Flaming Gorge Reservoir
- Rating: Good
- Conditions: Fishing is good at Flaming Gorge. Here's a closer look at each species:
Kokanee salmon: Please keep in mind that if you're fishing Flaming Gorge Reservoir, all kokanee salmon caught through Nov. 30 must be immediately released. Also, if you're fishing Sheep Creek (from Flaming Gorge to the Ashley National Forest Boundary), it is closed to fishing until 6 a.m. on Nov. 28.
Rainbow trout: Fishing has been fair to good for rainbows. Try trolling at about 1.6–1.8 mph and using small spoons tipped with bait. You'll find rainbow trout throughout the water column. They may be near the surface or at depths of around 40 to 60 feet, in habitat ranging from main channel points to the backs of canyons. You can easily catch rainbows while trolling small spoons and crankbaits or by casting towards shore and using marabou or tube jigs in earthtone colors. If you fish in deeper water, you can catch both larger bass and rainbow trout. Both species spend time in colder water looking for crayfish to eat. Shore anglers can always catch rainbow trout by fishing with worms or PowerBait on the bottom.
Lake trout: Anglers report fair to good fishing. Depending on the day, though, you'll either catch smaller fish or bigger fish, but not both. Look for schools of smaller fish along the main channel in 30 to 75 feet of water. Smaller lake trout are numerous, aggressive at times, and are fun to catch and eat. When you find a school, you have two options. Option one: drop a white tube jig or a jigging spoon (like a Northland Buckshot) tipped with a small chunk of sucker meat. Be ready, though, the bites can be quick! Option two: troll small spoons or crankbaits immediately above the school at 1.4 to 1.8 mph. Good trolling lures include Flatfish, Rapalas and wobble spoons (like Northland Forage Minnows) in silver or chartreuse.
Smallmouth bass: The cooler water temperatures have sent the bass to deeper waters, but anglers are still catching a few. Focus on using traditional smallmouth baits such as crawfish-pattern crankbaits or plastics. Retrieving these and other baits (like single-tail jigs) on or near the bottom should produce good results.
Burbot: Reports are starting to come in of good to excellent burbot fishing from a boat or from the shore. Burbot activity really increased last week and anglers are reporting impressive catch rates. Burbot are most abundant in the uppermost reaches of the reservoir in Wyoming, so anglers should start their search there. They are predominantly a nighttime species and prefer cooler water and rocky main channel structure. Start fishing at dusk and target depths of 20 to 40 feet, then move to shallower water as the night progresses. Use 3/8- to 1/2-ounce glow lures, like Yamamoto grubs in luminous white or Northland Buckshot spoons in glow, tipped with sucker or chub meat. Jig your lures slowly and close to the bottom, and move to a different area if you're not catching fish.
- Location: Daggett County
- Directions: Drive 45 miles north of Vernal on US-191
- Type: Blue Ribbon
- Size: 42,000 acres
- Elevation: 6,024 feet
- Hours: No restrictions
- Likely catch: Kokanee Salmon, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass
- Possible catch: Brown Trout, Common Carp, Channel Catfish, Cutthroat Trout
- Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
- Site amenities: A Forest Service campground in the National Recreation Area around the reservioir, and numerous boat ramps
- Handicap access: Access at the Forest Service campground and boat launching facilities
- Site description: The Wyoming end of the reservoir is quite open and can be extremely rough if the wind blows hard. The Utah portion of the reservoir is mostly in a canyon, so it is more protected from the wind.