Southeastern Utah mid-June fishing report
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.
Beginning July 1, 12 and 13 year-old kids will need to purchase a fishing license. The Utah Legislature passed a fishing fee increase, which goes into effect in two weeks. The price of a license for 12 and 13 year-olds is $5.
Fisheries Biologist Justin Hart urges the boating and fishing public to leave DWR's fishnets undisturbed. Sometimes nets are moved or vandalized, which interferes with studies in progress.
Abajo Mountains. Conservation Officer Paul Washburn reports that fishing has been good at Blanding three and four reservoirs with PowerBait. Recapture Reservoir has been slow. Lloyd's Lake is fair for planted trout off the point. Foy offers good fishing with bait. Monticello has been fair.
Benches Pond. Fishing has been fair for six to10 inch rainbow trout with worms or PowerBait. Neither flies nor lures have been effective.
Boulgers Reservoir. Poor fishing has been reported. Most trout are eight inch rainbows.
Cleveland Reservoir. Fishing was good last weekend. Lures were ineffective, said Joe Edgehouse. Worms or PowerBait caught most fish, which were mostly 14-15 inches. Some of the carry-over trout weigh one and a half pounds or better.
Duck Fork Reservoir. Conservation Officer Casey Mickelsen described fishing success as fair to good. The two best lures were a gold Jake's Spin-A-Lure or a Blue Fox. Most fly fishers have used tubes or pontoon boats. One party caught four tigers in two hours with a size 14 yellow caddis. Tiger trout have ranged from 14-22 inches. Special regulations apply. Cutthroat trout must be immediately released to the water. Artificial flies and lures only.
Electric Lake. Fishing has been fair, according to dedicated hunter Joe Edgehouse. He saw a couple of 16-inch cutthroats, which had been caught with dead minnows. A lot of anglers were using PowerBait, but they didn't do as well as those using dead minnows or minnow imitations.
Ferron Reservoir. Conservation Officer Casey Mickelsen reports good fishing with traditional baits or Jake's Spin-A-Lures. Brook and rainbow trout range between 12-17 inches. Brad McCourt reported very low fishing pressure over the weekend.
Gigliotti Pond. The pond was freshly stocked on June 1. The Head Start program in Price took a group of kids fishing on Saturday. They said fishing success was very good with worms and sinkers. Early mornings or evenings are the best times to fish this pond.
Gooseberry Reservoir. Dedicated Hunter Joe Edgehouse reported seeing trout up to 17 inches, most of which were rainbows. Silver or gold Spin-A-Lures were the best spinners. A week ago, Ken Jones of Orem reported excellent fishing with an inflated nightcrawler, fished just off the bottom in deep water. Tom Ogden has had good success with a size 10 olive wooly bugger.
Grassy Lake. Fishing has ranged from fair to good, depending on the day. Nightcrawlers or Jake's Spin-A-Lures have been good. Fishing has been poor at neighboring Blue Lake.
Huntington Creek. Very little fishing pressure. Most angling occurs in the fly-only zone, where success has been fair. Tom Ogden has traditionally had the best luck with a beadhead Montana, beadhead prince nymph or beadhead ugly pattern in sizes 10-12.
Huntington North State Park. Manager Dan Richards reports that trout fishing is slow, but that a few bass are still being taken along the dam.
Mammoth Reservoir. Fishing continues to be slow and fishing pressure has been light. At Mammoth, it's always better to fish in the early morning. Traditionally, a good technique is to swim a nightcrawler behind a full bubble, separated by three feet of leader. As of last week, using motorboats with 10 horsepower is prohibited. This reservoir has special fishing regulations. All cutthroat trout must be immediately released.
Joes Valley Reservoir. Dedicated Hunter Justin Needles described fishing success as poor on Saturday. He saw only one fish reeled in from a boat. Most of the anglers at this water are after trophy splake.The DWR is aware of one 11 lb. and one eight to10 lb. splake, which have been caught this year. Dead chubs are the bait of choice. 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.
