clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cooler, deeper waters are making reservoirs the hot fishing spots

WEBER CANYON -- There's a pattern starting to develop during the changeover from spring to summer. It goes something like this: Continuous rainstorms keep the water cool, the fishing hot and the fishermen indoors.

Then, when one good weekend shows up, it's a rush to see if the fishermen can hit their favorite spots before the waters start warming and the fishing cools.Last week, popular reservoirs like East Canyon, Rockport, Strawberry, Jordanelle and Deer Creek were packed with people holding fishing rods in their hands and concentration in their eyes.

Getting less attention were the moving waters, especially those without the benefit of a control dam, like the lower Weber and Logan rivers. The Provo got a fair sampling of anglers, despite the fact water was running a little higher than normal.

Usually, waters coming out of Weber Canyon are fishable by mid-June, but not this year. Trying to throw flies, even weighted nymphs, was not the least bit productive. Fish were too busy fighting the strong current.

Lakes and reservoirs, on the other hand, offered good fishing over the weekend and will continue to be good for the next couple of weeks.

Yuba, for example, has been excellent for walleye. So good that some fishermen have had trouble catching fish to keep. Regulations set the limit at four walleye, but only one can be more than 20 inches.

"If all you're catching is fish over 20 inches," said Tom Pettengill, sport fisheries coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, "try moving to a new location. There are fish in the reservoir under 20 inches."

Some of the best success has been trolling bottom bouncers or spinners tipped with a night crawler. Also try jigs and deep-diving Rapalas.

Bear Lake has been good for lake trout and cutthroat. The cuts are in water between 5 and 15 feet, where lake trout are in water around 40 feet deep. Some of the best fishing for cutthroat has been near the Bear Lake Marina, off the Rockpile and along the eastern shoreline. The best lake trout fishing has been off Rainbow Cove.

Anglers are reminded that cutthroats can be kept if they have a clipped fin. If they don't, they must be immediately returned.

Fishing at East Canyon has been good, but fishermen have been reluctant to keep some ofthe fish. Many of the fish have been badly scarred by anchor worms, and although the fish are unsightly, they are still good to eat.

While the rivers going into and flowing from Rockport have been slow, the reservoir has given up some good fish. Trollers are doing well with pop gear, while shore fishermen have been having the best luck with rainbow Power Bait.

Strawberry has been a mixed bag. Some days it's good, some days it's not. Recent gill net surveys show the fish are healthy and numerous. Some argue that with the rising waters, there's too many food choices for the fish and they're not interested in Power Baits and lures.

Jordanelle has been good for boaters trolling pop gear and minnow imitations. Shore fishermen have been having the best luck with a hook threaded with a worm and tipped with a marshmallow. Float the hook about three to four feet from the sinker.

Willard Bay has been good for smallmouth near the South Marina. Trolling with crankbaits has also worked well on wipers and walleye.

The smallmouth bass are starting to hit at Flaming Gorge. With the fish moving into shallow waters, the best fishing has been with crayfish-colored jigs and crankbaits tossed toward shore and then retrieved.

High flows in the Green River below the Gorge have made fishing difficult.

Lake Powell has been predictable. Fishing for smallmouth has been good off structure in the main channel. Striped bass are starting to become more cooperative as the waters warm and the fish begin to move, while largemouth are being less cooperative.

Look for fishing to remain good for the next few weeks, but expect it to become more difficult as the temperatures warm the water -- which is another familiar pattern to fishermen.