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Flaming Gorge could be the best spot in Utah for fall fishing

Photo courtesy of Flaming Gorge

Just because the weather is cooler and swimsuits are tucked away in drawers doesn’t mean all water activities have to hibernate for the winter. Experienced anglers know that the change of seasons only means fishing is getting better.

In Utah, there are countless places to cast your line in the water, but some spots consistently produce monster fish. With 11 state fishing records and two former world records, Flaming Gorge Reservoir has earned its status as a world renowned trophy fishery.

If you’re looking to catch brown trout, channel catfish, kokanee salmon and more, follow this guide for tips on catching fish in Flaming Gorge.

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Located on the Green River as it makes it way through the Uinta mountain range, Flaming Gorge Reservoir stretches and impressive 91-miles in length.

Fall could be the best season of the year for lake trout. Cooling water means the fish can leave the deep and head to shallower areas where they are more accessible to fisherman. Instead of trolling with downriggers or deep jigging, late fall lake trout can sometimes be casting lures and jigs on light tackle close to shore.

Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam

The Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam provides blue-ribbon fishing for brown and rainbow trout. Regulations require artificial flies and lures which restrict harvest thereby preserving populations and providing plenty of large fish, Utah.com said.

If you are looking for the best fly-fishing in the state, the “A” section of the Green River is where it’s at, The Outbound said.

Visitors can locate this section of the Green River, beneath the Flaming Gorge dam, from the dam to Little Hole. (Parking and trail access exists from both ends.)

“If you plan on launching a boat, it’s easy to setup a shuttle in Dutch John. For those on foot, a trail runs the entire seven-mile length of the ‘A,’ and is a great way to literally get your feet wet if you don’t want the extra hassle of renting (or owning) a boat,” The Outbound said.

Photo courtesy of Flaming Gorge

Hit the fall hot-spots

To catch the fish, you have to go where the fish are. Seem simple enough, right? Fall water temperatures affect where fish decide to congregate.

“Fishing picks up again in the fall, and some areas like Jarvies Canyon, Carter Creek, Sheep Creek, Linwood Bay, Squaw Hollow, Big Bend, Halfway Hollow and Firehole, may provide their best rainbow fishing of the year,” Utah Fishing Info said.

Holmes Crossing and Anvil Draw are also “alive with action” during late fishing season and worth a stop.

“Linwood Bay, located on the Utah side of the Lake Flaming Gorge near Lucerne Marina, is always a hot spot to catch the big ones,” Tour Wyoming said.

Check out the Flaming Gorge Angler’s Guide or Fishing Report for more detailed information to make the catch.

Cast deep

If lake trout is what you are after, be prepared to go deep in early fall.

“Most fish will be deeper so try looking for fish in 70-100 feet of water near main channel points and ridges,” Flaming Gorge Country said.

Above this depth, you will be more likely to catch rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, or even burbot.

Fish the canyons and channels

Anglers looking to catch smallmouth bass will find success fishing the canyons, Flaming Gorge Country reports. Larger smallmouths will move up and down in the water column as fall weather causes water temperatures to fluctuate.

Photo courtesy of Flaming Gorge

Tributaries of the Green River feed into the 91-mile reservoir, and it’s along these channels that anglers can discover the populations of lake trout they seek, KSL said.

Fishing near Buckboard Marina up to the confluence with the Black’s Fork River is a great spot, as is the area around Sheep Creek Bay.

Head to spawning areas

Mid October, anglers can find lake trout gathering close to spawning areas and can be lake caught trolling or jigging.

“Flaming Gorge offers some of the biggest lake trout in the world; a few 40-60 pounders are caught there every fall,“ Red Rock Adventure said.

Concentrations of mature kokanee salmon can also be found adjacent to spawning areas such as Sheep Creek, Wildhorse, Squaw Hollow, and Anvil Draw.

This fall, leverage some of the best fishing of the year at Flaming Gorge Country, America’s most scenic trophy trout destination.