Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge Project Leader sent in this report earlier this week. Sorry for the delay in getting it posted, but with good weather holding on it seems things would be the same. Here's his report.
It's been a while since my last report. Fishing has taken a backseat, to hunting seasons, family activities, and work. After looking at a comfortable weather forecast for last Saturday, I elected to hit the pond and spend a day reacquainting myself with the fishes. I'm sure glad I did too!
It was a balmy 32F when I launched, and the surface temps of the lower reservoir had already dropped to 50F. I made a quick trip into one of the canyons, stopping at a main lake point where I've found fish at this same time previous years. The rainbow trout were very active on the sonar, suspended between 20-50 ft. I tied on a 3/8 jig, slipped on a Powerbait minnow, made a cast towards the bank, and immediately hooked up with a small 14-inch rainbow. Casts #2 and #3 produced the same results. I had hits on each following cast, and landed a couple more, before I elected to try another spot. Almost all of my hits came on a tight lined drop or fall.
My next spot was the very back of the canyon, where a small creek enters the reservoir, but most importantly, there wasn't a cool morning breeze to chill my bare hands! My first cast here produced a football sized rainbow and also my biggest of the day at 20-inches. I continued to cast, sometimes in only 3-5 ft of water and caught several healthy bows from 15-20 inches. The technique was simple. I slowly worked the jig back to the boat (but fast enough to keep it off the bottom) giving it a quick "twitch" every few cranks. The shallow rainbows couldn't resist.
With my success at rainbows, I decided to try my luck at lake trout. Lake trout are currently engaged in the spawn, and when you find one, you will likely find many. I searched a large tapering main channel point near the dam and found a couple of large schools of lakers suspended just off the bottom in about 80-90 ft of water. All my attempts at vertical jigging didn't pan out, including jigging spoons, tube jigs, and Gulp minnows. That's lake trout for you though, and I suspect another time on the same day with the same gear, could've produced positive results. I decided to give them a horizontal presentation and started trolling. The first pass produced a nice 3lb+ laker while another got off. Game on. I continued this effort, picking up three more lakers and losing a couple of others. Some friends joined in on the action and did even better. For whatever reason, the lakers preferred the horizontal presentation versus the vertical that afternoon. I was trolling 1.6-1.8 mph pulling silver and chartreuse spoons at 70-75 ft.
Surprisingly, Flaming Gorge becomes almost devoid of angler pressure this time of year. Looking at the weather forecast and picking a mild day(s), can offer anglers with comfort, solitude and most importantly, some exceptional fall fishing!
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