should also work well.

EAST PARK RESERVOIR: (May 22) The ice is off and the fishing is good. Try baits such as a worm and marshmallow, a commercial floating bait or drift your worm a few feet below the surface under a bubble. Flies, brightly colored lures and small crankbaits have also been working well.

FLAMING GORGE: (May 22) Reports are of good to excellent fishing, depending on the species.

Lake trout: Anglers report good results for lake trout. In Utah, anglers fishing the shore for rainbows in 15 to 20 feet of water are still catching lake trout, as have anglers trolling for kokanee. Several anglers report catching larger fish with flies and lures near the surface and in 65 feet or more of water, while 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. Anglers 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 reports of fair to good fishing for kokanee. Some anglers are finding deep schools, 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 anglers report 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 and medium-sized lake trout and all 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 on the surface 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 the crankbaits and spoons they were using 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 22) Anglers are mostly matching the hatches of midges, blue-winged olives or stoneflies, and fishing nymphs or cicadas in between. When you're not fishing the surface, try a double rig with a wooly bugger, muddle minnow or another fish imitation with a nymph (scud, shrimp or egg) trailer. Often, the fish are attracted to the larger presentation and then hit the smaller one. 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 22) The roads are open and the ice is gone. Fishing success should be fair to good.

MATT WARNER: (May 22) Anglers report good to excellent fishing. Try black or dark brown wooly buggers and leaches, brightly colored flashy spoons, fish-imitation crankbaits or the standard trout baits like nightcrawlers or commercial baits. Float the baits with a marshmallow or below a bubble or bobber.

MOOSE POND: (May 22) The pond should be stocked and ready to go for this weekend. There is a Kids Fishing Event the morning on June 2 (Free Fishing Day) sponsored by the US Forest Service and Utah Wildlife Resources.

PELICAN LAKE: (May 22) Anglers report good to excellent fishing, even though the windy weather has made boating rather exciting. Water temperatures are entering the mid-60s. Bluegill and bass are biting in the shallows and 50 to 100 feet out from the reeds. Try fishing the open areas in the reeds, right along the reed line or 50 feet out from the reeds in deeper water. Use small lures, flies and bait presentations for bluegill, and use larger lures for bass. Watch the weather carefully—high winds can pick up without much warning. There is a Kids Fishing Event the morning of June 2 (Free Fishing Day) sponsored by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

RED FLEET RESERVOIR: (May 22) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows with bass and bluegill starting to turn on. 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 near the bottom or a few feet below the surface. For bluegill, think small and use small lures, flies and bait presentations; cast them in and let the baits sit and sink. Use larger lures for bass and cast them in among the submerged vegetation, rocks and other structure. 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 22) 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 22) 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. It's likely that snow still blocks the road.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: (May 22) 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 22) 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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