The recommendation to fishermen these days is go high to stay cool. Which simply means that summer has finally hit fishing.
Boaters are doing well on some of the lower elevation reservoirs because they can get out and down to where the fish are. Shore fishermen are having to fish mornings and late evenings to catch the fish when they're in shallow.So, as is usually the case, the migration is to the higher, cooler waters in places like the Unita and Bounder mountains.
Because of the late thaw, some of the lakes in the high country are just now opening up. And because of the holdover ice, there have been reports of heavy winter kill in some higher lakes. Fishermen have reported seeing dead fish on shorelines and of not catching fish where they've always caught fish before.
Still, fishing is currently being rated as excellent in both areas.
Streams are another good bet. Because of the late thaw, streams have been running unusually high and muddy up until a few weeks ago, which made them almost unfishable. The levels have now dropped and the waters have cleared. Good fishing has been reported on the upper Provo and Weber rivers, along with all of the South Slope of the Unita streams, the Duchesne, Rock Creek and Current Creek.
Tom Pettingill, sport fisheries coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said planting truck are running a little behind schedule for some of the higher streams and lakes but should be back on schedule soon.
The insect hatches are also back on schedule, so dry flies on some of the higher streams are working well. Some of the popular patterns include the elk hair caddis and attractors, such as the Humpy and pale morning dun, says Steve Densley of Angler's Inn in Sandy.
Some of the higher-elevation lakes such as Smith and Morehouse and Mill Hollow are also good, especially in the early and late afternoon hours.
Strawberry continues to be tough this year. Some fishermen have done well, while others, equally as experienced, have returned home after a day on the water without so much as a bite.
It's still a good place, said Densley, "If you don't mind spending the time because you can pick up some big fish when you do get into them."
Places like Deer Creek, East Canyon and Jordanelle are starting to slow down for shore fishermen.
Anglers are picking up a few smallmouth bass at both Deer Creek and Jordnelle. Small three-inch grubs and crank bait have been working well.
Another popular area that has been spotty lately is the Green River below Flaming Gorge. Some fishermen, in fact, have traded the running waters for the still waters of the Gorge.
Pettingill said fishermen have been doing well there, especially for kokanee.
"Earlier, when the waters were cooler, they were picking up kokanee on the surface," he said. "Now they using lead-core line and downriggers to get deeper, where the cooler water is."
Fishermen have been reporting "boils" of striped bass surfacing at Lake Powell in recent weeks. Wayne Gustaveson, lake biologist for the DWR, said the best fishing for the larger fish has been between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in water 60 to 100 feet deep. Smallmouth fishing has also been good on pinnacle-type island structure in the main channel and along steep walls with ledges 20 to 30 feet down.
Bear Lake has been good for cutthroat. Boat fishermen have been doing well trolling Rapalas, crank baits and spoons in water 40 to 60 feet deep. Some lake trout are being caught on Rapalas and flatfish trolled near the bottom.
Red Fleet Reservoir in the northeastern part of the state has been good for small rainbow and largemouth. But the best fishing has been for bluegill. This is an excellent place for youngsters. The bluegill move into the shallows and flooded vegetation mid-morning. Try a piece of nightcrawler or small jig under a bubble. The fish generally school around brush, so the technique is to cast into open areas near the brush.
Because of the wet spring and late thaw, the fishing pattern is running a few weeks behind schedule. Typically, fishing has slowed much more than it has. Which means, of course, that it may not slow as much before the cooler days come and fishing begins to get hot again.