Utah Fishing Info - Exclusive Flaming Gorge Lake Trout Fishing Report Archive


Flaming Gorge Lake Trout
A HUGE Flaming Gorge Lake Trout caught by an angler with Capt. Jim Williams.

November 2, 2007 - The lake trout spawn is now in full swing. The snaggers are out, law enforcement isn't, and it's combat fishing in Linwood Bay. And yes, lake trout are biting lures, with their mouths, if you fish for them in a sporting manner.

This is an exclusive fishing report provided to Utah Fishing Info courtesy of Capt. Jim Williams, Creative Fishing Adventures, www.Fishflaminggorge.com. Jim is an expert guide for Lake Trout fishing at Utah's famous Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

--- Previous Reports ---

September 24, 2007 - The bigger lake trout are finally getting tougher, but we''ve still been getting a fish or two over 20 pounds on the days we try. Some days, we've just been fishing for the smaller, 2-8 pound fish, and they're really going nuts! Can't keep 'em off! For the bigger fish, you just have to grind it out for a few bites each morning, and be ready to execute when the random bite comes. And, today we had our first snow of the season. Summer is officially over until Mid-June. The pre-spawn fishing begins . . .


September 8, 2007 - The beat goes on! Big fish still biting. Small fish going nuts if you target them. All are stacked like cord wood. Crowds are gone. Water is already cooling to high 60's. "No sweat" mid-day warmth. Sign me up! (Still have a few openings this month).


August 28, 2007 - OK, its been the best month of the year. August baby! Warm, little wind, lots of fish, lots of big fish, . . . Just the way we'd order it! The past two weeks, especially, have been nothing short of fantastic. What an end to summer.


August 14, 2007 - Well, I can't complain. Fishing's actually as good as its been all season. Lots of 10-20 pound fish, steady hits most every morning, and just enough big ones to keep things interesting. How long will it last? Who knows, but we're enjoying it while they're biting. I even caught a 36 pounder last week on a guide's day off!


July 30, 2007 - July is nearly gone, and I'm singing the same old tune I've been singing most of the season. We're catching fish nearly every day out, and catching a few good-sized ones most days, but it's nothing to write home about compared to seasons past. July has turned out more productive than June, however! Most of the fish we've been getting are in the 15-25 pound range, with an occasional lunker like last week's 38 pounder. The fish are tough, but catchable every day if you have the proper form and focus to capitalize on your bites. I went out alone (Guide's day off!) one day last week and again today, and caught fish over 20 pounds both days, and also several in the 12-20 pound range both days. So, we're fishing hard and getting results, but its not spectacular. Of course, most of the season hasn't been "spectacular." This is the "new" Flaming Gorge. Work hard for a few big fish.


July 17, 2007 - Well, I guess I'm getting used to the tougher fishing this year, so I'd have to say the past week has been "OK." We've had a couple of next-to-nothing days, and some that were downright entertaining and successful. It's still very inconsistent from day to day, but the numbers of bites and fish caught seems to be a bit better than most of June was, and the sizes of the fish we're catching are still predominantly over 20 pounds. Last week, we caught 4 over 30 in 3 days. Yesterday and today were the best days I've had in a while for numbers of bites. Still not a lot of numbers, but the one's we're getting are worth the effort. So . . .It's fishing, we're catching, but nothing world-class. It mostly depends on how many fish the customer can get a hook into, and then keep the hook in!


June 5, 2007 - Tough, tough, tough. Things have slowed even further the past couple of weeks, and I can say with certainty that this is the toughest May/early June I've ever seen on the Gorge. I've been fishing here for over 25 years, and full-time for the past 17. We're still catching a fish or two here and there, but for the most part, the lake trout are thumbing their noses at every lure we drop, and running from anything dropped anywhere near them. They have plenty to eat, have been caught and released over and over, and have no reason to eat anything made of plastic, fur, or feathers with a hook in it. We're working extremely hard and fishing very long for every bite.


May 23, 2007 - Well, it's been an up and down month of May so far. A few red hot days, a few really tough days, and a whole lot of mediocre days. Overall, tougher than most years, despite mostly favorable (calm!) fishing conditions. We have been catching some dandies lately, and the small fish are staying away. However, the fish seem moodier than ever, and "bite windows" are short most days. Lots of fish looking at the jigs, lots of fish running away from them, laughing all the way!


May 2, 2007 - A week of unseasonable calm, warm weather has made for great fishing conditions on Flaming Gorge, all of which will come to an end with tomorrow's COLD front! This week we've been catching a few lake trout from 18 to 28 pounds daily. The lake trout are moving around at depths from 40 to 100 feet, and are not stacked up anywhere, so lots of boat running has been necessary. There's really no pattern yet. Just look around a lot, make lots of drops, and catch 'em up! They're scattered everywhere.

