Home Utah Fishing Report Boulder Mountain Fishing Report Displaying items by tag: fishing
Displaying items by tag: fishing
Friday, 20 April 2012 04:03

Fishing Scofield Reservoir At Ice-Off

(Note: This article was provided by Utah's DWR)

Great shore fishing should start soon

Scofield -- Scofield Reservoir is on the verge of losing its ice cap.  And that means some fantastic trout fishing is about to begin.

If the weather stays warm, wildlife officers expect a ring of open water to appear near the shoreline by April 20.

One of Utah’s best trout fishing waters, Scofield Reservoir is just north of the town of Scofield in central Utah.  The reservoir is only an hour’s drive from Provo.  From Salt Lake City, you can reach the reservoir in about 90 minutes.

Stand on the shore; catch lots of fish

Fishing at Scofield is usually best just after the ice leaves the reservoir.  That's when hungry trout, trapped under an ice sheet all winter long, finally gain access to food that’s on or near the water's surface.

Access to food and a surging metabolism create a feeding frenzy of sorts among the fish.  Insects aren't active until later in the spring, so it’s easier to entice trout using nightcrawlers and commercial baits, such as salmon eggs.

As the ice comes off, trout can be caught using just about any kind of tackle.  A "Barbie" rod and reel, with a worm on a hook, is about as sophisticated as you need to get!

From ice off until June, the water temperature near the bank remains cool enough for trout to school close to shore.  That makes spring the perfect time to catch trout from the shore at Scofield.

Baits, lures and flies

Three types of trout—rainbow, cutthroat and tiger—live in Scofield.

If you’re after rainbow trout, nightcrawlers, PowerBait on cheese hooks and salmon eggs are great baits to try.

Tiger trout and cutthroat trout are more predatory than rainbows, so they’re often looking for something different than cheese bait or worms.

Spinners and lures will often stimulate a tiger or cutthroat trout to strike.  Jake's Spin-A-Lures, Kastmasters, Mepps, Roostertails and Panther Martins are among the best spinners to use at Scofield.

A minnow- or trout-imitating Rapala, in sizes 5 or 7, is also a good choice for both cutthroat and tiger trout.

The best artificial fly pattern to use in the spring at Scofield is a brown or green sparkle leech in sizes 6 to 10.

Natural baits

As far as natural baits go, Utah chubs are an excellent bait to use at Scofield in the spring.  Chubs are found in abundance in the reservoir.

You can catch chubs in a minnow trap, and then put them on your hook.  But before you can place them on your hook, please remember that the chubs must be dead.

You can fish chubs whole, or you can chop them into chunks that will be easier for the trout to bite.

A sac of trout eggs is another bait that will grab the attention of trout in Scofield in the spring.   You can harvest eggs from a female trout, and then bundle the eggs together inside a nylon mesh bag that’s about the size of a marble.  Hide a hook inside the sac, and then cast it out for the trout to bite.

Please remember, however, that if you take eggs from a trout, the trout you took the eggs from must be counted as part of your trout limit.  It’s illegal to "squeeze" a fish for eggs and then release her.  The trout will die if you do.

DWR Sergeant Stacey Jones says more and more cutthroat trout between 15 and 22 inches long, and ripe with eggs, are being seen in Scofield.  Please remember that you may not keep these fish.  And you may not strip or “squeeze” them for eggs either.

If you catch a cutthroat trout that’s between 15 and 22 inches long, you must release it immediately.

“You may not harvest eggs from cutthroats that are between 15 and 22 inches long,” Jones says, “and then release the fish.  It’s illegal to keep these fish or strip them of their eggs.”

Utah's DWR just did a fish survey on the Green River and found "clouds of midges and lots of trout." Overall, they found the fishery is in good shape.

The Salt Lake Tribune's Brett Prettyman his this article describing the survey. It is illustrated by a video shot last fall when the DWR conducted a similar survey. We've embedded the video below.

Read Brett's article.

