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 from Sept. 10 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 from August 15 through 6 a.m. on Nov. 28.
Rainbow trout: Fishing is fair to good for rainbows. If you're trolling, try using small spoons tipped with bait and moving at about 1.6 to 1.8 mph. Most of the rainbow trout are in 40 to 60 feet of water in habitat ranging from main channel points to all the backs of canyons. You can easily catch rainbows while casting towards shore with 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: Fishing is improving. You can find schools of smaller lake trout along the main channel in 50 to 100 feet of water. These smaller lake trout are numerous and aggressive at times, and they can be 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: Water temperatures have sent larger bass to deeper water, but anglers are still catching good numbers of smaller bass in the shallows. Focus on using traditional smallmouth baits, like crawfish-pattern crankbaits or plastics. Retrieving these and other baits (like single-tail jigs) on or near the bottom should produce good results.
Burbot: Although there haven't been many reports, some anglers say the burbot fishing is good. 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 greater than 30 feet. 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. Burbot are not nearly as active or aggressive during the summer months, so jig lures slowly and close to the bottom, and move 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.