Northeastern Region report
Information compiled by Alex Hansen
Cleaning fish: Biologists now believe the disposal of fish parts, especially the head and skeleton, is one of the primary reasons whirling disease has spread to new waters. To avoid moving whirling disease and other undesired organisms, you should clean fish at home and send the parts to a landfill. If that isn't possible, please clean the fish and bury the parts at least 100 yards away from the water's edge. Do not move fish or fish parts from one water to another.
The reservoir is mostly capped; the ice is about six inches on the north end, but there is still a fair amount of open water near the dam. Early last week, reports were excellent for yellow perch in 20 to 40 feet of water near the sportsman access point. Try small jigging spoons or jigs tipped with bait, like mealworms, Berkley Gulp or nightcrawler. (01-06-17)
The reservoir is filling and creating unstable ice in some areas. Please use caution. The most recent reports indicate slow fishing. (01-06-17)
Anglers report good fishing. Fish are fairly active and easy to catch once you find them. The best success has been reported on the north side of the reservoir, uplake from the dam. Small, red and pink jigs including Berkley Atomic Teasers tipped with mealworms proved very effective. Ice thickness at the dam was approximately eight to ten inches this week. The road is open to the dam. If you travel beyond the dam, you must use a snow machine. (01-06-17)
The water temperature is around 42°F in the canyon or Utah region of the reservoir. Fishing varies, depending on species.
Kokanee salmon: Fishing for Kokanee opened again on Dec. 1, but there are no recent fishing reports.
Rainbow trout: Fishing is fair to good. In the canyon, surface temperatures are now in the low 40s and fishing is good along the shore using bait or casting small jigs and spinners. Marabou or hair jigs (Zig Jigs) in earth tone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. If you're fishing from a boat, try casting jigs near creek inlets and shallow points. Trolling can be productive near the surface (10 to 20 feet) using pop gear and a worm, spoons or even small crankbaits. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. Anglers report good fishing through the ice further uplake. The ice is currently about eight inches thick at the Confluence, nine inches thick at Sage Creek and 10 or more inches at Firehole. Target depths of 10 to 20 feet along shallow points and flats along the main channel of the lake. A variety of lures work, including small tube jigs, curly tail grubs, jigging spoons in vibrant colors and tipped with nightcrawler, PowerBait or a mealworm.
Lake trout: Anglers report good fishing. Fishing is especially good from the ice-covered portion of the reservoir. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while jigging in 50 to 70 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Fish may be easily located suspended above the bottom using a sonar or a fish finder. Try dropping a white, watermelon or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon tipped with sucker/chub meat. Gulp minnows also work well. The ice is currently about eight inches thick at the Confluence, nine inches thick at Sage Creek and 10 or more inches at Firehole. Please harvest your limits of small lake trout at Flaming Gorge.
Smallmouth bass: Fishing is slow. Smallmouth bass fishing slows in the winter once the water temperature reaches the 40s. At or below that point, smallmouth are extremely difficult to catch.
Burbot: Anglers report fair fishing. Anglers are having more success now that there's fishable ice. The ice is currently about eight inches thick at the Confluence, nine inches thick at Sage Creek and 10 or more inches at Firehole. Look for burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 10 to 40 feet of water. The best activity will be found at night using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker/chub meat and recharge glow frequently and jig the presentation close to the bottom. Good locations to try open-water fishing include Linwood Bay and north into Wyoming where burbot densities are the greatest. (01-06-17)
Flows are currently double peaking at 2,930 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the early morning, 3,440 cfs in the evening and averaging 1,800 cfs. Fishing has been good. Expect low angler pressure. Streamer fishing has been good, especially on cloudy days and when the water is high. Nymph fishing has also been productive using scuds, soft hackles, midges and egg patterns. Mix it up by using a dry dropper with a large terrestrial as an indicator and nymph or egg trailing two to five feet below. Spin fishing is almost always good. Marabou or hair jigs (Zig Jigs) in earthtone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. Also try crankbaits in deeper water. Brightly colored spoons and spinners may also entice fish. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. See current water flows from Flaming Gorge Dam. (01-06-17)
Ice anglers report fair to good bass and bluegill fishing throughout the lake. Small chartreuse jigs tipped with mealworms have been productive. (01-06-17)
Most of the reservoir is ice capped, with the exception of the area near the boat ramp. A recent population survey found that all of the stocked species are doing well. Anglers can expect great fishing in the not-too-distant future. (01-06-17)
The gates are closed, limiting access to snow machines and foot travel. (01-06-17)
The reservoir is building ice quickly. There is still a fair amount of open water in Rabbit Gulch, but most of the reservoir has some ice. Knight Hollow had six to eight inches of ice this week, and a few anglers have been out fishing. Most reports indicate fairly slow fishing with a few rainbows being picked up on small jigs tipped with mealworms. (01-06-17)
The reservoir is still mostly open water for shore fishing; however ice has begun to form near the dam and boat ramp, making it difficult to launch a boat. Cold temperatures this week may finally create fishable ice. (01-06-17)