NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: May 26th, 2023
By: Nick Teynor
*SAVE THE DATE!!! JUNE 10th, OUR ANNUAL WESTERN RIVERS FISH FAIR RETURNS. DETAILS TO FOLLOW IN THE COMING WEEKS.*
*HIGH WATER UPDATE*
Well, "the bump" we were waiting for on the Middle and Lower Provo has started. Lower Provo went up to 1,018 CFS, and the Middle has bumped up to 1,300 CFS. If you choose to check the Middle and Lower out, the fish will be literally be right by the shore and/or up in the willows, and you will not want or need to get in the water. Weber out of Echo Reservoir down through Ogden is blown out, and should be avoided by anglers for safety reasons. Current flows are 450 CFS out of Echo Reservoir, and anywhere from 2,700-3,000 CFS the closer you get to Ogden. So check the flows before you head out so aren't surprised by a flow bump! Frankly, I'd encourage you all to expand your horizons by checking out the many pond, lake, and reservoir options we have across the state while our local rivers are raging.
Based on the flow bumps we're already seeing, it's clear that this run-off season is going to be longer than normal. That doesn't mean you need to stop fishing! When the rivers blow out, our local ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are just starting to get good to great fishing conditions. Spring is also a good time to start fishing for the "go to" warm water fish species like sunfish, bass, carp, etc. If you've been wanting to get out and chase fish on lakes, but don't know where to go, or what to use, we have a couple of Crash Course Fishing Clinics coming up dedicated to lake fishing, and going after warm water fish species. Great way to get the info you need to branch out and expand your fishing horizons while we wait for the high-water season to pass by.
Rainbow and Cutthroat trout will begin spawning in our local fisheries over the next couple of months, so it is super important to make sure we don't fish to them or tread through their redds in order to prevent squashing their eggs. 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 Spring Season upon us there are starting to be 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!
1) Central Utah Water Conservancy District
Fishing Conditions Summary
As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 1,300 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 1,280 CFS at River Road Bridge. At this flow, fishing will be limited to the banks, and your best chance for moving a fish will be on nymphs or streamers. Water is absolutely frigid (32 degrees) coming out of Jordanelle Reservoir, so waiting to check out the Middle until the heat of the day would be smart. Or better yet, go check out a pond, lake, or reservoir!
The Lower's flow is currently 1,018 CFS. At these flows, we'd recommend taking a break, and go look to find some pond, lake, or reservoir options to explore. If you still want to attempt to fish it at these flows, the fish will literally be right next to the bank, so there will be no reason to get in the water.
The Weber River between Rockport and Echo reservoirs is at a fishable level, for now. Flows out of Rockport are now 200 CFS above where Silver Creek dumps into the Weber, and 315 CFS downstream. Flows out of Echo are 474 CFS, which is a borderline fishable flow. I'd highly recommend checking the flow gauge out of both Rockport and Echo Reservoirs before heading out, however, as flows out of both are subject to change without warning. The Lower-Lower Weber (Mountain Green-Ogden) is running between 2,700 CFS-3,000 CFS, which is NOT a safe flow to try and fish it at. I'd recommend your fly selection for the Weber below Rockport to focus on streamers, and nymphs like San Juan worms, sow bugs, attractor nymphs, etc.
Green River and Other Waters:
As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir have dropped to 846 CFS. This will be the predicted flow for the next couple of weeks, but always check the river flows before heading out-especially if you're planning on walking/wading the Green! Be prepared fish Midges and leftover Blue Wing Olive mayflies from top to bottom as they are the primary bugs hatching this time of year. On sunnier days, if there are no fish up eating midges or BWO dries, taking a walk and prospecting with a #12-#14 Para. Cricket trailed by a #16-#18 Wine or Brown Zebra midge can be effective. Haven't heard anything about cicadas, but if you're heading to the Green, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pack a few. Nymphing with attractor nymphs like "Frenchies", Perdigons, olive or tan scuds, small mayfly nymphs, and trailing them with a midge larva or pupa can also work if there is no surface activity. Fishing during the warmest/most comfortable part of the day is still your best bet for finding any dry fly action out there. Streamer fishing during the Spring can be good to great out on the Green, and often times your best and only option on a very windy day.
If you do want to go out and explore, going to Idaho or farther north may be in order. The Henry's Fork Salmonfly hatch is just starting to get going, and while you won't be alone in any sense of the word, it is another fishable option to explore. Ponds, lakes, and reservoirs have iced-off, and should provide good fishing opportunities through the high water season. For those of you who have been calling about ice-off on Strawberry Reservoir, it's come and gone, but the fishing remains good. Take a drive, go find a good looking bay, and pack streamers.
My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5' 2X leaders and 2X-4X tippets for fishing streamers and larger nymphs, and 9' 4X leaders/4X-6X tippet for fishing dries. 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!!!
Bling Midge (#22, #24)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)
Barr's BWO Emerger (#20-#24)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#16-#22)
Prince Nymphs (#12-#14)
Cased Caddis Larva (#16-#18)
Graphic Caddis Olive and Tan (#16)
OL X-Caddis (#16)
OL EZ Caddis (#16)
Spent Partridge Caddis (#16)
Pheasant Tail Soft Hackle (#16)
Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat (#22)
Purple Rooster (#14-#18)
Para. Adams (#14-#22)
Parachute Cricket (#12-#!4)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)
Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)
Sow Bugs (#16,#18)
Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)
San Juan Worms (#12, #16)
Squirmy Worm (#12)