FLAMING GORGE: Fishing varies from slow to good, depending on what species you're targeting.
Kokanee salmon: Kokanee fishing has been a highlight of this spring and the rainy weather only seems to improve angler success. Kokanee in the canyon can reach up to 17 inches and two pounds. Anglers are catching most fish in 10 feet of water or less, but watch the graph because kokanee will go to deeper water when the sun is high and the water warms. Try using a variety of lures, including Cripplures, Needlefish, RMT Viper spoons and dodgers with squids. Pink or orange lures are always a good choice. You may also want to try trolling at speeds of 1.6 to 2.2 mph.
Rainbow trout: Anglers report good to excellent rainbow fishing. Spoons, jigs and crankbaits (along with common trout baits such as worms) are working from shore or a boat. Anglers report seeing small schools cruising the shoreline and good fishing off rocky points, inlets and in the backs of some bays. Some anglers fishing deep for lake trout are catching rainbow trout.
Lake trout: Anglers report good to excellent fishing from boats. Fish can be anywhere, though most are still being taken in deeper waters. If you mark a group, try holding position and drop a vertical presentation, such as a jigging spoon (chartreuse) or 3-inch tube jig (white or orange). Tip your lure with a small chunk of sucker meat and vary jigging activity until you learn the fish's behavior. You could also try trolling through or just above the school, usually 45 to 75 feet deep. Try different crankbaits or brightly colored spoons. Slow, shallow trolls along slopping banks can be an excellent technique in the spring; it's one of the few times regular trolling without specialized deep-water equipment can be used. Deep trolling, right on the bottom, with small, white crankbaits or flatfish is also working well, especially for those going after big fish. Keep your limit of small, tasty lake trout to reduce competition and help both the lake trout and kokanee fisheries.
Smallmouth bass: Anglers report slow fishing. The bass have moved up a little higher in the water, but they are still in deeper waters waiting for the surface water to warm up. Anglers have caught some bass fishing crankbaits and jigs down deep in about 20 feet of water.
Burbot: Reports indicate that fishing is fair to good from boats, with a few anglers catching burbot from the bank. Pick your fishing spots in the late afternoon so you can see your area and where you want to go when it gets dark. Be sure to take lights to find your way back. Boat anglers can start fishing before sunset in 50 to 75 feet of water and move shallower after sunset and as the night progresses. Burbot will hit during the day, generally in deep waters (about 75 feet); however, they become more active during the twilight and evening hours when they move into shallow waters to forage. Some will follow channels or rocky flats and come into waters less than 10 feet deep. Try fishing along the rocky shores, points, cliffs and the old channels. Fish the bottom or just slightly above it. Use something that glows, such as spoons, tube jigs, curly-tailed jigs, minnows and jigging spoons, and tip it with bait (we recommend cut bait like sucker meat or minnows). A worm-and-marshmallow combo placed about three to six inches above the weight has worked recently. Place your lure or bait within inches of the bottom and recharge the glow frequently. It is common to catch a fish immediately after re-glowing and dropping a lure. You'll help the Flaming Gorge fishery by harvesting as many burbot as possible. There is no limit on burbot.