Last weekend, nets placed at Joes Valley Reservoir were vandalized. As a result, biologists lost the opportunity to catch and remove spawning chubs from the reservoir. For many years, chubs have been a serious nuisance at Joes Valley Reservoir. The DWR is attempting to control their numbers by netting and removing spawning chubs and their eggs from the reservoir. Tampering with or vandalizing nets makes DWR's job of managing the fisheries much more difficult.
LaSal Mountains. All LaSal Mountain lakes are accessible. Most have been stocked. Fishing at Beaver, Medicine and Oowah have been slow. Dark Canyon has been fair with spinners or bait. Hidden and Dons have been good, since the recent re-stocking. 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. Conservation Officer Casey McVay reports that early morning anglers at Ken's Lake have done well for trout using worms and marshmallows.
Lower Fish Creek. Fishing success has been sporadic, ranging from slow to good. Below the dam, Dale Hamilton of Orem recommended a caddis fly or hare's ear. One angler creeled a number of trout with pop gear and worm beneath the spillway. Tom Ogden suggests a beadhead Montana, beadhead prince nymph or beadhead ugly pattern in sizes 10-12. Below the dam, rainbows, browns and tiger trout range between eight to 12 inches. 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.
Mill Flat Reservoir. Angler success ranged from fair to good over the weekend. A worm with a marshmallow worked best.
Millsite Reservoir. Dedicated hunter Brad McCourt reported poor fishing over the weekend. The best action occurred in the very early morning with spinners.
Petes Hole. Fishing success was poor, says Justin Needles, dedicated hunter, after a creel survey on Saturday. Neighboring Academy Mill Reservoir continues to be good for small brook trout with a Jake's Spin-A-Lure.
Potters Ponds. Dedicated hunter Justin Needles reported good fishing last weekend with worms, PowerBait or lures. Conservation Officer Casey Mickelsen assessed overall fishing success as fair during the week. He recommends PowerBait or worms. Both ponds were restocked three weeks ago.
Scofield Reservoir. Dedicated Hunter Joe Edgehouse described fishing as excellent last weekend. He counted more than 100 boats and 200 bank-fishermen. Joe says he watched fish-after-fish being caught. Yellow PowerBait seemed especially effective. One angler reported seeing a seven pound trout come out. Joe himself saw fish up to 23 inches being reeled in. Fly fishermen seemed to do best with a Scofield Special pattern. No lure seemed very productive. A week ago, size six to eight wooly buggers and leech patterns in olive, brown, red and black produced a lot of fish for Tom Ogden. His catch ranged from 12-20 inches. Most were rainbows and tiger trout.
Anglers are asked not to use live fish as bait. The practice is illegal across the state and causes serious damage to a fishery. During the annual gillnetting survey in May, DWR biologists netted 53 chubs. This is alarming, since chubs have ruined many fisheries in Utah, including Joes Valley Reservoir, Strawberry Reservoir and others. Anglers can avoid a potential tragedy by using only dead minnows as bait.
Anglers should also avoid fishing in tributaries. They remain closed to fishing until July 14th in order to protect spawning cutthroat trout.
Soup Bowl. Fishing has been slow to fair with PowerBait or worms. Fishing pressure is light.
Straight Canyon. Fishing has been slow to fair. Justin Needles watched one angler catch a brown trout on a green spinner, but didn't see any fish caught by fly fishermen.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Conservation Officer Casey Mickelsen reports that fishing early or late is good with a Jake's lure. Baits have yielded only fair results. There's a lot of moss growth around the edges, due to a lower than normal water level. After a creel survey, Brad McCourt described fishing as slow.
Willow Reservoir. Conservation Officer Casey Mickelsen says fishing has been good with traditional baits. He indicates that floating a worm with a marshmallow or swimming a worm behind a full bubble has yielded the best results. Fly fishermen have done well with dark wet flies tied to leader and a bubble. When Dedicated Hunter Brad McCourt visited with anglers on Sunday, he indicated that PowerBait yielded the best success. The rainbow trout he saw were generally around 13 inches. A week ago, DWR Office Manager Sueann Erickson had good luck, trolling a black, dotted flatfish or gold Kastmaster. A few of the carry-over rainbows and tiger trout tip the scale at two pounds or better.