Southeastern Utah fishing report
Just a word of caution. Last week, a case of "swimmers itch" was confirmed to have occurred at Gooseberry Reservoir. For more information on swimmers itch, please refer to the Gooseberry Reservoir portion of this fishing report.
A common question amoungst anglers has been where have fish limits been relaxed? Well, fishing regulations have recently changed at Duck Fork Reservoir. Anglers may now keep up to 16 trout, and they may use any legal bait. These regulations are in effect until the end of September.
Anglers are allowed to keep six largemouth bass, 50 bluegill, and eight trout at the Gigliotti Pond. Children under 14 may keep half this amount. This change will remain in effect until Sept. 1.
The daily bag and possession limits have been doubled at Cleveland, Miller Flat reservoir, Ken's Lake, Lloyd's Lake, Monticello Lake, and Recapture Reservoir. These regulations are in effect until Nov. 1.
Abajo Mountains. Foy Reservoir continues to provide good fishing with bait and lures. Best fishing occurs in the early morning and evening. Morning and evening fishing has been good at Monticello Reservoir, where the limit has been raised to eight fish, until Nov. 1. Baits and spinners are recommended. Fishing has slowed down at Blanding numer three. Trolling deep with pop gear and spinners is recommended for rainbow trout at Recapture Reservoir, where the daily bag and possession limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. The daily bag and possession limits for all game fish have also been doubled at Lloyds Lake until Nov. 1, due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Fishing has been fair.
Benches Pond. Fishing has been slow from mid-morning until late afternoon. DWR staff recommend that anglers use dry flies in the early morning and evening. Baits have not been very effective.
Boulger Pond. Fishing has been slow with baits. Try dry flies in the early morning or evening.
Cleveland Reservoir. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight fish until Nov. 1. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish before the reservoir drains. At this point, the water level remains good. Fishing has been fair for anglers using 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.
Cottonwood Creek. Fishing has been fair to good with small spinners, such as Mepp's, Panther Martins or Jake's Spin-a-Lures.
Duck Fork Reservoir. The angling pressure has been very heavy with the temporarily relaxed regulations, which allow 16 fish per angler, using any legal bait, lure or fly pattern. Fly fisherman Tom Ogden caught 24 fish in 5five and a half hours last Saturday using a Sheep Creek Special. Adult damsel fly patterns worked well for another fly fisherman. Three anglers using flies and jigs harvested a total of 42 fish. Anglers using baits also experienced excellent success. Most fish are 11 to 16 inches in length. Lots of fish remain to be caught before the rotenone treatment project in mid-September. The shoreline is somewhat muddy but still accessible. Be ginning Oct. 1, harvest of cutthroat trout will be prohibited to protect newly stocked Colorado River cutthroat trout. Tackle restrictions requiring the use of artificial flies or lures will also take effect at that time.
Electric Lake. Fly fishermen using float tubes, canoes or pontoon boats have had some success in the evenings with dry flies. Boats cannot be launched this year. The boat ramp is 0.7 miles from the water. The trout limit is two. Flies and lures only.
Ferron Reservoir. Fishing has been fair to good with worms and PowerBait. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the illegally introduced brook trout, which may eventually overpopulate the lake, resulting in small fish in poor condition. All tributaries are open to fishing.
Gigliotti Pond. The water level is extremely low. The leaks in the pond have not been fixed yet. Most fish have been caught out. The DWR hopes to have the repairs performed soon and the pond refilled before the end of the year. The trout limit is eight, the largemouth bass limit is six, and the bluegill limit is 50. On Sept. 1, limits and restrictions identified in the 2002 fishing proclamation will resume.
Gooseberry Reservoir. An angler recently contracted "swimmers itch" at Gooseberry Reservoir. Swimmers itch is an itching dermatitis due to penetration into the skin of larval forms of schistosomes (trematode worms and flukes). Although extremely annoying, swimmers itch is neither communicable nor fatal. Antihistamines can be used to help alleviate the itching and topical steroid creams may reduce the swelling. The itching and swelling generally persist for several days. If someone is believed to have swimmers itch, please consult a doctor and notify a public health official.
Huntington Creek. Fishing success has been spotty with baits and lures. Fly-fishing has been much better with a size 12 Prince nymph, Renegade or Ugly. The limit is two trout in the fly only zone, which is on a portion of the Right Fork. Anglers on the Left Fork of the Huntington must use artificial flies or lures. Harvest of brown trout on the left fork is encouraged, where the limit is four fish.
Huntington Game Farm Pond. The limit is four trout, 10 bluegill, and four bass, 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). Except for the early morning, fishermen must compete with water recreationalists. 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). Fish are deep this time of year. Anglers fishing during the day need to get their fly, lure or bait down to a depth of about 20 feet. Tiger trout range up to about 15 inches. 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. Very little fishing pressure. Boats cannot be launched, because the water level is low. 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. The water level is low at Ken's Lake. Fishing is fair for nine inch rainbow trout with a worm and marshmallow combination. The best fishing is in the early morning. The daily bag and possession limit for Ken's Lake has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1 due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Dark Canyon offers excellent fishing for nine to 12 inch trout with worms and spinners. Hidden Lake still provides excellent fishing for eight to 11 inch trout with worms, PowerBait or a black fly and bubble combination. Dons Lake has been good for trout up to 10 inches. Warner Lake offers excellent fishing for six to 12 inch trout with PowerBait, Panther Martin spinners and flies. Oowah was stocked last week. Fishing is excellent for eight to 12 inch rainbow trout with flies and baits. Good fly choices include wooly buggers and mosquito patterns. Good baits include worms, PowerBait and salmon eggs.
