Camping and Fishing at Flaming Gorge

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, located on the border of Utah and Wyoming, is absolutely stunning, with canyon walls in shades of rust and gold similar to the Grand Canyon. The reservoir has sparkling blue water. It’s so clear you can see to the rock bottom. The rocks are the reason the water is so clear. There’s no mud at the bottom to muck up the water quality.

Everyone should visit this area at least once in their life.

We visited Flaming Gorge, staying just a few miles inside Utah, from June 14 through the 21st of 2020. Even at the height of camping season, Lucerne Campground had spaces available.

Flaming Gorge marina
The marina as dawn is breaking on fishing day.

The campground is conveniently located next to a marina on Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Almost everyone in the campground had a boat. After all, Flaming Gorge is all about fishing and boating. We felt conspicuous without a boat—even a small one.

Spaces between the sites are generous. A and B loop have 30 and 50 amp electricity. We were in B1. Most of the spots were back in and were large enough for a good sized rig. Ours is 40 feet long.

campground setting
Campground is set next to the marina and surrounded by mountains and water.

The campground has potable water at the dump station near the campground entrance. Dumping costs $7. Drinking water was available near our campsite, but you couldn’t hook a hose to the spigot. Bathrooms were spaced throughout the campground, but the showers were closed due to the COVID virus. Dumpsters were also located at each loop.

One note about the campground. Prairie dogs roam the campground. Angel loved to chase them. Some campers found them annoying.

Prairie dog
Notice how the prairie dog blends into his habitat.

I saw them as entertainment. To each his own.

There are also plenty of antelope. Right in the campground.

Campers can walk down to the lake to fish, although we didn’t catch anything at the campground.

Kokanee Salmon--caught on pink lures with treble hooks

So we decided to go fishing for Kokanee salmon with guide Monty Thurgood. We just had to get some salmon. Monty is a great guide. We left at 6 a.m. one morning and didn’t get back until almost noon. Monty wasn’t taking us back until we caught our limit of 6. He was willing to keep trying and didn’t make fun of us when some got off the hook. We used down riggers and bright pink lures with treble hooks. We added scented power bait (artificial maggots in pink) on the hooks.

If you want a guide who knows Flaming Gorge, call Monty at 801-430-0232. His website is Cost—$400 for half a day. To us, the experience was worth every penny. Good company, beautiful scenery, and catching our limit of salmon—heaven!

On another day, John and I ventured out alone to a spot on Airport Road that Monty recommended. We caught two decent sized (enough for two meals for two) Rainbow Trout. Again, we used small treble hooks with trout power bait. Pink with glitter worked better than the green power bait.

filleting fish
Please see our video on how to filet these beauties.

I just added a 4-minute YouTube video on the reservoir and on how to filet a salmon. We use the same technique on many other fish as well. Please see our video page. Or here’s the link to our YouTube video on filleting salmon:

Campground INFO:

Lucerne Campground

Ashley National Forest

Flaming Gorge in Utah

5570E Lucerne Valley Recreation Rd.

Manila, UT

Electric hookups for $30/night with senior discount

Verizon and AT&T strong

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