Southeastern Utah mid-July fishing report
|Jeff Pugliese holds a brown trout he caught from Lower Fish Creek.|
This year, Utah State Parks and Recreation has reduced entrance fees to state parks by half for anyone with a valid fishing license. The discount is valid only from Tuesdays through Thursdays until the end of the year.
Fire restrictions are now in effect statewide for all public land. No open fires are allowed, except in pits and grills in improved campgrounds. No smoking is permitted, except inside enclosed vehicles. All types of fireworks are banned.
Recreationalists on the south side of the Wasatch Plateau will find smoky conditions due to a prescribed burn in the Ferron drainage. The public may find delays or temporary closures of the road between Willow Lake and Ferron Reservoir.
Kids, 12 and 13 years old need to purchase a fishing license, due to a fee increase passed by the Utah Legislature. The price of a license for these youngsters is $5.
Abajo Mountains. Conservation Officer Paul Washburn reports that Monticello and Foy lakes continue to produce lots of trout with worms, PowerBait or fly and bubble. Fishing success at Blanding Number Three has been fair. Blanding Number Four catch rates have been good with traditional baits. Lloyds Lake has been fair for trout. Catfish and bass are biting at Recapture Reservoir. Blanding Number Four and Lloyds Lake have an abundance of small bluegill and sunfish that are easily caught in great numbers close to shore. A small fly seems to work very well. The limit is high, so Officer Washburn encourages anglers to keep lots.
Duck Fork Reservoir. Access to the reservoir may be temporarily closed, due to a controlled burn in the Ferron drainage. Expect smoke and poor air quality. Fishing success has been sporadic.
Ray Allred reported catching and releasing 25 tiger trout in five hours with a size 12 baby olive wooly bugger. His tigers ranged from 14-20 inches. Tom Ogden fished last week with a number 10 beadhead scud close to shore. He had the best success when he cast the fly, let it sink a little, and then stripped it in. All of Tom's tiger trout ranged from 13-17 inches. Special regulations apply. Cutthroat trout must be immediately released to the water. Artificial flies and lures only.
Ferron Reservoir. Fishing success has been sporadic. A week ago, Ray Allred caught and released nine rainbows in two hours with an olive crystal bugger. The prescribed burn has made air quality conditions unpleasant for anglers. At Ferron Reservoir, anglers may take an extra four fish, if at least four of them are brook trout.
Huntington Creek. Fisheries Biologist Kenny Breidinger fished the left fork last Sunday and enjoyed good success with black ant or brown grasshopper patterns. Tom Ogden fished below the forks last weekend and said that caddis flies, stoneflies and mayflies emerged from the water surface most of the day. He had best luck with a size eight maroon San Juan worm or a size 12 ugly. Tom used floating line with a BB size split shot about 12 inches above the fly. Tom's catch consisted mostly of brown trout, which ranged from 11-13 inches.
Mammoth Reservoir. No recent report. Last month, using motorboats with 10 horsepower became prohibited. This reservoir has special fishing regulations. All cutthroat trout must be immediately released.
Joes Valley Reservoir. No report. Special regulations apply at this reservoir. The limit is two fish. Only one may be over 22 inches. All trout from 15-22 inches must be immediately released.
Lasal Mountains. Sergeant J. Shirley reports that fishing has been very good on LaSal Mountain lakes. Oowah and Dark Canyon are both producing decent-sized fish and good fishing. Most anglers are using bait and having good success. Although Blue Lake is small, fishing has been good with bait or a fly pattern with a red tail. Hidden and Dons lakes are both fishing well for planter-size fish. Dedicated Hunter Todd Day performed a creel survey over the weekend. He reported good fishing at Oowah, Warner, and Dark Canyon.
Across the mountain, PowerBait was the most popular bait. Green, yellow and orange were the top-producing colors. The Daredevil was a commonly used spinner. The Mill Creek Bridge is under construction and will be impassable until November. Anglers wanting to fish Oowah must access the lake from the south end of the LaSal Mountain Loop Road. Warner Lake fishermen will need to come from the Castle Valley side. Officer Shirley says that fishing pressure at Kens Lake is virtually non-existent due to summer heat.
Lower Fish Creek. Fishing success has been good with a Rapala crankbait. The road from Highway 6 to lower Fish Creek is open. Along the DWR easement, nymphs have been effective for 12-16 inch brown trout.
Millsite Reservoir. Smoky conditions from the prescribed burn have made air quality poor. No report on fishing success.
Scofield Reservoir. Moss has become a problem for fly and lure casters and trollers alike. Most trout have retreated to deeper colder water, which has reduced the catch rate for shore anglers. Due to frequent hatches of mayflies, damselflies and midges, the overall catch rate for all angler types has droppedÃ¯Â¿Â½there's just too much natural food in the water.
This past week, Tom Ogden used leeches in a variety of colors. His catch generally ranged from 13-19 inches, although his son landed a single 22-incher. The best fishing occurs in the early morning.
Anglers, please avoid fishing in tributaries. They remain closed to fishing until July 14th in order to protect spawning cutthroat trout.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. The reservoir is low and choked with moss. PowerBait has been moderately effective for 9-10 inch stocked fish.
Willow Reservoir. The campground has been closed during the prescribed burn. Smoky conditions have dramatically reduced angler pressure.
A week ago, angler Ray Allred caught and released 16 rainbows with number 10 red crystal buggers. Tom Ogden fished last Friday and said that trout were surfacing everywhere. Fish are generally small, ranging from 10-12 inches. The large majority are rainbows. Tom had good luck with a number10 beadhead black leech on floating line, but thinks that a fly and bubble with a renegade, scud or ant would work equally well.