NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: September 5th, 2023
By: Nick Teynor
Labor Day weekend has come and gone, and the transition season to fall has begun on our fisheries across the state. In stream flow news, the Lower Provo has been flowing at/around 333 CFS, and the Middle Provo out of Jordanelle Reservoir is flowing at 299 CFS. The Weber out of Echo Reservoir is flowing at 323 CFS, and 206 CFS out of Rockport Reservoir. In short, flows are good-great levels for fishing, especially for this time of year. The PMD and Caddis hatches are on the way out, but there still could be some leftover bugs up closer to the dams. The tiny Pseudocloeon mayflies (Pseudos) are starting to show, they are size #22-#24, and the fish will definitely eat both the nymphs and adults of this tiny mayfly. With Summer still here for the next couple of weeks, you should have your terrestrial fly box in your vest or pack. With the Summer hatches being pretty much over with, it's not a bad idea to experiment with fishing streamers in the morning/evening hours, prospecting with terrestrial/attractor dry flies during the heat of the day, or nymphing with small attractor, mayfly, and midge nymphs if there is nothing going on.
The Summer Season is here, which means more and more anglers 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. The fine folks over at Redington Fly Gear have a nice little video on the subject.
Check these gauges for updates on water levels!
Fishing Conditions Summary
As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 299 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 203 CFS at River Road Bridge. At this flow, I'd be focusing on fishing the slower pools and runs during the cloudy, and/or low-light periods, and the faster, more oxygenated water during the heat of the day. Best chance for moving fish will be on PMD and Pseudo mayfly nymphs and dries (#18-#22), Caddis nymphs and dries (#16-#20), Midge nymphs and dries (#22-#24), and attractor nymphs such as Prince Nymphs, Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, Sow Bugs, etc., could work too. Ants, Beetles, and Grasshoppers are starting to become more and more important to both fish and anglers, and fishing a "Hopper-Dropper" rig during the heat of the day would be a good idea if there are no PMDs, Pseudos, or Caddis around. Water temperature on the Middle Provo by Jordanelle Reservoir is hovering around 51 degrees, the better time to look for hatches on the upper Middle is during the late morning-afternoon after the water warms up by a couple of degrees.
The Lower's flow is currently 333 CFS out of Deer Creek. Fishing with streamers during the early mornings and late evenings wouldn't be a bad idea, and nymphing with PMDs (#18-#20), Pseudos (#20-#24), Sow Bugs (#14-#16), Caddis Larva (#14-#18), and Midges (#18-#22) would be what I would use on the Lower Provo if there are no bugs hatching. I'd also definitely pack your dry flies for the leftover PMDs (#18), Pseudos (#22), Caddis (#16), and Terrestrials (#12-#16) as well. If there are no signs of PMDs, Pseudos, or Caddis hatching, I would try working a "Dry-Dropper" up the river edges, riffles, and pocket water, with either an ant or hopper being my dry fly during the heat of the day.
The Weber River between Rockport and Echo reservoirs has been bumping around, but is now flowing at 206 CFS. This is a fishable flow for this stretch of the Weber, but they have been raising and dropping flows all summer. In short, check the river gauges before you go!!! Flows out of Echo are now 333 CFS, which is fishable. I'd recommend your fly selection for the Weber below Rockport and Echo to focus on streamers during the periods of low light and/or off-colored water, Hopper-Dropper rigs during the heat of the day, and nymphs like San Juan worms, Sow Bugs, Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges, etc. can move fish if nothing is else is working. While the hatches on the Weber can be inconsistent, I'd definitely still bring some Pseudo and Caddis dry flies, and terrestrials like ants and hoppers would definitely be worth trying too.
Green River Below Flaming Gorge:
As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge are flowing at/around 1,400 CFS-2,200 CFS. This projected flow shouldn't negatively impact the fishing too much, but it will make crossing the river inadvisable if you're wading the river. Keep in mind that when flows go up, fish tend to hug the shore structure more, so don't worry about wading out very far at all.
If you're heading to the Green, I'd make sure to bring Trico mayfly spinners (#20-#22), Pseudo Mayfly nymphs and dries (#20-#24), ants (#14-#18), beetles (#14-#16), hoppers (#8-#12), and attractor dry fly patterns like the PMX or Chubby Chernobyl. Dry-Dropper fishing with attractor nymphs like "Frenchies", Perdigons, olive or tan scuds, mayfly nymphs, or Zebra Midges can work well, especially during a warm, windy afternoon. There may still be some Caddis activity in both the mornings and evenings, so make sure to bring your Caddis boxes, and streamer fishing during this time of year can be good to great during first light, last light, or during stormy days out on the Green.
Locally, the Uinta Mountains are and will be a great option to explore, and probably your best chance to see fewer anglers. The small Uinta streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs have been fishing well with streamers, dry-dropper rigs, and dry flies. I would highly recommend you bring your terrestrial fly box with you, and make sure it is well stocked with ants, beetles, and grasshoppers.
My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5' 3X leaders for streamers and dry-dropper rigs, 9' 5X leaders for fishing dries, and 3X-6X tippets. My choice of tippet off of my 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. 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!!!
Buckskin Nymph (#20-#22)
Bling Midge (#22, #24)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Barr's PMD Emerger (#16-#18)
Hare's Ear Nymphs (#12-#16)
Split Case PMD Nymphs (#16-#18)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#16-#22)
Prince Nymphs (#12-#14)
Copper John (#12-#16)
Cased Caddis Larva (#16-#18)
Graphic Caddis Olive and Tan (#16)
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle (#16)
Hackle-Stacker PMD (#20)
Hackle-Stacker Rusty (#18)
Vis-A-Dun PMD (#18)
Purple Rooster (#14-#18)
Para. Adams (#12-#18)
Para. Hopper (#8-#14)
Parachute Cricket (#12-#14)
Deer Hair Ant (#12-#16)
Peacock or Purple Chubby Chernobyl (#8-#14)
Tan PMX (#14)
Peacock PMX (#14-#16)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)
Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)
Sow Bugs (#16,#18)
Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)