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BEAR LAKE: Surface water temperature at Bear Lake is 43° F and the boat ramps at Cisco Beach and the Bear Lake State Park Marina are open. For real-time weather (wind speed, water temp, air temp, lake elevation) see bearlakewatch.com. The Bonneville whitefish spawn is underway and limit catches are common. The fishing yesterday at Cisco Beach was great. We anchored in about 12 feet of water and cast our 1/8 tube jigs (red and black were the best colors) toward shore and retrieved them right along the bottom. We tipped our tubes with about a one inch piece of night crawler which really seemed to make a difference. The whitefish are spawning over rocky areas along the shoreline in 3 to 15 feet of water.

There have been fish caught off the Utah State Park marina and off the North and South Eden deltas in addition to Cisco Beach. The fish are averaging about 1.5 to 2.5 lbs, but can grow to upwards of 3 lbs. The fishing should continue to be red hot for the next two weeks and then begin tapering off just before Christmas. Several different lures will work, but small jigs with twister tails, marabou or tube jigs all work well. You can also try casting small spinners in the #0-#1 sizes as well as small spoons.

The whitefish can hit hard, but often it is a very subtle hit. If you are not catching fish or snagging up on the rocks, then chances are you are not fishing close enough to the bottom. While fishing for the whitefish we picked up a couple of nice sized (3 to 4 lb.) cutthroat trout. Don't be surprised to catch a lake trout either. At this time of year all the different fish can be in the same location. A popular thing to do is fish shallow for the whitefish and after you catch what you want to keep, try moving slightly deeper 30 to 50 feet of water and jig with larger jigs tipped with cisco for cutts and lakers.

Trolling at this time of the year also can work well on certain days. Try rapala-type lures or flatfish on downriggers in the same areas as mentioned above. Remember a Utah license is valid on the Idaho side of Bear Lake, but you may NOT use a second pole when fishing on the Idaho side of the lake. Idaho license holders are only able to use one fishing pole on either side of the lake this year. For those interested the GPS coordinates for the new rockpiles using WGS84 datum going from south to north are: 41 degrees 58.097 minutes; 111 degrees 23.682 minutes; 41 degrees 58.187 minutes; 111 degrees 23.728 minutes; 41 degrees 58.292 minutes; 111 degrees 23.765 minutes; 41 degrees 58.418 minutes; 111 degrees 23.798 minutes. Report courtesy of Scott Tolentino.

BLACKSMITH FORK RIVER: The river gets very little fishing pressure this time of year, even on weekends. On Saturday December 8, there was only one angler on the 14-mile stretch of river between the mouth of the canyon and Hardware Ranch-it might be the least fished blue ribbon trout stream in the state. There are nice mountain whitefish in this river that are great when smoked. Try using chamois caddis pattern.

NOTE: Hardware Ranch opens December 13. "If you can't make it to the North Pole to see Santa's reindeer, come on up to Hardware Ranch to see their cousins," says Marni Lee, Assistant Manager and Education Program Director at Hardware Ranch. The recent storms have brought nearly six inches of new snow to the ranch and elk are moving in daily.

The horses have been training for weeks and anxiously await the chance to pull the sleighs-pulling is truly what these animals live for and they love to do it. The "two horse open sleigh" rides at Hardware Ranch to see wintering Rocky Mountain elk operate Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday). These rides are truly one of Utah's greatest wildlife traditions.

Come To Hardware Ranch-Oh What Fun It Is To Ride!!!
HYRUM RESERVOIR: No ice and no fishing activity on December 11.

LOGAN RIVER: The spawning season is just about over, and the fish are moving off to deeper water. Many spawning beds can still be seen throughout the stream, but there are few or no fish in them. Egg patterns are still generating success, but not as rapidly as they were a week ago. Try to fish longer leader between your nymph and your strike indicator to allow for the fly to get closer to the bottom. Target areas which are about one to two feet deep with slow to moderate current. Other flies that have been working are #12-16 Copper Johns and Hares Ears. No dry fly action was observed-way too cold! The temperatures up the Logan Canyon are extremely cold, so if you do head out come prepared. Report is courtesy of Pavlik Krasnov of Western Trout Flies.

MANTUA RESERVOIR: Forty percent of the reservoir was covered with ice on December 11.

PINEVIEW RESERVOIR: Ice was forming in the bays and around the boat launch on December 11. Just a few days before that, there was quite a bit more pressure. Water temp was 39° F and the level is still on the rise. The anglers in the narrows were experiencing fast action for panfish vertical jigging over deep water. Any fish brought up from that deep should probably be kept. There was a bald eagle taking advantage of specimens succumbing to handling mortality though; so they're not exactly going to waste. Muskie are still hitting on occasion.

WEBER RIVER: Rarely anyone fishes the part of the river on the west side of Ogden. An angler interviewed on December 7 said that he had just caught three small browns on a panther martin and that he had caught a 17-inch brown trout the day before. The part of the Weber and Ogden River that runs through town was recently called a "putrid conveyance of waste" by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as he toured the area in hope of raising awareness to clean it up and make it an asset to the Ogden area. Truly, this part of the Ogden and Weber Rivers could use all the help it can get. If you are interested in these great river systems, contact Ogden City Officials and ask them what you can do to help.
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