Happy Spring, Everyone!
Between viruses and earthquakes, there may not seem like there is very much to celebrate right now, but we do have things to look forward to. Our snow pack is good, our local waters are in good shape, and the best fishing of the year is yet to come. So, let's keep the faith, wash our hands, be kind to each other, and let's get ready for a great fishing season!
Flows on the Middle Provo are holding steady at 149 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 121 CFS at River Road Bridge. Our Middle Provo fish are still sheltering out in deeper, slower water for the winter season, and the "Buffalo" midge hatch is getting better as March progresses. When the big midges aren't around, we are still finding consistent success with size #24-#30 midges in gray and black. Once you see the "Buffalo" midge firsthand, it will be hard to mistake them with any other midge hatching. They are usually best imitated with size #18-#22 midge patterns, and we have had success with colors ranging from black to black and olive-brown combinations. Midges typically hatch/lay their eggs in the mid-mornings through the late afternoons, and our trout are definitely looking for them. It is still a safe bet to say that our Blue-Winged Olive mayflies won't be seen in consistent numbers until late March, but it never hurts to keep a couple of "go-to" BWO patterns tucked away in your boxes. Better to have them, than to not have them! Prime time to hit the midge hatch has been between 11 AM-4 PM. When fishing to fish chowing on these little insects, especially on sunny days, it would be wise to drop your tippet sizes down to 7X, and consider a "fly-first" (i.e. downstream) presentation to the fish.
Lower Provo flows are at 299 CFS. This is a higher-than-normal spring fishing flow, and at these flows, the fish will seek out shoreline structure (rocks, logs, seam lines, etc.), and any deeper slots and holes they can find. I drove down to the Lower last Thursday, and even though it was sunny and warm, the water temperature was very chilly. Walking the rivers edge, looking for rising fish, and sight-nymphing, was the name of the game. I also saw my first Blue Wing Olive mayflies of the Spring, but it was not a thick hatch, nor did it last long. If you check it out, make sure you have Sow Bugs, a variety of small midge larva, midge pupa, midge adult patterns, Baetis nymphs, and small attractor nymphs. If all else fails, try using streamers to move some fish. For our complete Northern Utah fishing report, check out our weekly River Conditions.