Two-year-old rainbow trout are a common catch at Strawberry Reservoir.
It’s cold out on the water this time of the year—the one benefit being the fishing is hot.
There are stories coming out of Strawberry Reservoir that it’s not uncommon for a couple of anglers to catch, on good days, anywhere from 50 to 100 fish.
Of course, it all depends on the day and the skill of the angler and choosing the right appetizer.
A couple of weeks back it was the black Woolly Bugger. A few days later, it was the bright red Woolly Bugger. Interestingly enough, the black drew cutthroat and rainbow trout, where the red seemed to be more appealing to rainbow.
Red Woolly Bugger was the fly of the day. A few days earlier it was the black Woolly Bugger.
Alan Ward, project leader for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said, “Most of the reports I’m getting are that [fishermen are] catching mostly cutthroats hand over fist. Two weeks ago, one report was a couple of men caught 80 to 100 fish and most were cutthroats,’’ he said.
Angler Matt Wray of Park City said a week later, in the same bay, in the late afternoon, “Two of us caught 30 fish in a couple of hours. A couple of the cutts were close to 21 inches. They were all nice fish.’’
Ward says he’s received several reports of boaters catching and releasing 40 to 50 fish in a single day.
The DWR completed gillnet surveys taken the week of Oct. 14.
“As always, we came away with good and bad news,’’ Ward reports.
The good: “The survey showed improvements in the number of cutthroat. Overall, cutthroat numbers were up and the biggest number of those were 2-year-olds . . . 16 inches and larger. That year class survived much better than we anticipated. We’re very pleased.”
The bad: “We saw a big increase in the 2-year-old chubs, about 30 percent. That’s because there were fewer large predators (the large Bear Lake cutthroat) in that age class. The result is we saw more chubs in that age class than we’ve seen in awhile.’’
The fact that the cutthroat numbers are up bodes well for future years when they are large enough to feed on the chubs.
Last week, the DWR completed its 2013 planting program at Strawberry when it released the final load of eight-inch rainbow. All total, 400,000 of the eight-inch rainbow were planted in Strawberry this year, along with 600,000 eight-inch cutthroat and 400,000 kokanee.
Matt Wray of Park City shows nice rainbow caught in Jake's Bay at Strawberry Reservoir.
Ward also notes that the annual kokanee run this year was good and roughly 1.8 million eggs were taken. Those eggs will be raised and the fish planted in Strawberry, Flaming Gorge and Electric Lake.
It should be noted that Strawberry regulations allow the taking of four fish, which would include trout and kokanee. All cutthroat between 15 and 22 inches must be released. Anglers can keep two cutthroat if they’re under 15 inches and can keep only one over 22 inches.
Good fishing is expected to continue at least until ice begins to form around the edges of the reservoir, which could be several weeks off.