Late July southeastern Utah fishing report
Fire restrictions are in effect statewide. No open fires are allowed, except in concrete rings in improved campgrounds.No smoking is permitted, except inside vehicles or trailers. All types of fireworks are banned.
The Jungle fire on the Wasatch Plateau in the Ferron drainage is completely out. All roads and campgrounds have reopened.
Holders of valid fishing licenses qualify for entrance fee discounts at state parks from Tuesdays through Thursdays until the end of the year.
Reservoir tributaries, which had been closed to fishing, opened on July 14.
Abajo Mountains. Conservation Officer Paul Washburn reported that the most successful fishermen he contacted last week were three men on Blanding number three, who had their limits of trout. Corn-flavored cheese bait is recommended. Washburn indicated that fishing was good at Monticello and Foy Lakes with worms or PowerBait. Artificial flies were also effective. Lloyd's Lake fished well with flies or spinners in the early morning. Blanding number four continues to offer good fishing with worms or PowerBait. Recapture Reservoir has been slow with very little fishing pressure.
Benches Reservoir. The reservoir fished well last weekend. Bait fishermen reported success with a rainbow PowerBait/worm combo. Fly fishermen reported good luck in the evening with a fly and bubble. A double renegade was the most popular pattern.
Boulgers Reservoir. Dedicated hunter Dave Williams reported good fishing last weekend. He said that anglers who used yellow PowerBait nuggets, fished two feet behind a half-full bubble, experienced fast action. Fishing was good in the evening for fly casters using a damselfly and bubble. It's best to avoid the heat of the day for best results. Early morning or late evening produces the bulk of the catch.
Cleveland Reservoir. Good fishing continues at Cleveland Reservoir with a worm and marshmallow. The best lure continues to be a Jake's Spin-a-Lure. A lot of fat 17-inch trout continue to be creeled.
Colorado River. Orion Rogers spent eight hours on the Colorado River last Saturday. He fished between Moab and the Dewey Bridge with his girlfriend Bryce. They enjoyed excellent fishing for channel catfish using nightcrawlers and shrimp. They caught a total of 60 fish, and released half of them. (The daily bag limit is 24 catfish per angler.) The keepers weighed a combined total of 11 pounds.
Duck Fork Reservoir. Dedicated Hunter Ryan Levingston described fishing as fair last weekend. Fly and bubble fishermen from the shoreline were picking up fish with a half-full bubble, trailing a black, olive or red leech or wooly bugger in sizes 10-14. Double renegades were also producing fish. The most successful fly casters fished from tubes or pontoons.
Ryan Barber of Spanish Fork caught a 19-inch tiger using a black marabou leech. Most fish average 17 inches.
Special regulations apply. Cutthroat trout must be immediately released to the water. Artificial flies and lures only. Tributaries opened to fishing on Saturday, July 14 with special regulations. Refer to the current fishing proclamation for details.
Electric Lake. Dedicated hunter Dave Williams interviewed fishermen on Saturday and said that fishing was poor on the lake, but good in the tributaries. The best fly patterns were grasshopper and parachute Adams.
Tributaries have special regulations. Please refer to the current fishing proclamation for details.
A week ago, the best bait on the lake was a minnow held close to the bottom with a small sinker. Anglers need to remember that only dead minnows may be used as bait. The use of live minnows is against the law, because the practice ruins a fishery over the years as rough fish out-compete trout for food and space.
Ferron Reservoir. The Jungle fire is out and access is open. Less than two weeks ago, fishing was excellent with a variety of tackle types. Fly fishermen had good luck with wooly buggers. Spincasters had good luck with either a Jake's Spin-a-Lure or a Spin Master lure.
The best bait was a worm/marshmallow combo. The best marshmallow color was a florescent red or green. At Ferron Reservoir, anglers may take an extra four fish, if at least four of them are brook trout.
Tributaries opened to fishing on July 14. The limit on the tributaries is four trout.
Gooseberry Reservoir. Fishing was poor over the weekend. Heavy moss along the shoreline makes bank fishing very difficult. Float tubers had moderate success, casting damsel fly nymphs into empty pockets. Baitcasters did best by throwing nightcrawlers into holes in the moss.
Grassy Lake. Homer Mills and Bryan Fox fished Grassy last weekend. Using artificial flies, they caught five fish in an hour.
Green River. Walt Maldonado reported good fishing for catfish with shrimp, worms and hot dogs marinated in unsweetened strawberry Kool-Aid and garlic. Walt, an expert angler, says marinated hot dog is dynamite on catfish.
Huntington Creek. Fishing has been good for fly casters, using size 14 grasshoppers or size 16 orange stimulators and stone fly nymphs. Most of the trout are browns and typically range from 11-13 inches.
Huntington North State Park. No report. The water level is extremely low. The boat ramp is out of the water. Slow fishing is expected.
