Early July fishing report for southeastern Utah
|As hot weather hits the area, anglers are finding relief at higher elevations where they can relax and enjoy an afternoon of fishing. In several locations, including the Soup Bowl, anglers are having great fishing success. |
With the exception of those waters listed in the following paragraph, many popular fishing destinations were to be stocked prior to the July 4 holiday weekend.
The daily bag and possession limit for trout has been doubled to eight for Cleveland and Miller Flat reservoirs; Gigliotti Pond in Helper; Ken's Lake; Lloyd's Lake, Monticello Lake, and Recapture Reservoir. Especially at these waters, the DWR encourages anglers to harvest the trout they catch so these fish are not wasted.
Abajo Mountains. Foy Reservoir continues to provide good fishing with bait and lures. Fishing remains fair at Monticello Reservoir, where the limit has been raised to eight fish, until November 1. Bait fishing continues to be good at Blanding number three. At Recapture Reservoir, rainbow trout fishing has been fair for boat anglers trolling with spinners. Northern pike fishing has been good for anglers trolling with crankbaits. The daily bag and possession limit for all game fish has been doubled at Lloyds Lake until November 1, due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish.
Benches Pond. This pond is stocked every three weeks until fall. Try artificial flies in the evening. Good baits include PowerBait, worms and marshmallows.
Boulger Pond. This pond shares the same stocking schedule as Benchs Pond. Try PowerBait, or worms and marshmallows.
Cleveland Reservoir. This reservoir was last stocked on May 20. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight fish. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish before the reservoir drains, which is expected by mid August. Fishing has been good with PowerBait or worms.
Colorado River. The river continues to provide good fishing for catfish up to three pounds. Preferred baits include shrimp, worms and liver.
Duck Fork Reservoir. Conservation officer Kip Draper urges fishermen not to believe a rumor being circulated about the limit being doubled and bait restriction removed. No such change has occurred yet. Fish may only be caught with artificial flies and lures. The trout limit remains at two. All tributaries are closed to fishing until July 13.
Electric Lake. Right at dusk, fly fishermen have been doing well with dry fly patterns. The water level is so low that boats cannot be launched. Tributaries are closed until July 13. A tributary is any moving water that empties into a reservoir, even if that water is running within the lakebed. The trout limit is two. Flies and lures only.
Ferron Reservoir. Fishing has been good with PowerBait and dry flies in the evening. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the illegally introduced brook trout, which may eventually overpopulate the lake, resulting in small fish in poor condition. Please remember that all tributaries are closed until the second weekend in July.
Gigliotti Pond. On June 26, a hole was discovered in the side of the pond. Because the water level is now below the hole, and is still dropping, there are apparently other holes. The holes will be repaired when found. Anglers are encouraged to take the trout they catch home for a meal, rather than the fish being wasted as they die from stress resulting from insufficient living space. Most bass and bluegill are likely to survive the poor water conditions. Therefore, anglers are not allowed to harvest these species.
Gooseberry Reservoir. The reservoir was last stocked on June 26 with 1,400 rainbow trout. PowerBait, or worms and marshmallows are recommended.
Grassy Lake. Fishing success has been spotty. PowerBait is recommended.
Huntington Creek. Fishing continues to be good in the fly-only zone, where the limit is two trout. The forks of the Huntington were stocked on June 19 with nine to 10 inch rainbow trout. Harvest of brown trout on the left fork is encouraged, where the limit is four fish, which must be taken with artificial flies or lures.
Huntington Game Farm Pond.The pond is too warm for trout. However, bass and bluegill are still present. The bluegill limit is 10. The bass limit is four, but only one bass larger than 15 inches. Limits are the same for all licensed anglers and unlicensed anglers under 14 years of age.
Huntington North Reservoir (near the city of Huntington). On June 20, a six and a half pound rainbow trout was reportedly caught by an angler trolling with a silver and red U-String. Jigs have been working well for largemouth bass, where the limit is two. All bass over 12 inches must be immediately released.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). Fishing success has been slow for 12 to 14 inch tiger trout. Release of tiger trout is encouraged so that fish can grow larger. Any brown trout caught should be harvested. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout and trout with cutthroat markings.
Joes Valley Reservoir. There has been little fishing pressure. PowerBait is recommended for rainbow trout. Anglers are encouraged to release all larger splake for control of the abundant Utah chub population. The splake limit is two fish. All splake between 15 to 20 inches must be immediately released.
