River Conditions

Local rivers we frequent

Green River

1240 cfs

Provo River

136 cfs

Weber River

28 cfs

NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS

 

Updated: May 25th, 2020

By: Nick Teynor

 

Good day, everyone!

Run-off is here, and 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 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.

While our brown trout wrapped up spawning last fall, our rainbow and cutthroat trout in tailwater fisheries are starting to get the spawning itch. Many (if not all) of our vital cutthroat streams are closed till the second Saturday of July to protect these precious fish. So make sure you check the 2020 fishing guidebook before you head out.  Rainbows are not protected, unfortunately, so it is important that we leave their and all spawning redds alone when trout are active on them. It's up to us [anglers] to be good stewards of the resource, and ensure we have healthy fisheries for the future. Here's a little video Redington Fly Gear put out on the Spawning Redds. We have some great resources to stay up to date on water conditions around the state, so please use them to plan your fishing trips.

 

Check these gauges for updates on water levels!

1) Central Utah Water Conservancy District

2) USGS Streamflow

 

Fishing Conditions Summary:

 

Middle Provo:

Wasatch County has lifted their restrictions on fishing the waters in their county. 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 1,298 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir. This is NOT a flow to wade in, so please be careful and make smart decisions if you choose to fish the Middle at this time.

If you fish the Middle Provo at these high flows, you'll find fish sheltering out in slower side channels and water right beside the bank, where there is some relief from the current. Nymphing along the rivers edge, and jigging streamers will most likely be your best bet in moving fish. In the meantime, the only safe place to fish will be the rivers edge and any side channels.

 

Lower Provo:

The Lower's river flow has been slowly increasing and dropping over this past week, but the rivers flow seems to be stable for now. Deer Creek Reservoir is currently releasing 634 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. 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 or heavy rain. 

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, and you may see some Skwala stones and Caddis too.  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. 

 

Weber River:

As of May 1st, Summit County has lifted the stay at home order. The Weber between Wanship and Coalville is flowing at 40 CFS at Wanship, and 68 CFS at Coalville. This is a very low flow, so I'd personally recommend giving the Middle Weber a break until flows come up a little. When flows do rise, be prepared with Mother's Day Caddis patterns, BWOs, Midges, Sow Bugs, and Baby Brown Trout streamers. The angling pressure on the Lower Weber from Echo to Morgan has been pretty heavy at times, but flows are still fishable-for now. The Weber from Mountain Green through Ogden is flowing at variable flows (i.e. they are fluctuating from high to low, low to high), and this stretch of water can be dangerous. So, it's probably a good idea to check this stretch of river out before hopping in to fish it.

 

Green River and Other Waters:

As of right now, the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir is releasing 1010 CFS. Flows will coming up on May 26th to 4,600 CFS, and are expected to get as high as 6,600 CFS for the next week or two. So if you can't make it out before the flow bumps, it's probably a good to wait until flows stabilize, or drop. If you do head out to the Green, please be considerate, and follow all social distancing guidelines to make sure we keep our friends in Dutch John safe. May is an interesting month on the Green. You can see BWOs and midge hatches one day, and then run into flying ants and possibly cicadas the next day. Sometimes, all of these insects can be active in a single day! Streamer fishing, especially in the mornings, evenings, and on cloudy or stormy days can be very productive too. In short, it's smart to be prepared with a little bit of everything. If you need to pick up some flies, give the shop a call, and we'll get you everything you need. 

We are in the heart of run-off, and as May progresses into June, the rivers, streams, and creeks will only get higher. May and early June is a great time to get out and explore the various stillwater options across the state. Strawberry Reservoir has iced-off, but the fish will be cruising the edges of the reservoir in the mornings, evenings, and throughout the day on cloudy and stormy days. Streamers of various colors are usually a safe bet for this time of year, but various stillwater techniques and flies will work too. If you want to try fishing for other species, May is a great time to go looking for warm water species. Bass, sunfish, and carp will all take flies readily if presented right, and they provide a fun fight on a fly rod. As an added bonus, many of the community fisheries have one or all of these species, and you don't have to travel to far to find them. 

 

Fishing Tip:

If you are desperate to get out and wet a line, there are quite a few community fishing ponds across the valley to check out. I can't tell you that you're going to catch a bunch of fish, but if nothing else, you can focus on working on your fly-casting, and the bonus will be that you will have an opportunity to hook a fish in the process. If I were heading out to the local city ponds, I would make sure to be packing a variety of leeches, Zebra Midges, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ear Nymphs, Copper Johns, etc. You may get lucky and see some fish eating midges off of the surface, so it would be smart to have a variety of Griffith's Gnats and Parachute Adams with you, too. Here's the link to find out more about Salt Lake City's Community Fisheries.

 

FLY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Sow Bugs (#16,#18)

Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)

Squirmy Worms (#12)

San Juan Worms (#12-#16)

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)

Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)

Bling Midge (#22)

Gray RS-2 (#20-#24)

Barr's BWO Emerger (#18,#20)

Tailwater Assassin (#22)

Soft Hackle Emergers (#18, #22)

"Frenchie" Pheasant Tail (#16)

Red Dart (#14,#16)

Blue Dart (#16)

Improved Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail (#16)

Prince Nymphs (#12,#14)

BH Hares Ears (#18)

Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#16-#20)

Mother Shuckers (#20,#24)

Turkey Baetis (#18,#20)

Sparkle Dun Baetis (#18)

Vis-A-Dun BWO (#18)

Purple Rooster (#16,#18)

Para. Adams (#16-#22)

Little Olive Stone (#12)

Olive PMX (#10)

Wounded Sculpin (#8)

Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)

Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)

Confidant (#4)

Sculpzilla! (#8)