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Fishing Report for Northeastern Utah July 3, 2012

BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows and bass. The bass are up, and anglers are seeing some nice fish, both smallies and largemouth. They are also catching some good-sized rainbows. Try using crankbaits, spoons and jigs.

BROUGH RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows and browns, although most of the catch consists of rainbows between 13 and 20 inches. Try fishing early or late (during the cooler hours), and fish deep with brightly colored spoons, fish-imitation crankbaits and leech 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: (July 03) There have been reports of fair to good fishing for a couple of trout species. Use small, brightly colored lures and be sure to try some of the local streams and higher mountain lakes in this area. They are also fishing well.

BULLOCK RESERVOIR: (July 03) You should find fair to good fishing for black bullheads, which feed on the bottom. Bass fishing is also fair to good. If you want to try bowfishing, the carp are in the shallows. Removing some of these fish will help the reservoir.

CALDER RESERVOIR: (July 03) Fishing has been good with both flies and lures. Try adding a bit of red or orange to your lure or fly — it seems to make a difference. 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: (July 03) Fishing should be fair to good for black bullhead if you use bait on the bottom. The smallmouth bass are also hitting. Try flipping brown or white jigs and crankbaits near the rocks.

CROUSE RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report good fishing. The reservoir is full, and you may find fish from last year that survived the winter in good condition. Try trout baits, brightly colored spoons, fish-imitation crankbaits and flies to imitate midges, black ants or leeches. The best access is now on or near the dam. Water levels have fallen, allowing the aquatic vegetation to grow within a few inches of the surface in most of the shallow areas.

CURRANT CREEK RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report fair to good fishing for cutthroat and tiger trout. Try baits such as a worm-and-marshmallow combination or a floating bait a few feet below the surface. Flies, brightly colored lures and small crankbaits also work well.

EAST PARK RESERVOIR: (July 03) Fishing has been good. Try baits such as a worm-and-marshmallow combo, a commercial floating bait or a worm drifted a few feet below the surface under a bubble. Flies, brightly colored lures and small crankbaits also work well.

FLAMING GORGE: (July 03) Fishing ranges from good to hot, depending on the species.

Lake trout: Anglers report mixed results for lake trout. Fishing is good one day and sketchy the next. Sometimes, aggressive fish are found at one location but not another. Anglers can target lake trout by trolling near main channel points and cliffs (using spoons and crankbaits), or by vertically jigging when they find schools. White and rainbow trout colors work really well. Look for lake trout at depths of 60–100 feet. Many of the fish are found close to the bottom, but larger schools of pups (young lake trout) will be suspended. Suspended fish are usually more active and easier to catch. A good line (fluorocarbon or braid) helps you feel the strike and get a good hook-set when jigging. Harvesting a limit of lake trout (eight fish with one over 28 inches) can only help the fishery, and pup lake trout are great on the BBQ grill.

Kokanee salmon: We are hearing reports of good to hot fishing for kokanee. Canyon schools seem to be using waters around 40–60 feet down, while those in the more open areas are in the 30- to 50-foot depths. Try using a flasher or dodger, followed closely by a shrimp/squid imitation or a small, colorful, lightweight spoon. Pink seems to be a favored color this summer. Most of the anglers are reporting mainly third-year fish. Kokanee are highly sensitive to improper release techniques. They are so sensitive that biologists recommend not releasing them. Their suggestion for kokanee is to catch and keep a limit—no releases—and then shift and fish for lake trout or smallmouth bass. 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: The smallmouth bass have moved into the shallows, and anglers are having a blast catching them. This is a great opportunity for kids and other anglers to catch all sizes of smallmouth. The bass spawn is in full swing, so watch for cleaned depressions (nests) along the shore in about two to four feet of water. Bass prefer to build nests in areas with gravel or small rocks, along shallow, protected points off of the main channel. When you spot a nest with a bass, keep your distance and toss/flip jigs on or near the nest. Male bass will guard the nest and try to remove the jig, believing it's a potential predator of their eggs or fry. Curly-tailed grubs, Hula grubs and tube jigs in crayfish colors (rigged on 3/8-ounce jigheads) work well. Remember the bass limit on the Utah portion of Flaming Gorge is 10 fish. Anglers can help the fishery by releasing the bigger ones and harvesting a limit of smaller bass (8–10 inches). Ten fish of that size can make one fine meal!