LaSal Mountains. Conservation officer Edward Meyers reports good trout fishing at Ken's Lake in the mornings with worms and spinners. The daily bag and possession limit for Ken's Lake has been doubled for all game fish until November 1 due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Good fishing continues at Dark Canyon for anglers using PowerBait. Fishermen, trolling from a canoe, have done well with yellow or orange spinners. Hidden Lake remains an excellent spot. Meyers indicates that anglers using eggs, PowerBait and worms have experienced fast fishing action. Dons Lake has been fair to good for tiger trout and splake. Meyers recommends flies or an orange flat fish lure. Medicine Lake has been stocked and has been good with baits and lures. Blue Lake has been very good for rainbows and brook trout with yellow roostertail spinners and flies.
Lower Fish Creek. The road to the DWR property is open. Fly fishermen have been doing well.
Miller Flat Reservoir. The reservoir has been stocked with its total annual allotment of 3,000 rainbow trout. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight trout to help anglers harvest the trout before the reservoir drains.
Millsite Reservoir. Fishing success has been fair with a worm and marshmallow.
Petes Hole. Petes Hole has been fair to good with blue sparkle PowerBait. Trout are rising in the evening, providing good fishing for fly anglers.
Potter's Ponds. Fishing success has been fair to good with baits.
Scofield Reservoir. Sergeant Carl Gramlich reports good fishing at Scofield Reservoir. The catch is much better for anglers in boats rather than those on shore. Fishing success has been good for those using a fly and bubble, PowerBait, worm and marshmallow or spinner. Please remember that all tributaries remain closed until July 13. A tributary is considered to be any moving water, which empties into the body of the reservoir, even if the channel of water lies within the reservoir's basin. Bear in mind that much of the land around the reservoir is private. Please keep vehicles off the shoreline and fish only in designated areas.
Willow Reservoir. Fly fishermen are having the best luck in the evening when the trout are rising.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Jake's Spin-a-Lures remain the best spinner. Traditional baits as well as fly and bubble have also been used successfully.
Lake Powell. Report updated June 26 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader, who provides the following report.
The lake elevation is 3,641 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 75 to 83 degrees. The pesky full moon is shining bright each night. I expected to find fishing for bass and stripers to be less successful due to the bright moonlight but I was pleasantly surprised to find both bass and stripers doing the same things in the same places.
Smallmouth are the best bet. They are along the main channel from Wahweap to Hite and willing to eat plastic jigs and grubs all day long. We found smallmouth on the edge of each rocky reef fished. The bigger fish were definitely caught earlier in the day. Water depth fished was only five to 15 feet. As the sun climbed higher in the sky the average size of bass caught declined.
There were many schools of eight inch bass seen in the shallows and these fish can be caught on an eighth ounce jig head and two inch curly tail. The bigger smallmouth (up to 14 inches) were taken on four and five inch single tail grubs, tubes, senkos. It really didn't seem to matter which type plastic bait or shade of green, smoke, or pumpkin that was used. An agreeable fish would hit almost any color when the bait was placed in its path. I did find less success with chartreuse and white but still caught fish on both colors.
Despite constantly declining lake levels largemouth bass carried off a good late spawn. This past week schools of black fry have been sighted near the surface guarded by a largemouth male. This is late for spawning and fry spawned in May will perhaps have a better chance of survival. The lack of brush in the water makes survival more difficult for largemouth fry which hide in brush, which is noticeable absent. Smallmouth fry will fare much better since they seek the protection of rocks when danger threatens.
Striped bass are on the move but still generally found in the main channel. The presence of larval shad in the murky water in the backs of canyons will attract the smallest stripers to those locations. Schools of eight to 12 inch stripers will team up to feed on the slow-swimming shad. The first boils of the season will soon be seen as the small stripers line up shoulder to shoulder and mow the shad crop from the surface. Larger fish will join the action next month and boil intensity will increase. For now the bigger stripers are cruising the channel looking for crayfish on isolated rock piles jutting out from the cliff wall.
Fishing rocky main channel points with a good dose of chum and anchovy bait is the best system for striper catching success. Chum one point and move to the next if no stripers are caught in a short time. It is likely that stripers will be found on every third to fifth point fished.
Walleye are still showing up with one or two being caught on each smallmouth fishing trip. Green sunfish are an additional bonus. Catfishing is getting better each week. Remember to keep all the stripers caught and a 20 fish limit of nine to 11 inch smallmouth bass. Your harvest will help Lake Powell fisheries remain healthy. Eating fish is a good, healthy meal for you too.