NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: June 5th, 2018
By: Nick Teynor
Fishing Conditions Summary:
The Middle Provo rose significantly last week, and it is still flowing at 629 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir. It may continue to go up, so please check the river gauges before venturing out. Also, make sure to check the river gauges for ALL our local streams before you go to avoid any surprises when you get out there, and be prepared with some "higher" water flies. If you do fish the Middle Provo, the fish should have adjusted to these higher flows, so still focus on fishing the river edges and side channels. The Lower Provo is currently reading at 535 CFS. The higher flows on the Lower will also push more fish to the edges, so fish the water at your feet before going stomping across the river! The flows out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir are now dropping, and will most likely plateau at around 2,000 CFS. This is what we were told, and it may very well change, but it is what we know now. The Weber River below Rockport Reservoir, as of today, is flowing at 180 CFS. This flow is very fishable, but it may rise due to water needs downstream. The Weber below Echo is up to 519. This flow is VERY pushy, so please be smart about where you fish. Here are the links to the Utah Streamflow sites:
1) CUWCD: http://data.cuwcd.com/data/streamflows/index.htm
2) USGS Streamflow: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ut/nwis/current/?type=flow
We are officially in between our spring and summer hatches, but there is still some decent fishing to be had out there. Our run-off is pretty much over, and many smaller creeks and streams will be coming into shape over the next couple of weeks. This is especially true of the Uintah Mountain drainages. If you are heading out, it would be wise to be prepared with our early-summer bugs (Caddis, Pale-Morning Duns, Golden Stones, Drakes). It is only a matter of time before we start seeing them popping off on our states smaller waters, and you don't want to be unprepared. Here's a little more in-depth look at what's going on out there locally:
FLOWS ARE STILL 630 CFS OUT OF JORDANELLE, BUT BELOW THE DIVERSION DAM THE FLOWS ARE 502 CFS. This is still a VERY fishy flow for the Middle Provo, and the fish have adjusted. These heavy flows will push the fish to the edge, and nymphing and streamers will be a great option. Caddis and midges are still hatching, and fish are still looking for them, but nymphing has been by far the most productive method day in and out. The water out of Jordanelle is REALLY COLD right now, especially if you are close to the dam and there in the morning. Best to start down by Midway in the morning, and them move your way up towards the dam as the day progresses and warms up. Or, just show a little later in the day when the water has warmed up a little. Nymphing with #16-#18 Cased-Caddis Nymphs, #16-#20 Sow Bugs, #16-#18 Hares Ears, #16-#18 PMD Split Case Nymphs, #22-#24 WD-40s, #18-#22 Pheasant Tails, and a variety of smaller midge larva and pupae in sizes #18-#24 should continue to work through this transition season. This warmer than normal weather has also made streamer fishing a good option to try, especially if nothing else is working. The baby brown trout from the fall spawn should be looking to leave their nests soon, so streamer fishing with small, baby brown trout colored streamers is another fishing option. We have found that on the sunny days a bright-colored streamer is worth fishing if there is no surface activity, and the nymph fishing is slow. If there are clouds, and you arrive early before the hatch, or want to stay later, put on a darker colored streamer, and cover the river. Tip: Make sure to vary your retrieve speeds, and take a step or two after each cast!!!
As of late, the flows have risen, and have made the Lower Provo a great nymphing and streamer fishing option. You will see raft traffic with this sunny, warm weather-but rest assured that the fish really aren't that bothered by the rafters. Last week I saw some PMD mayflies popping off with the cloudier weather, but midges are still around, and fish continue to feed on them in the morning/evenings. If the weather is warm and sunny, put on a small Chubby Chernobyl/Yellow Stimulator with either a Sow Bug, Frenchie, Zebra Midge, San Juan dropper, etc.-and fish up the banks. Nymphing with the aforementioned Middle Provo patterns, and especially small sow bugs, should continue to move fish throughout the entire spring season. Please remember to watch your step! Flows are pushy out there, and the water is cold, so pay attention to where you are wading and fishing. Streamers can and will work, especially with the warmer temperatures. When in doubt, fish your streamers slow!
The Weber between Wanship and Coalville has been holding steady. It is flowing at 180 CFS today, and there are still some Mother's Day Caddis out and about, but nymphing will remain a great option if nothing else is going on. The bump in flows will definitely make nymphing and streamer fishing an option if the river corridor is "quiet" with bugs and surface feeding fish.
Flows are slowly dropping down to 2,000 CFS by the end of the week, and potentially dropping more as June progresses. This is what we were told, but this is subject to change, so check the river gauge before you head out. If you feel the urge to stretch your legs, or you want to fish something other than our local fisheries, I would suggest that you take the time and head over to the Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Cicadas are starting to show, dry-dropper/nymph fishing continues to shine, and the flows are more and more fishable from the bank. In short, get out there and see what you can find!
The Uinta Lakes are icing off, and the fish are still on the hunt for food. The trout will be cruising around the edges for the next couple of weeks, so walking the edges and fishing streamers of various sizes can produce some fun results. The smaller creeks and streams will soon be getting their first big hatches of the year, so carrying an assortment of Green Drakes, Caddis, PMDs, and stoneflies would be REALLY smart. Also, with our low snow pack this year, it would be wise to get your Southern Utah stream fix in earlier rather than later. Run-off will happen earlier down there, meaning around now, but it will not last very long. You will see all of the same hatches we are seeing around here right now, with the added bonus of maybe seeing some smaller terrestrials (ants, beetles, etc.) starting to become more and more active. Good place to explore if you are looking to get away from some of the increasing fishing pressure.
This time of year, I carry 7.5' 3X leaders for fishing streamers and bigger dry-dropper rigs, and 7.5'-9' 5X leaders for dry flies, soft hackles, and nymphs. These two leader sizes make it very easy to adjust to the changing conditions. As long as you have the appropriate tippet sizes (3x-7x), you can build your leaders out by simply adding tippet, and not have to carry too much stuff in your kit. Also, on cloudy days, don't be afraid to fish little heavier tippet than you would use on a super sunny day. Clouds help make your leader/tippet less visible to the fish, because there is less light, so your leader and tippet are not super shiny and obvious to the fish. I find myself fishing 5X for BWO's, and 6X for midges on these nastier weather days, but still make sure you continue to have your 6x and 7x tippet with you when fishing our Midge and BWO hatches on the sunnier days!
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20-#22)
Bling Midge (#22)
B.H. Twenty-Incher #12
B.H. Hares Ear #12
Griffith's Gnats (#16-#24)
Para. Adams (#20-#26)
Sow Bugs (#16-#22)
San Juan/Flossy Worm (#12-#18)
Squirmy Worm (#12)
Peacock Stimulator #12
Olive PMX #12
Peacock PMX #12
Peacock Caddis (Dry) #16
Hemingway Caddis (#16-#18)
Olive Sparkle Caddis Pupa (#16-#18)
Prince Nymphs (#12-#18)
BWO Nymphs (#20-#24)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#20-#22)
Sparkle Dun BWO (#20-#22)
BWO Cripple (#20-#24)
Caddis Larva-Cased/Un-Cased (#14-#18)
Platte River Spiders-ALL COLORS!!! (#6)
Matt's Confidant Streamers-ALL COLORS!!! (#4)