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Brett Prettyman
Brett Prettyman writes about the outdoors, recreation and fishing for The Salt Lake Tribune

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Double Rainbow (as in trout) opportunities at Flaming Gorge and Green River

Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge/Green River Project Leader for the UDWR, sent in this report. Time to head for the Gorge for rainbows.

Springtime rolls around and for many of us, our earliest angling attention turns to rainbow trout. Many of the strains of rainbow trout stocked on the Green and Flaming Gorge are spring spawners, making them fun to target/catch and absolutely beautiful specimens to hold. The clear waters of the Green and the Gorge produce some absolutely beautiful fish (see pics). I keep hearing all the successful reports from both fisheries, and they are coming in almost faster than I can process!

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Flaming Gorge Reservoir

I slipped out on the reservoir yesterday between storm events, just so I could witness it myself. In only a couple of hours I boated a dozen rainbows, while splitting my time between trolling and casting jigs.

Trolling- This produced the most fish, but was also more effective for smaller fish. It appeared most of the open water fish were a result of last year's stockings, running around 12-14 inches. It was good for catch rates and kept me busy running the gear. I caught fish trolling Rocky Mountain Tackle (RMT) dodgers in hyperplaid followed by a RMT Signature squid in double glow pink. I ran this set-up under a planer board to get the offering away from the boat and closer to shore. I also did well trolling with the downrigger at 35-40 feet using RMT Serpent spoons in Tequila sunrise and Carribean sunset.

Jigging- I casted jigs to concentrations of rainbows near main lake points and also creek inflows, and caught some bigger rainbows up to 17-inches. Three inch curly-tailed jigs and tubes in crayfish colors, rigged on 1/4-3/8 oz heads, worked great. Just cast towards shore where rainbows are concentrated (as seen on the graph or by fish rises) and work the bait slowly back to the boat. Many of the hits come on the drop, so keep a tight line! This is a highly successful spring pattern on the Gorge and rainbows exceeding 20-inches are not uncommon.

Whether you prefer trolling or casting from the boat, or casting or soaking bait from shore, just pick your poison on the Gorge as both can be really productive in the spring.

The Green River

We've recently added a new weapon to our fishing arsenal here in Dutch John. Ian Kennedy, our new project technician, is a highly enthusiastic fly fisherman who spends most of his spare time fishing the Green.

He provides detailed accounts, but here's a summary of his recent fishing trips on the Green:

Good hatches of midges and blue-winged olives (BWOs) each trip this past week. Nymphing during a hatch can still yield good results, especially if the hatch is overwhelming. Productive nymphs included (but not limited to): hare's ears, pheasant tails, WD40s, Griffith's gnat, BWOs, and midge clusters in sizes 18-22. Some of the most productive flies were rainbow warrior and Matt's midge patterns. If a pattern isn't working, switch it up, especially when fish are visible. Reports of overall healthy trout have been common this spring, but most notable are healthy rainbow trout shaped like "footballs" (see pic "GreenRiver_Rainbow" taken by Ian Kennedy). Another notable mention on the Green this spring has been early stoneflies, which have been hatching more frequently in the B-section, but have also been observed in the A-section.

Spring fishing is obviously here and it's time to clean off the cobwebs, string some new line, and get out to take advantage of it!



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