Although temperatures are dropping as winter approaches, there is still some great fishing to be had at the Flaming Gorge. Here is the current fishing report for the gorge and the Green River below the dam.
Fishing is fair to good across the reservoir, depending on which species you’re targeting.
Kokanee salmon: Salmon fishing is closed until Dec. 1.
Rainbow trout: Fair to good fishing. Now that the water temperature has cooled, trout are moving into shallow shoreline habitat and are becoming more active. While fishing for rainbows, you might also catch a cutthroat. If you’re fishing from a boat, casting jigs near the creek inlets has been the most productive way to catch trout. Trolling 10–15 feet deep, with pop gear, spinners and small spoons, has also been effective. If you’re fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some and slowly retrieve the bait, using occasional jigging strokes. Marabou jigs in earthtone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. When you catch one rainbow, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs on your hooks so you can release fish quickly.
Lake trout: Fishing is fair. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while trolling for kokanee salmon or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Use a fish finder to locate fish that are suspended above the bottom. To target aggressive pups, troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows and #3 Needlefish. You can also vertically jig a white or glow-in-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot), tipped with sucker or chub meat. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work really well.
Smallmouth bass: Fishing is good. Jigs in earthtone colors that mimic crayfish — the primary forage of smallmouth bass — are the best option. Jerkbaits and crankbaits in copper, silver and rainbow trout colors will also entice fish. Expect patchy success as smallmouth bass concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter. Fish shallow for high catch rates. If you want to catch bigger fish, though, try fishing depths greater than 20 feet. Smallmouth bass will remain active until the water temperature drops into the mid 50s.
Burbot: You’ll find fair fishing. There haven’t been many reports of anglers catching burbot. Those who are catching fish are mostly catching them while fishing for lake trout. Anglers in boats can target burbot on rocky points and shorelines, in 20 to 40 feet of water. The best activity may be found at night, using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker or chub meat, recharge its glow frequently, and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Fishing will improve once water temperatures are consistently in the 50s.
Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam
Hatches: Fall BWO’s
Dry Flies– There are pods of risers in back eddies and near the edge. Natural BWO’s are 22-24. Floating a small ant or cricket through these pods can be effective. The fish are spooky and tough to catch at this point.
Nymph Fishing– Try large attractors such as a worm, egg, or woolly bugger trailed by small 18-22 gray or olive scuds. Other small gray flies, such as WD40’s or BWO emergers in size 20-24. During BWO hatches look for suspened fish on seems and tail outs.
Streamer Fishing has remained productive. Lighter colors such as ginger or natural have produced well, especially in low light.