FLAMING GORGE: Lake elevation: 6,034 feet and increasing
Water temperature: about 70°F in the Canyon or Utah region
Kokanee Salmon: fair to good fishing. The reservoir has risen 10 feet this summer and water temperatures have now climbed to 70F. Kokanee have begun to move down in the water column, preferring deeper, cooler water. The early morning bite is most consistent, but some anglers have done well later in the day along the shade of the main channel. Most of the fish caught this week came from 45-80 feet and 1.6-2.0 mph, but watch your fish finder and adjust your lure depth to where you're marking fish. If you're not marking fish, move to another spot. Spoons (#2-3 Needlefish, Vipers), squids (pink, orange, green), and dodgers (silver, pink, green) have been working best. Try dropping deeper and using larger dodgers/squids or spoons to reduce catching smaller kokanee which are more abundant this year. Also, tip lures with Gulp maggots, meal worms, or corn.
Lake Trout: fair to good fishing. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout (pups) while trolling for kokanee salmon or jigging in 50-80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. Fish may be located suspended above the bottom using a fish finder. Troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows, and #3 Needlefish to target aggressive pups. Vertically jig a white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot), tipped with sucker/chub meat. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work really well.
Rainbow Trout: fair fishing. Cutthroat Trout may also be caught incidentally. Now that the water temperatures are high, fish during the cooler part of the day, especially early in the morning. Fish are also occupying deeper, cooler water so adjust accordingly. If fishing from a boat, try casting jigs near creek inlets and shallow points, or trolling pop gear at 20-30 feet deep along the shoreline. If fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some, and slowly retrieve with occasional jigging strokes. Marabou jigs in earth tone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. When you catch one, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs for quick release.
Smallmouth Bass: good fishing. Top water fishing can be very entertaining this time of year, especially early and late in the day. Try poppers like Rebel PopRs in silver or rainbow trout colors. Jigs mimicking crayfish (earth tone colors), their primary forage, are the best option. Try fishing depths greater than 20 feet for bigger fish.
Burbot: slow fishing. Few reports. Boaters should target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 30-40 feet of water. The best activity will be found at night using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs, and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker/chub meat, recharge glow frequently, and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom.