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Flaming Gorge Fishing Report - Jiggin for kokanee and plenty of healthy rainbows
Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge Project Leader for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sent in this report.
There's a lot of talk about good "ice-off" fishing right now, and that's appropriate across much of the state, but what about the Gorge? It never really had ice! Well, under normal weather conditions it would be ice-off and I guess it's only appropriate that the fishing is good.
I went out earlier this week for a few hours, hoping to catch some fish for dinner. I was heading into the back of a favorite canyon, when I saw a large school of kokanee salmon suspended off the bottom in 110 ft of water. A friend had caught some kokanee in the same place just a few days ago. I quickly tied on a 1/4 oz Northland Buckshot spoon in "Rainbow Trout", tipped it with a meal worm, and dropped it to the bottom. I jigged once and reeled a nice 17-inch kokanee to the surface. I repeated this two more times, and within 15-minutes had three kokanee in the livewell. It might be the fastest kokanee fishing I've observed, but definitely this early in the season.<
Now what? I grabbed a jigging rod and moved towards the bank in search of active rainbow trout. My first cast produced a nice sized 17-incher, good eating size in my book (also filling my trout limit). From there I caught several more rainbows. I would cover a long run of shoreline without a hit, and then I would get several from a small area, producing some really nice fish. This trip, the shady side of a rocky point near the back of a canyon was the common denominator. Fish ranged from 14 to 20 inches, but many were on the high end. Several of the larger fish were post-spawn fish, being there are some winter spawners in the Gorge, but some were spring spawners, including nice colored up males like the one in the release photo. I originally tied on a homemade "hot pink" marabou jig and never took it off. Fishing Tip - I added a pink Gulp maggot.
It's a great time to clean the cobwebs off the long rods and fish the Gorge. I only saw a couple of other boats and few shore anglers, so pressure is light. Rainbow fishing will continue to be the HOT bite in the next couple of months along the length of the reservoir.
Good luck, Ryan