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River Conditions

Local rivers we frequent

Green River

946 cfs

Provo River

129 cfs

Weber River

28 cfs

NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS

 

Updated: January 2nd, 2023

By: Nick Teynor

Happy New Year!

As per the norm with the onset of Winter, this will be my last fishing report for the next couple of months as my focus shifts towards getting ready for the upcoming season, and getting out to fish for myself. Now that the winter fishing season is here, hatches and fishing conditions will be pretty static until we get into mid-February-March. If you're heading out make sure you're prepared to fish with all life stages of the midge (larva, pupa, emerging adult, egg laying adult), pack your light leaders and tippets (6X-7X), and plan your fishing trips around the inversions or when we have a stable patch of weather. When we're socked in the valley with smog and frigid temps, the mountains are anywhere from 10-15 degrees warmer, and as a result the winter midge fishing can be good. Keep in mind that the fishing conditions this time of year can be tough. The water is low and clear, the bugs are small, and the fish can be very picky and spooky. In short, take your time, enjoy being outside on the water, and temper your expectations accordingly. You'll have a lot more fun if you do! 

A majority of the local Brown Trout are done spawning, but it is super important to make sure we don't tread through their redds for the next couple of months in order to prevent squashing their eggs. There will still be a brown trout or two spawning over the next month, so if you run into any fish trying to make baby fish, make sure you leave them alone, and make sure you don't step on or around their spawning redds. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to read the Blog Post(s) we've written over the years about why it is so important to leave ANY species of spawning fish alone, and what to look out for to make sure you don't trash their redds (fish egg nests) by wading on or around them. The folks at Redington also put out a video about why it is important to leave spawning fish alone. You can view it Here.

With the Winter Season upon us there should be fewer anglers out on the water. However, if the skiing stinks and the weather is nice, the new norm is that there will be more bodies than usual out on the water. In order to avoid bad river etiquette, it's important to know the basic ins an outs of how to interact with each other on the water. Last year, as part of our ongoing The Game Blog, Steve wrote a piece that 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.

 

Check these gauges for updates on water levels!

1) Central Utah Water Conservancy District

2) USGS Streamflow

 

Fishing Conditions Summary

 

Middle Provo:

As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 148 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 129 CFS at River Road Bridge. For the next couple of months I'd recommend packing your your fly boxes with every life cycle stage of the Midge, and be prepared for your most productive fishing to be between 11 AM-3 PM. Been hearing of sporadic Baetis mayflies still popping off, so packing a couple of Blue Wing Olives wouldn't be a bad idea, but I would not expect this to last much longer. Nymphing will move fish in the deeper holes and runs when there are no midges hatching, and productive winter nymph patterns are midge larva and pupa patterns in sizes #20-#26, sow bugs in sizes #16-#20, small mayfly nymphs in #18-#24, Caddis larva nymphs in sizes #16-#20, and annelid (worm) patterns in #18. Swinging soft hackles on a slow, controlled swing, or slowly stripping/jigging streamers is also a good thing to try if other techniques are slow to produce. As mentioned above, in order to minimize your impact on the Brown trout spawn, watch where you step and fish, and focus on fishing in the deeper pools, holes, and runs.

 

Lower Provo:

The Lower's flow is currently 112 CFS. My recommended fly selection for the Lower Provo will mirror the Middle Provo. Make sure to pack your tiny midge and mayfly nymphs, sow bugs, and be prepared to see some Midges hatching during the warmer/most comfortable parts of the day. Swinging soft hackles downing across stream in a slow and controlled manner, or slowly stripping/jigging streamers is also a good thing to try if other techniques are slow to produce. As mentioned above, in order to minimize your impact on the Brown trout spawn, watch where you step and fish, and focus on fishing in the deeper pools, holes, and runs.

 

Weber River:

The Weber River between Rockport and Echo reservoirs is low. Flows out of Rockport are now 24 CFS. Flows out of Echo are sub-1 CFS, which is too low to fish. The Upper Weber, or Lower-Lower Weber (Mountain Green-Ogden) will be options to explore if you choose to check the Weber out. Fly selection will be similar to what we are currently fishing on the Middle and Lower Provo. As mentioned above, in order to minimize your impact on the Brown trout spawn, watch where you step and fish, and focus on fishing in the deeper pools, holes, and runs.

 

Green River and Other Waters:

As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir are fluctuating TWICE a day for the foreseeable future between 1,100 CFS-3,000 CFS. If you're a walk-and-wade angler, I'd highly recommend NOT crossing the river unless you have a boat to get you back to the other side. Not very many people will be on/in the river corridor during this time of year, so your chances of having a stranger row you back across will be low, while chances of potentially getting stranded significantly go up. Be prepared to for Midges to be your primary hatches, pack along a Blue Wing Olive or two in case you run into a freak Baetis hatch, and fish during the warmest/most comfortable part of the day. Like everywhere else, watch where you step and fish as the Brown trout redds will be around for the next couple of months.

 

Other Waters:

If you're looking to take a road trip, I'd recommend going south towards Lee's Ferry on the Colorado, or the San Juan River below Navajo Dam in New Mexico. These have been traditional winter fishing destinations for decades, and while they are a significant distance away, a road trip can be the cure for the angler with a case of the "Winter Blues". 

 

Fishing Tip(s):

My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 9' 5X leaders, and 5X-7X tippet. My choice of tippet off of my 5X leader is based on whatever size of fly I need to throw. This simple leader/tippet system allows me to adjust to whatever fishing conditions I encounter, and simplify what I need to take with me fishing. Also, in order to prevent/slow ice building up in your guides, I fish a set length of line when winter fishing, and I do my best to not strip line through my guides. The less wet line you strip through your guides, the less ice you have to worry about building up. You can also put on a de-icing product such as Loon Stanley's Ice Off Paste on your guides to help with the ice. The only other tips I can offer are the following: Be prepared for dynamic weather changes, check the river flows before you head out, and make sure you respect each others space when out on the water!!!

 

FLY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Bling Midge (#22, #24)

WD-40 (#18-22)

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)

Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)

Barr's BWO Emerger (#20-#24)

RS-2 (#18-#22)

Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)

Snow Fly (#18)

Red Ass Soft Hackle (#16, #18)

Syl's Midge Soft Hackle (#18)

S.H.E. (#20,#22)

Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle (#16)

Massacre Midge (#22, #24)

Parachute Midge (#22, #26)

Mother-Shucker (#20,#24)

Skittering Midge (#20)

Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat (#22)

Purple Rooster (#14-#18)

Para. Adams (#14-#22)

Wounded Sculpin (#8)

Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)

Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)

Leeches (#8)

Sow Bugs (#16,#18)

Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)

San Juan Worms (#12, #16)