Northeastern Region report
Information compiled by Tonya Kieffer
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.
Keep your limits: Warm air and water temperatures can be lethal for fish this time of year. We ask that anglers consider harvesting their limits of fish. If you're fishing at a water with special regulations, keep fish in the water and release them as quickly as possible. If you're catching and releasing fish, please fish early mornings and late evenings to ensure the best chance of fish survival.
Reminder: Anglers may not possess kokanee salmon (statewide) from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30.
Water levels are extremely low. The boat ramp no longer reaches the waterline, and you cannot launch a boat at the reservoir. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass and perch from the shoreline and the east side of the reservoir. Anglers report extremely slow trout fishing. (09-14-18)
Anglers report good fishing for the very active tiger and rainbow trout. The best method has been fly fishing the outside of the weed edge using nymphs, like scuds and princes. 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. (09-14-18)
Wiper fishing is steady, but slowing down because of the cooler overnight temperatures. Trout fishing has been extremely slow. Remember: you must release any tiger muskies smaller than 40 inches. Please use good catch-and-release techniques. (09-14-18)
Sheep Creek from Flaming Gorge Reservoir upstream to the Ashley National Forest Service boundary is closed until 6 a.m. on the last Saturday of November.
Lake trout: Catch rates are increasing. Anglers are catching small lake trout while trolling or jigging in 60–100 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. High catch rates have been reported from Jarvies Bay along the eastern shore and near Mustang Ridge. You can locate fish above the bottom using a fish finder. Jig vertically with a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce, 3.5-inch white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig (Dry Creek Outfitters) tipped with sucker/chub meat. If you're trolling, try spoons like RMT Viper Serpents, Northland Forage Minnows, Super Dupers or #3 Needlefish. Lake trout smaller than 25 inches are overabundant, causing competition for food and a decrease in growth rates. If this trend continues, it will impact the trophy lake trout component (less food to grow big fish). Please help the resource by harvesting your limit of small lake trout. This size class of fish also makes exceptional table fare.
Kokanee salmon: Closed to possession until November 30.
Rainbow trout: As temperatures drop, expect excellent fishing from the shoreline and boats. You will need a boat to access most of the lower reservoir. There is, however, good shore fishing near the Dam Point Visitor Center and boat ramps. Marabou jigs are very effective in earth tones at 1/4-ounce weights. Spinners, spoons and other jigs will work too. Boat anglers will likely catch rainbows on small spoons and spinners trolled at 30–40 feet.
Smallmouth bass: Fishing is excellent along the rocky shoreline throughout the main channel from the dam up to Hideout. Anglers have reported high catch rates using Ned rigs and dropshot rigs with four-inch worms. Jigs mimicking crayfish — their primary forage — are also a good option. Try using earth tone colors.
Burbot: There are few angler reports. Target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 35–45 feet of water 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, recharge the glow frequently and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. (09-14-18)
The average water flow is 2,200 cfs and the temperature is 56°F. See current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. To avoid the crowds, anglers should try and fish weekdays, early and late in the day or on the lower sections of the river. Anglers are still catching fish on the surface using big bugs like cicadas, hoppers and ants. Nymphing is most productive using small zebra midges, stone flies, San Juan worms or scuds. You can double your chances with a dry dropper. For example, by placing a hopper on top with a nymph trailing 3–4 feet below. Olive or black streamers have been effective early and late in the day. Spin fishing is good. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earth tones, white-and-chartreuse and ginger are good options in shallow or deep water. Rainbow or brown trout patterned crankbaits also work well. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. (09-14-18)
The water levels are very low and the water is mossy. Try using nightcrawlers and panfish jigs, like gulp minnows on small weighted jig heads. Anglers report good fishing for crawdads on upper Montes Creek. Remember: you need a fishing license to catch crayfish and they need to be harvested at the lake; you cannot transport live crayfish. (09-14-18)
The water level is low. Over the summer, population surveys found good numbers of rainbow and brook trout, along with a few tiger trout and grayling. Try targetting shallow fish along the shoreline using jigs, spoons and spinners. If you aren't successful, try changing your lures or using a different method. (09-14-18)
Anglers report good fishing for large rainbow trout. Try using Jake's spinners or a variety of powerbait. (09-14-18)
The pond is stocked with catchable-sized rainbow trout and they are very active, but tough to catch! Fly fisherman may have the best results. (09-14-18)
The lake will be treated with rotenone on October 10–11, 2018. Limits have been liberalized, so you can keep 12 largemouth bass and there is no limit on bluegill. The water levels are extremely low, but the bass and bluegill fishing is excellent on warm days. Anglers report catching very large catfish a couple weeks ago. Try throwing bass jigs along the weeds beds or fish the outskirts of the high vegetation on the east side. (09-14-18)
Remember: You may may not possess kokanee salmon until December 1. The ranger dock is closed to public use. The water level is at 62 percent and falling. The water temperature is hovering around 65 degrees. Some anglers have reported debris from the fire that may create water hazards, so use caution when boating on the south side of the reservoir. Biologists are encouraging anglers to plan campouts at the reservoir and to target the smaller walleye. Fly anglers recommend using fast sinking lines and size 6-10 bead head flies in multiple colors. We recommend using the same technique as from a boat (jighead and worm) and just fish in the evening and after the sun goes down. Anglers are being encouraged to harvest these small walleye to help balance the fishery out and produce healthier walleye populations. You can also try using bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers for the walleye. For smallmouth bass, fish the rock edges. If you catch crappie, consider voluntarily releasing them so this population can establish. (09-14-18)
It is nearly impossible to access the shore due to deep mud and silt. Launch at your own risk from the ramp. The water levels are almost drawn down to dead pool. We urge anglers to make use of the resource and continue to harvest as many fish as possible before it's drained. There is no daily bag limit for any species: Largemouth or smallmouth bass, rainbow or brown trout and bluegill. This change will remain in effect until December 31, 2018. Work on the dam has begun and will continue through the winter. We will not stock brown or rainbow trout in 2018 or 2019. We hope to be able to begin restoration of the fishery in 2020. (09-14-18)