Mammoth Reservoir. Two weeks ago, rainbow or pink PowerBait produced most fish for baitcasters. Fly fishermen used beadhead pheasant tail nymphs or beadhead leeches on sinking line. The best spinner was a Jake's. Beginning this summer, motorboats with more than 10 horsepower are prohibited. This reservoir has special fishing regulations. All cutthroat trout must be immediately released.
Joes Valley Reservoir. No report. Slow fishing is expected. Best fishing will be at dawn or late evening from a boat. Dead chubs are the best bait year-round. 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. Conservation Officer Casey McVay reports that catfish are biting well along the Colorado River. He says fishing for sunfish at Ken's Lake is excellent with worms. At Ken's, trout can be caught in the early morning with PowerBait or marshmallows. In general, fishing at LaSal Mountain lakes is great, says McVay.
Matthew and Heather Bridenbaker and Michael Thurlo enjoyed catching 15-inch trout at Dark Canyon. At the same lake, fisheries biologist Darek Elverud reported fair to good success, using scuds or damsel fly nymphs, fished close to the bottom. Walt Maldonado fished Dark Canyon over the weekend. His party caught limits in two hours with gold Jake's Spin-a-Lures and black wooly buggers.
The Mill Creek Bridge remains 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.
Lower Fish Creek. No recent report. Try a Rapala or Jake's near the dam. The road from Highway 6 to lower Fish Creek is open. Along the DWR easement, nymphs are often effective for 12-16 inch brown trout.
Miller Flat Reservoir. PowerBait from the shore near the dam is a good bet in the early morning. Float the bait off the bottom for the best success.
Millsite Reservoir. Park Manager Dan Richards indicated that the boat launch is open and will continue to be so for the rest of the summer.
Dedicated Hunter Ryan Levingston performed a creel survey last weekend. He described fishing as fair to good. Due to the number of other water recreationalists, it's best to fish very early in the morning or very late in the evening. Shoreline anglers reported fair success with lemon twist PowerBait or a worm/marshmallow combo, sunk to the bottom of steep drop-offs. Boat anglers have been picking up trout by trolling with pop gear and worms, Shad Raps or Roostertails. Fly fishermen have had the best luck, using double renegades or damsel fly patterns.
Potters Ponds. Fishing continues to be slow. For best success, fish in the early morning or late evening with small artificial flies, which imitate the insect hatch.
Scofield Reservoir. State Park Manager Dan Richards indicates that park boat ramps may become usable in late summer or early fall. The Bureau of Reclamation intends to draw the reservoir down about five feet below the normal level for dam improvements, which are scheduled to begin this fall.
Conservation officer Chris Pugliese reported that fishing had picked up this past weekend. Pugliese checked several trout that weighed more than two pounds. He personally weighed a three and a half pound rainbow and a three pound brown trout. Minnows have been the best bait in recent weeks.
Anglers need to remember that all bait minnows must be dead. It is illegal to fish with live minnows, because of the potential for a rough fish invasion, which occurs repeatedly at so many reservoirs throughout the state. Rough fish out-compete trout for food and space, ruining trout fishing for many years. In order to correct the problem, the DWR has been forced to eradicate all fish at a particular body of water and start over. This costs millions of dollars and spoils trout fishing for years.
Dedicated hunter Dave Williams interviewed anglers at Scofield last weekend. He rated fishing success as fair. Dave recommended morning or evening as the best times to fish. Bait fishermen reported best success with a worm/marshmallow combo or lemon twist PowerBait. Fly fishermen reported best success with a damsel fly nymph. The west side of the reservoir, beyond the moss beds, offers the best fishing for fly casters. Trollers experienced good fishing with pop gear and a worm or a Triple Teaser.
On Saturday, Boone Kummer fished from a boat around the island with a party of five. They still-fished with rainbow sparkle PowerBait and slip sinker, floating the bait off the bottom. In three and a half hours the fishing party caught 70 fish. Seven of them weighed more than three and a half pounds. Among the 70 fish, there were only two tiger trout. The rest were rainbows.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. The water level continues to recede, contributing to the moss problem. Float tubers and tooners, who get beyond shoreline moss, have the best chance for success. The best fly patterns have been leeches or damsel flies, which are allowed to sink and before being stripped in. Bank anglers have had only modest success with a worm/yellow PowerBait combo, which they try to cast beyond the weed beds. Trout range from 10-11 inches.
Willow Reservoir.The campground is now open. Fishing has been good for rainbows and tiger trout. Rainbows are taking lemon twist PowerBait/worm combos, suspended in the water column. Tigers are hitting artificial flies, retrieved behind a half-full bubble. On Saturday, the best patterns included double renegade, royal coachman, damsel fly, prince nymph, and leech or Chernobyl ant. Try fishing below the surface for best results. Tooners and tubers have had the best luck. Trout typically range from 10-12 inches. Most are rainbows.