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Fishing Report for Northeastern Utah August 17, 2012

BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows and bass. Anglers are seeing some nice bass, both smallies and largemouth. They are also catching good-sized rainbows in the deeper waters. Try using crankbaits, spoons and jigs.

BROUGH RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report fair fishing for rainbows and browns during the cooler hours of the day. Most of the catch consists of rainbows between 13 and 20 inches. Try fishing in the early morning or late evening hours (when it's cool) 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: (August 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing for a couple species of trout, using small, brightly colored lures. There have also been good reports from some of the other streams and high-mountain lakes in this area.

BULLOCK RESERVOIR: (August 17) Fishing is fair to good for black bullheads, which feed on the bottom. Bass fishing is slow. If you want to try your luck with a bow, the carp are in the shallows right now. Removing them will help the reservoir. Bullock is going to be treated with rotenone this fall. The Division and the local canal company have reached an agreement allowing water removal for irrigation this summer. This will reduce the amount of water that needs to be treated.

CALDER RESERVOIR: (August 17) 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 in Calder.) And be sure to match the insect hatches. 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: (August 17) Fishing should be fair to good for black bullhead if you use bait on the bottom of the reservoir. The smallmouth bass are also hitting. Try flipping jigs (brown or white) or crankbaits near the rocks.

CROUSE RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report good fishing. The water level is low, so waders or a small boat could come in handy. Try trout baits, brightly colored spoons, fish-imitation crankbaits or flies that imitate midges, black ants or leeches. The best access is now on or near the dam. The water level has fallen, and the aquatic vegetation has grown within a few inches of the surface in most of the shallow areas.

CURRANT CREEK RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing for cutthroat and tiger trout. Try using bait — 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: (August 17) The water level is quite low, but fishing has been good if you can stay out of the weeds. Try using a worm-and-marshmallow combo or a commercial floating bait. You can also 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: (August 17) Fishing is good across the reservoir. Here are the specifics:

Lake trout: Anglers report good fishing for lake trout, especially the schools of pups. You 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 in depths of 60–100 feet. Many of the fish are found close to the bottom, but larger schools of pups will be suspended in the water column. 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. Once again, harvesting a limit of lake trout (eight fish, with one over 28 inches) can only help the fishery, and pup lake trout are delicious when grilled.

Kokanee salmon: We are hearing reports of good fishing for kokanee from those who fish early. Canyon schools seem to be using waters around 40–60 feet deep, 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. We've also received several reports of successful anglers jigging for kokanee using a small spoon or jigging lure. Jigging seems to work best when anglers have found a suspended school. 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 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 visitor center (by the dam) and by the boat ramps. A new ADA-accessible fishing pier has been installed near the visitor center. 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: Fishing is good. The smallmouth spawn is done, so larger fish have dropped down, letting the smaller fish have the upper waters. Smallmouth provide a great opportunity for kids and other anglers to catch fish. To target larger fish, fish deeper with a larger, heavier offering. Fish the rocky areas and along walls with curly-tailed grubs, Hula grubs and tube jigs (in crayfish colors), rigged on three-eighths-ounce jigheads. Remember that 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 a fine meal!

Burbot: We still get an occasional report of anglers catching burbot from shore and boats, but few anglers are targeting them. They can be caught 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, 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 with the fishing license or two 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: (August 17) Anglers are reporting good to excellent fishing. Try the larger terrestrials: caddis, woolly buggers, ants, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets. Also, try a double rig with a woolly bugger, grasshopper or minnow and use 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: (August 17) There haven't been any recent reports from anglers. You should find fair to good fishing. Try brightly colored spoons or small crankbaits. Standard trout baits are also working well. If you use a worm, put it under a bobber or suspend it two to three feet off the bottom.

MATT WARNER: (August 17) Anglers report good fishing when they can avoid the weeds. 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 with a marshmallow or suspend them two to three feet down, 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: (August 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing. 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: (August 17) Anglers report good to excellent fishing, even though the windy weather can make boating rather exciting. Bluegill and bass are mostly in the deeper waters. In the early morning hours, try fishing the open areas in the reeds (right along the reed line), and then move out to deeper water as the day gets warmer. Use small lures, flies and bait presentations for bluegill and larger lures for bass. Watch the weather — Pelican is subject to unexpected high winds.

RED FLEET RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report fair to good fishing for rainbows, bass and bluegill. Try fishing rocky points and some of the deeper areas. For trout, try baits like nightcrawlers, brightly colored spoons or fish-colored crankbaits, and fish them near the bottom (or a few feet below the surface) when it is cool. For bluegill, use small lures, flies and bait presentations. Cast them near any structure, and let the baits sit and sink. Use larger lures for bass and walleye, and cast them near the rocks (or other structure) or drift them across the sandy bottom. Crankbaits have also been working well. Troll them along the dam and rocky points, within a few inches of the rocks. In the spring survey, biologists caught trout, a few nice bass and several walleye, including some in the seven- to eight-pound range.

SHEEP CREEK LAKE: (August 17) There are reports of fair fishing for cutthroat trout. The weeds around the shoreline make access difficult, so bring waders or a small boat. Try small, brightly colored spoons or crankbaits, or use flies that imitate midges, black ants or leeches (and add just a dab of orange or red).

SPIRIT LAKE: (August 17) Fishing has been good for tiger trout and rainbows. This area (Middle Fork of Sheep Creek drainage) is scheduled to be treated this fall to remove non-native species. As a result, the limit at Spirit Lake has been increased to eight trout. Spirit Lake and several other small lakes in the area will be treated on September 5–6 or 12–13 — along with the connecting streams — to remove self-sustaining populations of non-native fish. The area upstream of Spirit Lake will be closed to anglers and other users during the treatment days as a safety precaution. After the biologists determine if the treatment has been successful, the waters will be restocked with Colorado River cutthroat trout. Spirit Lake will also be stocked with sterile tiger trout. The success of this treatment is a critical part of a management strategy to keep Colorado River cutthroat trout off of the Endangered Species List.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: (August 17) Anglers report good fishing for bass, walleye, yellow perch and rainbows. They are fishing from shore and from boats. For trout, try small, brightly colored spoons or crankbaits, or use flies that imitate midges, black ants or leeches (and add 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: (August 17) Anglers report mostly good fishing for rainbows, bass and bluegill. Try fishing for bass and bluegill off rocky points and the dam in about 20 feet of water. For bluegill, try using small flies, jigs, brightly colored flashy spoons or fish-colored crankbaits. Use larger jigs for bass and go deep for rainbows with baits, crankbaits, jigs or spoons.

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