NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: November 8th, 2018
By: Nick Teynor
Fishing Conditions Summary:
The Middle Provo has dropped down to 150 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir. This drop in flows was expected, and will make the wading easier. However, the trade-off is that the fish will be much more wary due to the low, clear water. If you do fish the Middle Provo, the fish will now be starting to pod up in the deeper holes, so best to focus on anything that looks deep enough to comfortably hold a fish. The Lower Provo is currently flowing at 99 CFS. Just like the Middle, the drop in flows will really force to fish to find deeper water, but still look along the river edges before stomping out in to the middle of the river. The colder weather should really start to break-up the weeds, and should make for a more pleasant fishing experience. The flows out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir are stable, and are flowing at/around 1,800 CFS. The Weber River below Rockport Reservoir, as of today, is flowing at 25 CFS. That is no typo, that is a SUPER low flow. At this current water level, it is too low to fish. None of us at the shop will fish it until it gets above 50 CFS, and for the sake of the fishery, we encourage you to do the same. The Weber below Echo is now at .5 CFS. It too, is now too low to fish up by Echo. Up above Rockport Reservoir in Rockport State Park, and down by Mountain Green and Ogden is still a fishy option. Here are the links to the Utah Streamflow sites:
Photo Credit: Anne Smith
Good Day Everyone!
Fishing has still not changed much since my last report; other than we are seeing better Blue Wing Olive hatches on the cloudy, cool, and rainy days. We are still seeing the occasional October caddis are out-and-about on the sunny days, and it is time to start thinking about being good stewards as our Brown Trout start the rigors of spawning. There are more and more redds (Brown Trout nests) starting to show, and we need to really watch where we are fishing and stepping. Here are three main points on why anglers should respect fish during the spawn:
1) The spawn is tough on fish, they are incredibly stressed and many die from physical exhaustion or infection after the spawn. Due to their compromised state, catching spawning fish can kill them; even if they appear to "be fine" during the release.
2) We need to keep big fish around so that they continue to pass on their "big fish DNA" to the next generation. Targeting the large spawning fish or disrupting their spawning beds can lead to fewer large fish in the system.
3) There are other places to fish where you don't have to worry about dealing with spawning brown trout. Transitioning from fishing our local rivers to focusing on lakes and reservoirs is fun and rewarding. The fishing is often fantastic, not crowded, and you won't have to worry about interfering with spawning trout.
So, during your fall adventures, please keep these points in mind; be respectful stewards; and you can continue to fish without having a potential negative impact on the resource. With that being said, let's focus on what's going on locally!
Nymphing continues to be a great option during the cold mornings, but with the recent cooler weather and clouds we are seeing our fall Blue-Wing Olive mayflies (#22-#24) popping out from the top of the river down to Charleston. I finally saw our October Caddis over the weekend, and on these sunnier, warmer Fall days they are great fly to use to seek out willing fish. These Fall caddis are usually best imitated with a #10-#14 cinnamon or orange colored Elk Hair Caddis, and I also love to use #12-#14 Orange Stimulators for this last "big-bug" of the year. Nymphing has been productive with #20-#22 Baetis Nymphs, #14-#18 Caddis larva, #16-#20 Sow Bugs, #20-#22 Juju Baetis, #22-#24 WD-40s, #18-#22 Pheasant Tails, and a variety of smaller midge larva and pupae in sizes #18-#24 should continue to work through this early-fall season.
Swinging softies (soft hackled-flies) continues to be a very effective technique for moving fish prior to the hatches and after. We have had success with Partridge and Orange softies, and have been fishing them in #14-#16 sizes on the swing. We also have our size #20 Baetis Soft Hackles back in stock, along with some small #18 Syl's Midge soft hackles as well. Both would be smart to carry with you for the duration of the fall season. Streamers first light and last light are always smart to try, and I wouldn't hesitate to try swinging a mouse to tempt some of the larger rivers inhabitants during these periods of low-light either.
Lower Provo flows have dropped, and the water visibility has cleared. I would look to fish with streamers and nymphs, but as the water clears dry fly-fishing will become an option. Hatches and fly patterns for the Lower Provo are pretty identical to the Middle Provo; with the exception that you most likely won't see October Caddis in the Canyon. Streamers can and will work, especially in the morning and evenings. When in doubt, fish your streamers slow, and take a step downriver after each throw!
The Weber between Wanship and Coalville is, as of today, too low to fish. The Weber below Echo is no longer at a fishable level. They dropped flows to a whopping .5 CFS, and we aren't going anywhere near it. Down by Mountain Green and Ogden is still ok for fishing. Lower Weber fly patterns to try would be Caddis larva, Brown Zebra Midges, Sow Bugs, and attractor flies such as Hare's Ears and Pheasant Tails. Fly sizes should be pretty identical to what we are fishing on the Middle Provo.
Green River Below Flaming Gorge:
Flows have been fluctuating between 1,500 CFS to 2,500 CFS. I haven't heard much from out that direction, but there should still be some Baetis and Midges bringing fish to the surface. Just like any of our other Brown Trout fisheries, watch out for the redds and where you are fishing! Small Baetis nymphs and dries, Zebra Midges, Midge Dries, small Ant and Para. Cricket patterns will continue to move fish for the next couple of weeks. The streamer fishing should be good too, and having a variety of light and dark colored streamers in your boxes would be a really good idea.
The Uinta Lakes and Strawberry Reservoir are fishing, and with this cooler weather they should be fishing well throughout the day. Streamer fishing in the lakes will continue to be productive until things freeze, and fishing with attractor nymphs will still produce. Good place to explore if you are looking to get away from other fisher people.
Fall is a transition time. Our big bugs are fading fast, and it is time to carry all the stages of our little bugs (Baetis, Midges) with you on ALL of your fall fishing trips. Also, you will want to make sure you have your smaller tippet sizes (6X-7X) with you too. Small flies need smaller, finer tippets to help them fish better-especially with the lower, clear water and picky fish!
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20-#22)
Bling Midge (#22)
Copper Johns #16-#22
Sow Bugs (#16-#18)
San Juan/Flossy Worm (#12-#18)
Orange Stimulator (#12-#14)
Fall Caddis (#10)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)
Flash-Back WD-40 (#20-#22)
Barr's BWO Emerger (#22)
Platte River Spiders-ALL COLORS!!! (#6)
Matt's Confidant Streamers-ALL COLORS!!! (#4)