Lots of spawning rainbows are still invading the shorelines around the boat ramps, especially Antelope Flat and Lucerne . They return to where they were stocked, and are being caught on bait and flies of all types. Most are 14-20 inches, and are literally a few feet from shore, and easily visible. Kokanee fishermen are reporting mixed results, but that should dramatically improve shortly. No bass reports yet.


November 27, 2006- The lake trout at Flaming Gorge are now leaving the spawning beds in Linwood Bay , though some fish do still remain on and around the rock piles. The bite on the beds is a little slow, and mostly smaller fish, though some big ones remain there. Off the beds, fish are traveling up the lake. They don't seem to be making very many stops along the way, and are not staying in any location very long when they do stop. Fishing pressure has been very heavy compared with normal November pressure, and that is also keeping fish on the move. When we've been finding fish away from Linwood in isolated and scattered locations, they're biting briefly during the morning hours. We get a few bites, and the fish move on. We caught some from 20-28 pounds last week, but not in good numbers. Finding fish outside of Linwood is difficult now. Water temperature is around 46 degrees on the surface. The air won't be that warm again until March! This week's forecast is for lows around zero, and highs in the teens and 20's.


October 16, 2006- It's getting close to lake trout spawning time on Flaming Gorge, and the fishing has become more inconsistent because spawning time is only days or weeks away. Some days, like today, have been great for the smaller macks. Some, like yesterday, only result in a few hooked fish all day. That's pre-spawn fishing, feast or famine. The fish have all the spawning humps surrounded, and are just waiting for the 55-degree water to cool a bit more before moving up into 40-60 feet of water to do their thing. There will be some great bite windows, and some times where you haven't got a prayer, all on the whims of the fish and Mother Nature. It’s just that time. As the fish actually begin to spawn on the rock piles, there’s some very good action to be had, but again it’s sporadic. The rock piles are also more difficult to jig-fish because the cracks between the rocks love to eat up jigs. Brings lots of them if you plan to fish the tops of the humps. Also, Linwood Bay is now closed from 6pm to 7am to protect spawning lake trout from the low-life, treble-hook-jerking snaggers.


September 14, 2006- Fall is definitely in the air, and the fish know it. As the first significant cold front blows in today, (and it’s a blowin!) I can report that fishing has been very good for small and mid-sized lake trout on Flaming Gorge. The fish are in full pre-spawn mode now, filling Linwood bay to near capacity. The bay is stacked with fish from 70-100 feet deep for a mile. Fish also remain in many other areas of the lake in 60-90 feet of water. Fish a 4-inch tube jig on the bottom in Linwood, or on any steep, rocky point where you mark fish for lots of 2-8 pounders, with an occasional larger one thrown in. This pattern will hold through October. Then, the fish in Linwood will move up onto spawning humps in 50-70 feet of water to "do their thing." The fish scattered in other areas will either spawn where they are, or move shallower to eat eggs and anything else they can find in the cooler waters. Right now is the fastest fishing of the season, but the larger fish really aren't too interested in "fake food," and only bite sporadically.


August 21, 2006- OK, its supposed to be getting tougher to catch the larger lake trout at Flaming Gorge right now, but if anything, it's gotten easier in the past week! We're still getting fish in the high teens every day, and 20+ pounders more days than not. The smaller fish are hitting great, but I haven't spent much time going after them with the bigger fish still eating. There are tons of fish, literally, in Linwood Bay, and still some smaller groups at Antelope Flat and Swim Beach. I haven’t ventured anywhere else on the lake in the past few weeks—haven’t had to! So far, this has been the best August I've seen in well over a decade. Lots of bites all morning, great weather, not much fishing pressure, and nice fish every day. Heck, its perfect! How much longer will it stay "ON"? Who knows this year? Stay tuned!

For you Kokanee fishermen, remember that fishing season closes for them September 10. Now’s your last chance to get some for the grill. They’re reported to be stacked on the spawning cliffs of north Swim Beach, Anvil Draw, Squaw Hollow, and Sheep Creek Bay. Jig fishermen are doing the best. With the recent 'cooler' weather and a few-degree drop in water temps., the smallmouth bass fishing has also been reported to be picking up. The larger, 12-16 inch fish are being caught in 15-20 feet of water with small jigs and soft-plastic baits.


August 7, 2006- The big heat-wave of late July has subsided into very comfortable temperatures in the 70's and 80's, and the lake trout are biting great. We’re catching some big ones, some mediums, and lots of 2-8 pounders. August is traditionally a transition month with a variety of fishing days, and that's just how it is: Lots of bites from fish of all sizes every morning. There are LOADS of fish of all sizes pouring into Linwood Bay, but other regular areas like Antelope Flat, Swim Beach, and canyon areas are holding both big and small fish in smaller groups. We're still fishing at depths of 60-100 feet, and the morning bite is by-far the best. Afternoons have been tough with wind, some lightning, and fish that really aren’t interested in being bothered. There’s still plenty of good mornings to go out and target a big fish, and catch some average ones in the process.