Burbot: We still get an occasional report of anglers catching burbot from the shore and from boats, but few anglers are actually targeting them. To catch them during the summer, 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 20–50 feet. Use just about anything that glows (e.g., spoons, tube jigs, curly-tailed jigs or minnow jigs) and tip your lure 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. Anglers are now limited to the summer regulations on poles: 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: (July 03) Anglers report good to excellent fishing. Midges, blue-winged olives and stoneflies have given way to some of the larger terrestrials: cicadas, caddis, yellow sallies, black ants and the first grasshoppers and crickets. When you are not fishing the surface, try a double rig with a woolly 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: (July 03) There haven't been many reports from anglers, even though the roads are open. You should find fair to good fishing. Try brightly colored spoons and small crankbaits. Standard trout baits also work well. Use a worm under a bobber or suspended two to three feet off the bottom.

MATT WARNER: (July 03) Anglers report good to excellent fishing. Try black or dark brown woolly buggers and leeches. For lures, try brightly colored flashy spoons and fish-imitation crankbaits. Baits include standard trout baits like nightcrawlers or commercial baits. Float the baits, two to three feet down, with a marshmallow or below a bubble or bobber. Some of the more shallow areas are now difficult to fish because the aquatic vegetation is close to the surface.

MOOSE POND: (July 03) The pond is stocked and ready to go. Try black or dark brown woolly buggers and leeches, brightly colored flashy spoons, fish-imitation crankbaits or the standard trout baits (like nightcrawlers or commercial baits). Float the baits with a marshmallow or suspend them below a bubble or bobber.

PELICAN LAKE: (July 03) Anglers report good to excellent fishing, even though it's fairly windy. Bluegill and bass are being caught in the shallows and about 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 larger lures for bass. Watch the weather — there can be unexpected high winds at Pelican.

RED FLEET RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows, bass and bluegill. 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, use small lures, flies and bait presentations. Cast them near the vegetation and let the baits sit and sink. Use larger lures for bass and walleye, and cast them in among the submerged vegetation, rocks and other structure. A crankbait trolled along the dam and rocky points (within a few inches of the rocks) has also been working well. In the spring netting, biologists caught trout, a few nice bass and several walleye, including some in the seven- or eight-pound range.

SHEEP CREEK LAKE: (July 03) There are reports of fair to good fishing for cutthroat. The weeds around the shoreline are starting to make access difficult, so bring waders or a small boat. Try small, brightly colored spoons or crankbaits and flies. These can imitate midges, black ants or leeches with just a dab of orange or red.

SPIRIT LAKE: (July 03) At 10,000 feet, there could still be muddy road access. Fishing has been good for tiger trout and rainbows. The Middle Fork of Sheep Creek drainage area is scheduled to be treated this fall to remove non-native species. Spirit Lake and several other small lakes in the area will be treated, along with the connecting streams, to remove self-sustaining populations of non-native fish. After the biologists determine the treatment has been successful, the waters will be restocked with Colorado River cutthroat trout, and Spirit Lake will also get tiger trout. Success of this treatment is a critical part of a management strategy to keep Colorado River cutthroat trout off the endangered species list.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report good fishing for bass, walleye, yellow perch, rainbows and a few nice browns from the shore and from boats. For trout, try small, brightly colored spoons or crankbaits and flies. These can imitate midges, black ants or leeches with just a dab of orange or red. Crayfish-colored jigs and fish-colored crankbaits are the lures of choice for bass and walleye. Similar lures and colors in small sizes are the trick to catching yellow perch.

STEINAKER RESERVOIR: (July 03) Anglers report mostly good fishing for rainbows and a few big browns. Bass and bluegill are now in the shallows and are accessible to shore anglers. Try fishing for the warmwater fish in open areas near submerged vegetation and off rocky points. Use small bait presentations, like a worm under a bobber. Flies, jigs, brightly colored spoons or fish-colored crankbaits are also working well.

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