Published in Utah Fishing Report

Smallmouth and largemouth fishing is now very good at Lake Powell when the water warms between storm fronts. Bass are looking for nesting sites and spawning is expected as early as next week. Anglers cruise shorelines looking for big fish and then cast to them - for exciting sight-fishing action. Wayne Gustaveson expects very good action to continue into May. Here's a quote:


The good news about early warming and small runoff is that sight fishing for cruising and nesting bass may be prolonged into May. Bass nests made this week may still be visible and only a foot or two deeper during May. Bass fishing will be good enough that all anglers will be successful. So remember to release largemouth bass and male smallmouth bass that are guarding nests. It is fine to keep smallmouth bass 12 inches and smaller.


Stripers are so fat, they are not expected to make their normal spring move in large numbers toward the dam. They can be caught in the backs of canyons and along the side of the main channel.


Read Wayne's full fishing report.


The warm spring has seasonal changes occurring a week or two earlier than normal. To hit the best fishing, I'm moving my Powell trip to the last week of April. I still have room in the boat if anyone is interested.


- Dave Webb

Published in Utah Fishing Report
Friday, 13 April 2012 16:13

Fishing Strawberry At Ice Off

(This article was provided by Utah's DWR)


Trout fishing can be hot as the ice comes off


Heber City -- One of the country’s best trout fishing waters could be ice free within the next week or two.


Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says many of the shoreline areas at Strawberry Reservoir have open water. On April 12, the open water

extended at least 100 yards from the shore to the edge of the ice. He says anglers who have been fishing in the open water over the past two weeks have reported mostly good success.


“Two anglers in float tubes caught and released more than 30 trout by casting black marabou jigs to the edge of the ice,” Root says. “Placing the jigs where they did enticed trout that were lurking

under the edge of the ice.”


Root says another angler reported catching a 7-pound cutthroat trout. “Though some anglers have reported slow to fair success,” he says, “most anglers have been very pleased with their success rates.”


To catch trout at Strawberry over the next couple of weeks, Root says you should cast white tube jigs or other lures that imitate a minnow. “Several anglers are using their float tubes and kick boats to get

closer to the edge of the ice,” he says. “Most of those anglers are using wooly bugger fly patterns or leech patterns.”


Root says anglers who are fishing from the shore with bait are also finding some success. “If you’re not having success,” he says, “try a different technique or location.”


Strawberry Reservoir is just off U.S. Highway 40, about 25 miles southeast of Heber City.


Special rules


As you visit Strawberry over the next few weeks, please remember that the following rules are in place to keep plenty of cutthroat trout in the reservoir:


● You can have four trout and kokanee salmon in your daily limit. But not more than two of those fish can be cutthroat trout under 15 inches long. And not more than one of the fish can be a cutthroat over

22 inches in length.


● All cutthroat trout from 15 to 22 inches long must be released immediately.


● Trout and salmon cannot be filleted, and their heads or tails cannot be removed in the field or while transporting the fish from the field to other locations.


More information


More information about the fishing regulations at Strawberry is available on page 31 of the 2012 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.


Also, a Web page at the DWR’s website – www.wildlife.utah.gov/strawberry -- is filled with information about fishing at Strawberry.


One of the items you’ll find on the Web page is a brochure that has photos and illustrations that will help you tell the difference between the rainbow trout and Bear Lake cutthroat trout that are in the



You can get the latest fishing report for Strawberry at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.


If you have questions about fishing at Strawberry, call the DWR’s Strawberry Reservoir field office at (435) 649-9368 or its Central Region office at (801) 491-5678.