July 20, 2006- Lake trout fishing at Flaming Gorge has remained fairly steady the past few weeks, a continuation of the great June fishing. Plenty of larger fish are being caught, including a recent 40-pounder, plus more and more of the smaller fish now showing up in the depths with the big ones. This is the start of "transition time", when the larger fish become more difficult, and the smaller fish become very easy. The big fish bite isn’t over, however. Now is the time to fish hard for a monster with large jigs, or fish for smaller 2-8 lb. fish, which can be caught by the dozens! Weather is scorching hot, with little to no rain recently. Fish early and late for comfortable conditions. The next month is the best, and really last, prime period to target larger lake trout with reasonable expectations. After Labor Day, they just show up here and there, at best. Fish are beginning to show up in Linwood Bay in large numbers, and that will just continue for the next month. There’s still some nice stacks of large fish at Antelope Flat and Swim Beach as well. For the smaller fish, hit the canyon or the Wyoming side north of Anvil Draw.


June 29, 2006- It has been a fantastic second-half of June for lake trout fishing on Flaming Gorge! Great weather, little to no wind, rain, or lightning, lots of big fish, and . . .well . . .what else could we ask for? Some 40-pounders, you say? Sure, how about a couple of 'em we got last week! Most of our catches are in the 20's, but we’re getting 30's every week so far, and a couple of bruisers just to let us know they're down there. I still expect lots of big fish in the coming months of summer. It really hasn't been a "numbers" year for the most part, with a few exceptions, but the average size of what we're catching is as high as ever. Fewer fish caught, but bigger fish caught. Put in the time, and a big fatty is waiting for a perfect lure presentation.


June 9, 2006- Lake trout fishing at Flaming Gorge is on! Fishing has picked up considerably with hot weather and warming water temperatures following the Memorial Day storm. The fish are well-grouped on the deeper humps in most areas of the lake, and they’re actually biting the jigs very well! From the canyon up to Squaw Hollow, the fish are loading up on the submerged humps. Location isn’t important. We’re catching more fish over 20 pounds than under, and bites are coming at a quick pace from mid-morning through early afternoon. The most recent weather pattern is bringing clear, calm mornings followed by cloudy and breezy/windy afternoons with an occasional T-shower. Jig fishing should remain consistent for the next couple of months whenever calm conditions allow for good boat control and precise jig presentations. Use tube jigs, marabous, swim baits, or whatever you’re comfortable with. They’re less picky now than all season, so far. Summer is here, and the fishin’ is easy! Well, easy by Gorge standards.

Kokanee fishermen are reporting great catches of fish topping out at around 4 pounds. I’ve heard reports of as many as 40 hook-ups in a day, though that’s from experienced trollers. Nonetheless, the bite seems to be on for most. The warming water has brought the smallmouth bass into shore as well. It’s a great month to be doing any kind of fishing on the Gorge.


May 25, 2006- Now the weather feels like Spring, and lake trout fishing feels like Spring! The past two weeks have been what Flaming Gorge is all about--big fish. Not lots of fish, mind you, but most of what we're catching is over 20 lbs., and fish over 30 are showing up in my boat at a rate of several per week. Today's 39-pounder was a nice surprise! The fish aren't really "on" the bite (Of course, they NEVER ARE), but highly focused fishermen in calm water will get numerous opportunities each morning to hook and land quality fish. Quality, not quantity.

The lake trout are also beginning to stack up in their usual May-June haunts, and it's now easy to find fish to drop a jig into. Most of the deeper humps at Stateline (Swim Beach), Antelope Flat, and Anvil Draw are now holding groups of fish. There are also lots of singles and pairs cruising around in 40 to 60 feet of water in those same areas. Trolling will work on the fish that are spread out, and jigging in calm water is the way to go on the groups. The tried and true tube jig is still hard to beat, though jig choice is not nearly as important as a focused presentation. If they want to eat, they'll eat nearly any jig presented "right." If they're moody, move to the next group.

The stable, warm weather for the past two weeks is mostly to blame for the improving conditions and frequency of large fish. The next few days don't sound too nice, with wind and cold on the way . . . just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Fortunately, spring weather usually rebounds quickly. The next three months offer the best lake trout fishing of the season. The weather will usually be warm, and mornings are usually calm. Catch 'em, and let 'em go for the next guy or yourself on the next trip. 15 to 40-year-old fish are too old to kill, and they'll keep getting bigger!