Lower Fish Creek. Flows are somewhat high and there are fragments of vegetation in the water released from Scofield Reservoir, but fishing is good for fly anglers walking the middle of the channel and casting toward the shoreline. Angler Tom Ogden caught 28 fish in about five hours on Aug. 2 using a Prince nymph. Most trout are less than 14 inches. From the railroad bridge approximately one mile below the Scofield Reservoir dam downstream to the confluence with the White River, only artificial flies and lures may be used.
Miller Flat Reservoir. Fishing has been fair to good with Rooster tails or a fly and bubble. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight trout to help anglers harvest the trout before the reservoir drains. At this point, the reservoir continues to hold plenty of water.
Petes Hole. Fishing has been fair to good with baits and lures. Try a fly and bubble or Jake's Spin-a-Lure. The daily bag and possession limit is four trout.
Potter's Ponds. Fishing success remains fair to good. A bear has been frequenting the campground. Please keep a clean campsite and don't leave fish or entrails behind.
Scofield Reservoir. Shoreline fishing is becoming difficult due to the low water level and aquatic vegetation. The west shoreline and the entire reservoir south of the island are swamp-like. Anglers in boats have had limited success. Fly fishermen in float tubes have done well at dusk with nymph patterns. The average fish size is about 15 inches. All tributaries are open to fishing.
Upper Fish Creek and other Scofield tributaries. Angling success has been good for trout averaging 10 inches using worms. Larger fish have moved back into the reservoir now that the spawn is over. Best times to fish are early morning and evening.
Willow Reservoir. Fishing success has been slow. Fish in the early morning for best results.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Fishing continues to be very good with a fly and bubble or Jake's Spin-a-Lure. Fly fishermen should try a damsel fly imitation.
Lake Powell. Report updated August 8 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader who explains current conditions.
The lake elevation is 3,632 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 79 to 85 degrees Farenheit.
It's a sad day in the history of the fishing report. I have lost track of the stripers in the lower lake. They have eluded me for the second week in a row. There may have been some uplake movement of stripers as they search for more abundant shad forage. My journey from Wahweap includes stops in Navajo Canyon, Gunsight, Padre, Last Chance, and Rock Creek.Stripers are gone for all I know. In actuality they are probably right where they have been all year. They may start to bite any day now. If anyone finds them please let me know so I can pass the word and we can all start catching stripers once more.
Uplake is a different matter. As predicted two weeks ago striper boils have started at Bullfrog. Early morning striper surface action has been reported in the main channel from Buoy 95A to Buoy 99. Much of the area is bounded by steep canyon walls. Stripers are trapping shad right against the wall so the feeding activity is often only one fish length from the wall but may be hundreds of yards long. The "skinny boil" may look more like a boat wake smacking the wall than feeding fish so look carefully at every splash. Feeding starts at first light and continues until about 9 a.m. or until boat traffic puts the fish down. It may be difficult to get a surface lure to stay in the narrow feeding zone. Sassy shad and spoons that hit the wall and fall straight down may be needed to get the best catch rate. Boils continue at Hite. But good news travels faster than the wind.
Much fishing pressure has made fishing boils very competitive. It is difficult to fish a boil by yourself since the feeding area is quite small. Boils range from Hite to Two Mile Canyon. Morning and evening are best but fish will feed all day long. Probably the best striper catching will be done by those fishing on the bottom with spoons where the boil was last seen.
The best surface fishing striper spot is the upper San Juan. It is so hard to get there with no road access that anglers are few and those that are there have the boils to themselves. It is not necessary to go all the way to Zahn Bay. In fact, boils are less common above Spencers Camp. Good catches have been reported from Piute/Neskahi and along the Great Bend. Boils are common but spoons catch as many fish as surface lures. Full size Zara Spooks, or Super Spook Jr.'s work great while fish are on top but just as soon as they dive drop a Wally Lure Shad Minnow, Hopkins Shorty or Kastmaster to the bottom to catch spooked but hungry stripers.
Spoons resemble injured shad falling out of the school and fit the striped bass prey search image perfectly.
Smallmouth bass fishing remains good. I caught one fish per spot today which is average. Select the breaking edge of reefs, and the terminal ends of rocky points for best success. I move quickly from reefs to points instead of fishing an entire mile long rock slide. I think that results in more fish at the end of the day. With water still warm the deeper, slower presentations like drop shot grubs, and heavy jigs fished at 25 to 35 feet may be the best approach. I like to use surface lures for the first two hours of daylight and find that hard to beat.