Good day, everyone!
May is finally here, and with it, we are starting to see the beginnings of run-off. From here on out, it would be very wise to check river flows before heading to your favorite fishing hole. We aren't free and clear of COVID-19 yet, so let's keep the faith, wear a buff or mask when around a lot of people, wash our hands, be kind to each other, and make sure to give each other plenty of space. The rivers, lakes, and streams are definitely starting to see more angling pressure with the looser restrictions in place, and there are plenty of anglers looking to get some time on the water after being cooped up in quarantine. In order for all of us to have a good time on the water, it is vital that we [anglers] adhere to good river etiquette and respect each counties health concerns and social distancing regulations. Last year, as part of our ongoing The Game Blog, Steve wrote a piecethat discusses Stream Etiquette. If you haven't read it or visited our Blog, you'll find it informative and helpful. Also, the fine folks over at Redington Fly Gear have a nice little video on the subject.
Wasatch County has lifted their restrictions on fishing the waters in their county. However, they are urging non-county residents to still stay away. If you do fish the Middle Provo, regardless of what county you're from, please recognize that we're not out of the woods yet, and limit your contact where possible. Don't stop at stores, food, gas, etc. Do your fishing, respect others space, and enjoy what Mother Nature offers. As a business whose been significantly impacted by this virus, as many have, we don't want to go through this again. Let's take it slow, and do our part so we can hopefully open up safely.
Flows have gone up and are now 328 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir. This isn't a big change, and overall is a great flow. Our Middle Provo fish are still sheltering out in deeper, slower water and edges for the spring season. While the fish will still eat midges throughout the day, there are Blue Wing Olive mayflies hatching, and the Provo River's trout are keying on these bugs. If flows hold at the current level, fishing will be good. Especially on overcast and cloudy days.
In May, we will still see mating midges in the mornings, and depending on the weather, the BWO's will begin hatching anywhere from 12-4 PM. This is the time of year to keep an eye out for the Middle Provo's Skwala Stoneflies. You'll have better luck looking for them in and along rocky river edges next to fast water; this species of stonefly prefers to scurry and run rather than fly. Once you see one, it's impossible to mistake them for anything else due to their size. Typically, both the nymphs and dries are a size #10-#12, and will be most active on warm spring days. It would also be smart to have some Mother's Day Caddis with you too! Like the Skwala stones, the M.D. Caddis will be more active on warm, spring afternoons. So, make sure to have all life stages of the BWO's and midges if your heading out, and don't forget to bring some Mother's Day Caddis and Skwala's too!
The Lower's river flow has been slowly increasing over this past week, but seems to be stable for now. Deer Creek Reservoir is currently releasing 635 CFS, which is close to typical for mid/late-spring river flows. The Lower's flows will go higher when run-off peaks down the road, but for now it's at a fishable flow. Fishing may be a little slow for the next couple of days as the fish adjust to the new water conditions. I'd highly recommend checking river flows before making the trip down to the canyon!!! Also, you may see a little more color in the water as Little Deer Creek runs with spring flows.
Now that the river is up, you'll find fish holding closer to the banks, and they'll rely on stream side obstacles to give them shelter from the faster water. Look for these stream side areas to create slower current seams, and "food traps" where fish will concentrate on the emerging Blue Wings. Blue Wings and Midges are hatching daily now, but if you do not live in Wasatch County, you are still being asked by Wasatch County Health Officials to not fish in the county. The Utah County/Wasatch County line is roughly a 1/2 mile-1 mile above the the turn-off for Sundance Ski Resort. If you're not a resident of Wasatch County, anything below the country line is still open to fishing for the time being. If you check the Lower out, make sure you have Sow Bugs, a variety of small midge larva, midge pupa, midge adult patterns, BWO nymphs, BWO dry flies, and attractor nymphs. If all else fails, try using streamers to move some fish.
For more information on where to fish, and some fishing tips, you can read the rest of the fishing report here.