Published in Fishing Tips
Thursday, 12 April 2012 18:59

Boulder Mountain Fishing Report

A reader just sent in this question:
"I was just on your website trying to plan a fishing trip to Boulder Mountain. I just moved to Tropic and my Dad and I want to do some serious fishing this summer. If I could afford a guided trip I would, but as I stand now, have no way of doing so. So i was wondering if you could give me a few pointers to get me started. We want to go to a a few more remote lakes up there, but aren't sure which would be worth our time. We obviously would prefer to catch big fish, but anywhere that can give us some action will do. Hiking distance is not an issue and we have 4x4s also, so anywhere we can get to, we want to try. Also, we are not really into fly fishing, though i wish we were, ive done it a few times and had a blast but have never found the time to teach myself. That being said, I talked to a guy up North that said fishing with a spinner fly, or a jig would work just as good. Is that true, or is this all just a lost cause? Thanks for taking the time to read this, hope to hear from you soon!"
Here's our projections for Boulder early this season:
Spinners and jigs work very well in the lakes on Boulder Mountain – sometimes they are easier to use and more successful than flies.
The mountain is very rough – some roads can be difficult even when you are in a high clearance 4X4. Road conditions change from year to year. Probably, all lakes on the mountain will be accessible in early June this year.
Everyone asks where to find the big fish. In general, if a lake has fast fishing it does not have big fish. In lakes with fewer fish, there is not as much competition and so fish grow larger. But that means you have to be willing to work hard to catch fish.
Blind Lake is the biggest lake on the mountain and it probably has the biggest fish. You have to hike a short ways to reach it, but the lake still gets considerable pressure.
The fish populations vary from year to year. Your best bet is to choose an area where there are several lakes. Drive in and make a base camp and then explore. Also, talk to the locals to get current information. I don’t get to all of the lakes every year and so my info is old.
In past years, the Round, Donkey and Solitaire combination has been good. So has the Blind, Fish Creek, Pear and Honeymoon. Nearby, a small lake named Beaver Dam has often held nice fish.
Let me know how you do. If we share information we will all enjoy better fishing.
- Dave Webb
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 16:28

Ice Is Coming Off Strawberry Right Now

The ice is pulling back right now at Strawberry Reservoir. With these warm temperatures it is coming off fast, and earlier than normal. There is already considerable open water, especially on the Soldier Creek side. It is impossible to predict how long it will take for the entire lake to open up. A warm storm coming in tomorrow may speed up the thaw. My best guess is there will be ice through this weekend, and the lake will be totally ice free sometime next week.

Many anglers anxiously awaite this time of year and try to fish when they can work baits and lures along the edge of the ice as it pulls back from shore. Action can be fast if you get in the right spot at the right time. But the fish can be finicky and success can be slow if you don't find the right spot.

Don Allphin has this article about fishing Strawberry at ice-off. It offers good tips and strategies. Here's one quote:

"Black marabou 1/4-ounce jigs are great lures to use during the ice-off period. At times, there might be a lot of open water in the main lake areas, but if you were to hike into some small, protected bays you may discover that the ice is just beginning to recede. Whenever possible, cast your jig onto the ice and then carefully bring it to the edge and let it drop in the water. This is a great way to manufacture a strike."

Published in Utah Fishing Report
Friday, 06 April 2012 16:21

Utah Fishing Report - Early April

Ice is now pulling back at Scofield. Ice-off fishing should be good there this weekend and early next week.


Strawberry ice-off may start later next week, still too early to know for sure. Watch for updates.


Many streams are now running high and a little muddy, but are still fishable. The best stream fishing now will be on protected stretches below dams:

Green River

Provo below Jordanelle and below Deer Creek

Weber between the dams

Ogden below Pineview

Huntington below Electric Lake


Lake Powell is now heating up for stripers, smallmouth, largemouth and other species. Peak spring action will probably occur late April and early May. I'm planning to head down the fist weekend in May. I still have room in the boat if anyone ways to come.


Flaming Gorge and many small reservoirs now offer good trout fishing.


I fished the stream below Joes Valley yesterday and did well using nymphs, catching small browns and cutts. The water was very low, very clear and very cold. Not much insect action.


We had planed to fish Joes from my little inflatable boat, but the wind was strong and gusty and we didn't dare launch.

