All this rainy, cold weather has done more than leave golf courses empty. It's got fishermen rearranging the tackle box they finished arranging just a week ago and wondering when all those lazy summer days are going to arrive.
Even the fish are confused. They, no doubt, are wondering when the rivers and streams are going to slow down and the reservoirs are going to warm up. The best answer is sometime between now and the first snow storm.The rivers and streams, usually a good choice at this time of the year, are still running high and muddy. In some cases, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has had to divert fish scheduled for planting to calmer waters.
The bugs, now, are into the summer routine. Hatches of stone-flies, may-flies and caddis are going on, which has made dry fly-fishing good on controlled waters. Those, in most cases, are located below dams, where flows can be controlled.
For example, good fishing has been reported at Hunting Creek below Electric Lake and Currant Creek below Currant Creek reservoir, said Byron Gunderson of Fish Tech Outfitters.
Reports from the Green River below Flaming Gorge are that fishing is the best it has been in years. The cicada hatch is on, which is turning the river into a dry-fly heaven. Usually, the cicada pattern is used as a second fly, but this past week it has working well as a single.
The best fly-fishing has been with weighted nymphs, such as the bead-head Prince, size 8 to 10, and a light-tan sow bug in size 14.
For the non-fly-fisherman, spinners and Rapals are working on some sections.
At the reservoirs, the fish - usually headed for deeper waters about this time - are still cruising the warmer shallows and are easy prey for an attractive lure and the talons of an eagle.
Fishermen have yet to enjoy the transition of Strawberry from ice to water, a brief period when fishing can't get any better. As a result, reports are that success has been very spotty but that many of the fish being caught are pushing four pounds or better.
The best fishing as been toward the northern end, the Soldier Creek section. The fish are still in close to shore, in the newly flooded areas, at depths of around 10 feet.
Jordanelle, East Canyon, Rockport, Echo and Deer Creek are still in the spring mode. The recommendation is to fish the inlets and in the shallows, and the best lures are tripe teasers, flatfish and needlefish in colors of red, orange, black, green and silver. And nightcrawlers are always a good bet.
The smallmouth are starting to show up at Jordanelle. Look for structure, such as broken rock, and fish in shallow waters with grubs on lead-headed jigs.
Flaming Gorge has been good for rainbow, smallmouth and kokanee. Again, look for structure in the backs of small bays for smallmouth. Good kokanee fishing has been reported at Anvil Draw, Swim Beach near Lucern, and Sheep Creek Bay by King Fisher Island. The rainbow have been scattered, so pick a likely spot and try both lures and bait.
Scofield remains one of the more reliable spots. Here, too, the fish are staying close to shore as if it were spring instead of summer. Nightcrawlers and Power Bait have worked well. Trolling with pop gear and a worm or a flatfish have also resulted in some nice stringers of fish. Fly-fishermen are doing well with brown leach, peacock and sow bug patterns.
The water at Otter Creek has cleared and fishing has improved. Most of the fish have been smaller catchables. A lot of fish were planted there last year, which would account for some of the stunting. The catch rate is slower, but the fish have been larger at neighboring Piute.
Fish Lake is, as one fisherman said, "as good as it gets right now." Trollers have routinely had two fish on at a time. They've been doing well trolling pop gear at depths of between 18 and 20 feet.
Some of the lower level lakes in the Uintas are starting to lose ice. As with other waters, right after ice-off is a good time to fish. The secret is to fish near inlets with spinners, jigs and night-crawlers.
"Until the weather changes, I'd suggest people stay with the spring fishing techniques. People are doing well and catching a lot of fish," added Gunderson.