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

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Flaming Gorge fishing still hot despite cool temps and a bonus report

Ryan Mosley, UDWR Project Leader at Flaming Gorge, sent in this report.

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It's Memorial Weekend, so why wouldn't the temperature drop 20-degrees, the wind blow, with chances of rain and snow? Seems to be the norm for the first holiday to kick-off the summer season, doesn't it?

Regardless of the unstable weather, the fish don't seem to mind! We got out on the reservoir yesterday and found most of the fish pretty active and catch rates were good.

We started with kokanee, boating our two limits of fish ranging from 14-17 inches in under two hours. We found kokanee mostly between 35-45 ft in open water areas of Jarvies Bay, but recent reports also show a similar pattern in Sheep Creek Bay, Hideout, and down near the dam. We trolled at 1.5-2 mph using #1 and #2 Needlefish in "pearl bikini" and Rocky Mountain Tackle dodgers in "fusion" rigged with a Shasta Tackle Koke-a-Nut in pink. Pink seems to be the most productive color right now.

We were unsuccessful finding lake trout, so we moved towards the shore for smallmouth bass and rainbow trout. Everywhere we tried we caught fish, main channel, canyons, backs of coves, etc. We caught both species, side-by-side, on a variety of tackle including: tube jigs in crayfish colors, single-tailed jigs in crayfish colors and black w/ blue and silver flake, hair jigs like the Zig Jig in olive, and shallow running crankbaits like Rapalas in rainbow trout. Most of the bass were caught close to shore, and we even saw one spawning bed yesterday. Rainbow trout were everywhere, close to shore and suspended over deep water, and most of the hits came as the jig fell. Some of the larger rainbows we caught were hugging the bank, a few of which were feeding on cicadas, so fly fisherman should do well too.

Even with the recent cold front, surface temps were 57-59 F. It's not the best weather forecast for fishing this upcoming weekend, but the fishing forecast is calling for "good catching" for a variety of fish!

As a bonus report, Ron Stewart with the Outreach department of the DWR's northeastern region send this information on other area waters.

There is also great fishing on all the lower elevation lakes. Pelican is producing bass and bluegill, Starvation rainbows are still hot and the bass and perch are now moving into the shallows. I've heard of some 15-inch perch and quite a few 15 to 18-inch smallmouth being taken. Steinaker and Red Fleet are also good for rainbows along with some bass and bluegills. Also, we can get into some of the higher elevation lakes early this year and the trout are very cooperative up there as well. My most recent experience was five brookies ranging from 10 to 13 inches in a half an hour at East Park Reservoir.



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