NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: November 8th, 2019
By: Nick Teynor
Fall is officially here, and the change in weather has brought about more of the fall insects we expect to see. It is time be prepared with the "tiny" bugs of the season, and also time to fish some streamers when nothing else is going on. Our brown trout are in the middle of spawning season, so it is vital that we give them a break, and leave them and their spawning beds alone. It's up to us [anglers] to be good stewards of the resource, and make sure we have fish for the future. So, watch where you step, and leave the fish you see on shallow gravel beds alone!!! If that isn't a clear enough reason to stay away from spawning beds and fish, here's a little video Redington Fly Gear put out on the subject: https://player.vimeo.com/video/266198626?autoplay=1&loop=0&muted=1&autopause=0
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. Even though the high mountains got snow, there are still plenty of fishing opportunities in the Uinta Mountains. Time to get out and explore!
Check these gauges for updates on water levels!
Fishing Conditions Summary:
Flows out of Jordanelle Reservoir are now 145 CFS. This is a typical late fall flow, and it will make for easier wading. This lower flow will make fish want to seek out deeper holes, and the sunnier weather will make the faster pocket-water, deeper slots, and shady zones good options to fish; especially during the middle of the day. The Lower Provo has dropped in flows, and is now flowing at 123 CFS. This drop in flows will make the Lower another option to go fish, but it will also make the fish want to seek out deeper water and structure. The flows out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir are, as of today, still bumping between 900 CFS-2,000 CFS. It is always smart to check the flows before you go out to Dutch John, especially this time of year. The Weber River below Rockport Reservoir, as of today, is flowing at 28 CFS. The Weber just below Echo Reservoir is now flowing at 1.13 CFS. This makes both the middle and upper-lower sections of the Weber too low to fish; especially as our local Brown Trout begin to prepare for the rigors of the spawn.
Flows on the Middle Provo have been holding steady at 145 CFS. As far as where you should look to fish, it is all about time of day. Our Middle Provo fish will seek out deeper, faster, more sheltered water during the sunniest parts of the day. So, don't overlook any fishy pocket-water, or shady spots along the banks! Fall is here, so it would be very wise to make sure you have your midge boxes with you. Midges typically hatch/lay their eggs in the mornings and evenings, and the fish will definitely be looking for them more and more. The cloudier days have been creating better hatch conditions for our seasonal mayflies. Our fall Blu-Winged Olive mayflies, and tiny Pseudocloeon Mayflies (Micro Baetis), have been out in force from 12 PM-4 PM. When fishing to fish chowing on these little insects, it would be wise to drop your tippet sizes down to 6X-7X, and consider a "fly-first" (i.e. downstream) presentation to the fish.
Lower Provo flows are now at 138 CFS. At these flows the fish will seek out any deeper slots, holes, and any form of structure (rocks, logs, seam lines,etc.) they can find. If you check it out, make sure you have Sow Bugs, a variety of small midge larva, pupa, and adult patterns, small Baetis nymphs and dries. If all else fails try using streamers to move some fish.
The Weber between Wanship and Coalville is, as of today, 28 CFS; and the Weber out of Echo Reservoir is 1 CFS. This lack of flow makes fishing between Rockport and Morgan too low to fish, and with the brown trout spawning, we'd highly recommend giving the Weber a break!!! Above Rockport Reservoir, and down by Mountain Green and Ogden, the Weber still has "fishable" flows. Good Weber River flies to have in your boxes for this time of year are smaller Baetis nymphs, Caddis larva, Caddis Dries, Zebra Midges, Sow Bugs, and streamers in various sizes and colors.
Green River Below Flaming Gorge:
The flows out of Flaming Gorge have been fluctuating between 900 CFS-2,000CFS. Looks like the flow are staying at 900 CFS for most of the day, and then bumping up in the evening. They have been doing this for a while, so the fish should be used to bump, and fishing shouldn't be negatively affected by it. If you are looking to fish dries over on the Green, I would still recommend bringing a variety of terrestrials (Ants, Beetles, Crickets) with you on those "Indian Summer" afternoons, midge patterns, and also small mayfly nymphs, duns, and spinners. The Green will see hatches of Psuedocloeon and Blue-Wing Olive Mayflies until things get really cold out there. These little insects can bring about some fun fishing opportunities that will test your skills and patience, but if that's not your game, searching with a terrestrial-dropper rig can also be effective. The cooler weather of fall can also trigger the start of some very good streamer fishing, so make sure to bring your streamer box with you if you head east!
This cold weather should cause fish in our local reservoirs to start moving closer to shore, and feed more and more aggressively as winter approaches. Even though the high mountains have had snow,as long as you can safely get to the water, the lakes in the Uintas, and Boulder Mountain range will be still good options to go explore for the rest of the fall. Fish should be cruising the edges and hungry throughout the day. So, if you're looking for a change of pace, take a handful of various attractor wet and dry flies, and go on a exploratory trip and see what you can find.
It is definitely time to have your streamer boxes with you. This family of flies can intimidate anglers because of their size, and the perceived notion that you need to dredge the river bottom with huge flies and sinking lines to be successful. I'm here to tell you that you DON'T need a specialty streamer rod to go fish streamers on our local waters. I fish streamers around here on my 4wt.-5wt. trout rods, and I rarely ever use a sinking line. I will tell you that investing in a sinking leader is a very wise choice, but if you want to keep it as simple as possible, a floating line, a short/stout leader (7.5' 0X-3X), and variety of weighted and unweighted streamers will get the job done. If you need anymore tips, or questions answered about these flies, don't hesitate to ask us about them!
As far as my go to leader/tippet choice for this fall season, I'm still running a 7.5' 3X leader, and I carry tippets from 3X-7X. I find that using a short, stout leader like this allows me to fish streamers and dry-dropper rigs, but also allows me to adjust to fishing a variety of smaller flies with a simple tippet adjustment. Temperatures are dropping in the high country, which usually triggers the fish to eat more in order to prepare for the approaching winter season. In short, it would be wise to sneak up to the high country in the Uintas and Boulders to find happy fish and solitude before we get snowed out till next year. Get out there, explore, be safe, and have fun!
Sow Bugs (#16-#18)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20-#22)
Bling Midge (#22)
Gray RS-2 (#20-#24)
Prince Nymphs (#18)
Caddis Larva (#14-#20)
BH Hares Ears (#18)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)
Barr's BWO Emerger (#20-#24)
Barr's PMD Emerger (#18-#20)
Mother Shuckers (#24)
Para. Adams (#20-#26)
Winger BWO (#20-#24)
Winger PMD (#18)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#8-#10)
Platte River Spiders (#4-#6)