Published in Utah Fishing Report
Monday, 26 March 2012 04:40

Utah Fishing Report - Spring

Spring weather is bring improved fishing to Utah.


Deer Creek Reservoir has open water and good fishing. Boat ramps are open.


Rockport has still had ice but that should be pulling back or be gone about now.


Strawberry has some fishable open water in front of the Ladders, but ice is still solid over most of the lake. It will still be a few weeks before it will start to pull back.


Lake Powell bass and striped bass are becoming more active and fishing is picking up. Action will be very good in April. Strangely, several rainbow trout have been caught recently in Lake Powell. Read the fishing report here for details.


Streams are running high and many have a little color, but are very fishable. Every day I go on a walk along Hobble Creek, near by home, and watch the trout. They are definitely becoming more active - I'm seeing more fish lurking in feeding lanes.


Yesterday I fished Sixth Water, which is a tributary to Diamond Fork. We hiked into the rugged canyon above the confluence of Sixth Water and Fifth Water, into an area that sees few fishermen. We did well for smaller trout, most about 12 inches long. Our biggest was a 16-inch brown. We caught browns, cutts and one rainbow.


The stream was flowing fast and it was hard to get deep enough to reach the fish. The water was a little muddy but not bad. I fished a Gulp Minnow on a colored jig head and had pretty consistent fishing. My companions fished worms along the bottom and caught more than I did.

Published in Utah Fishing Report

Wayne Gustaveson predicts this will be the year of the Big Fish at Lake Powell.

The photo at right shows a 28 pounder caught by Rich Cromwell Halls Creek Bay. Wayne gives this account:

 "A bass angler was bouncing tube jigs on the bottom at 40 feet near the Halls boat ramp when a 28-pound striper inhaled the bait.  He landed the trophy and now leads the parade with the largest striper caught this year.  This fish is larger than the 5-10 pound fish that are being caught in the southern lake.  There will be many more “big fish,”  5 pounds and better, caught as spring progresses."

Wayne is the DWR biologist heading the fishing program at Lake Powell. He writes a weekly fishing report giving excellent, timely tips for catching all species at Powell. 

See Wayne's report here.

Published in Utah Fishing Report
Sunday, 19 February 2012 04:26

Spring-Like Conditions On Utah Streams

I heave a rule: when the weather is nice then go fishing. Today it was and so I did.


It was a delightful day and I had great fun fishing, event thought action was a bit slow. The air temperature was warm, the sunshine felt very nice and it was very nice to get out.


I choose to fish Diamond Fork, which is just minutes from my home. The level was low and the water was crystal clear. Before starting to fish I walked to the middle of a bridge to survey the water. As I paused, I saw a nice fish scurry for cover. The fish was about 50 feet away, and I had walked softly, yet it sensed my presence and disappeared into overhanging brush.


When I saw that I knew it would be a hard to catch the skittish fish. It is almost impossible to sneak up on them, and very difficult to fool them when they know you are around.


I saw a few midge flying above the stream but no bugs on the water and no fish rising. I considered fishing small nymphs along the bottom but finally elected to try some minnow imitations. I had several fish bump my hook but they failed to hang on. The fish were lethargic and strikes were soft.


My nephew, Kevin, fished worms slowly along the bottom. He used enough weight to keep his offering bumping the bottom in the deeper holes. He reported several light bites and he managed to hook and land a few browns and one cutthroat. He said the fish took the bait so softly you could not feel the strike. He kept his line tight and watched it carefully. If the line stopped or moved funny, he lifted it up and sometimes felt the weight of a fish.


The stream was accessible with little snow of ice. It felt like late March, not mid-February. A cold storm is expected tomorrow but I suspect unseasonably warm weather will return quickly. I suspect we are on the front edge an early spring. Conditions will probably be even better within a couple weeks, and I suspect at that time we will start seeing decent bug action. I'll looking forward to an early spring.


It was nice to get out, nice to find that my waders still fit.


- Dave Webb

Published in Utah Fishing Report
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