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Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Fishing report

  • Rating: Good
  • Conditions: Fishing has been good at Flaming Gorge. The surface water temperature ranges from 70 to 72°F.

    Kokanee salmon: Fishing is still much slower than it was in June. Larger three- to four-year-old fish are now preparing to spawn. The spawning kokanee will take on a new look — turning red and developing hooked noses — but they'll also migrate towards the spawning areas and stop foraging for food all together. Most of the fish were concentrated in small areas along the main channel in 45 to 60 feet of water and measured 12 to 14 inches in length. Remember, mortality rates on released fish increase as water temperatures rise, so we encourage you to keep your limits of small kokanee. If you're not harvesting, please use single, barbless hooks, minimize handling, and use nets with rubber coating. A variety of lures are working well. Try using pink, purple and orange colored lures, including dodger and squid combinations, #2 Needlefish, Rocky Mountain Tackle Viper spoons and Triple Teazers. You should shorten the leader between the dodger and squid to about 10 inches. Use orange colors during low light or cloudy periods. If you're trolling, vary your speed between 1.6 and 2.0 mph.

    Rainbow trout: Anglers are catching rainbows while trolling for kokanee or fishing deep water for bass. 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 using lures like Flatfish, Rapalas or wobble spoons (like Northland Forage Minnows) in silver or chartreuse.

    Smallmouth bass: The warmer water has sent larger bass to deeper waters, 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.

Details

  • 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.

Image of Flaming Gorge Reservoir

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