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River Conditions

Local rivers we frequent

Green River

946 cfs

Provo River

129 cfs

Weber River

28 cfs

NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS

 

Updated: November 26th, 2021

By: Nick Teynor

 

Our fall Blue Wing Olives (BWOs) are starting to fade, and midges will soon be the only hatch in town. The streamer bite on the local lakes and reservoirs has been productive, but will start to turn off as colder weather and ice starts to build on the edges. Some of our tailwater fisheries have had the water literally turned off on them for the winter, so make sure you check the river gauges before you go, or give us a call if your not sure about what's going on.

You may or may not have heard this on the news, but due to a mistake by the Rockport Dam operators, the tailwater section of the Weber River between Rockport and Echo Reservoirs had the water completely turned off. As a result, fish were left high and dry, and a lot fish died. Between the exponential increase in fishing pressure, the tough drought year, and now this tragic fish kill, it is time to leave the Weber and its trout alone. The river and fish have been through a lot, and if we want to have fish to fish for next year, we'll need as many of the surviving brown trout to spawn successfully.

That being said, Brown trout are spawning everywhere now, so if we want to have big fish to catch next year, we need to leave spawning fish alone now. I just wrote a blog post about why it is so important for anglers to leave fish on spawning redds alone, and why we have to REALLY watch where we're stepping when fishing our local trout streams. You can read the blog post here.

The rivers, lakes, and streams took a beating from anglers these past two seasons, and just like last year, there are more bodies than usual 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. 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.

 

 

Check these gauges for updates on water levels!

1) Central Utah Water Conservancy District

2) USGS Streamflow

 

Fishing Conditions Summary

 

Middle Provo:

As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 148 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 136 CFS at River Road Bridge. This is a better flow for wading, but it will make fish want to seek out the deeper channels and holes of the river. The fish are still looking out for small Blue Wing Olives, and midges when there are no mayflies hatching. With the flows dropping, the bugs getting smaller, and the fish getting fished to hard, it's important to pack your fine tippets with you (6X-7X), and make sure you have every stage of the bugs (nymphs, emergers, dries, etc.) when you head out. If you head to the Middle, bring your Blue Wing Olives in #20-#24, and the usual tiny midges (#22-#26).  

Fishing a soft hackle on a slow, down-and-across swing during the non-hatch periods/windy days, or drifting/stripping a streamer, is always worth trying when the light is low, and when there are no bugs hatching. 

 

Lower Provo:

The Lower's flow is currently 95 CFS. This is the winter flow we've been anticipating, and with this drop in flows, the fish will be looking to winter over in the deep, slow pools and holes. When nothing has been hatching, nymphing with #16-#20 Sow Bugs, #20-#24 mayfly nymphs, and #18-#24 midge larva and pupa will usually move a fish or two. Fishing soft-hackles on a slow swing, and drifting/stripping a streamer through the deeper holes, troughs, and channels can be effective when nothing else seems to be moving fish. 

 

Weber River:

As mentioned above, due to a mistake by the Rockport Dam operators, the tailwater section of the Weber River between Rockport and Echo Reservoirs had the water completely turned off. As a result, fish were left high and dry, and a lot fish died. Between the exponential increase in fishing pressure, the tough drought year, and now this tragic fish kill, it is time to leave the Weber and its trout alone. Below Echo Reservoir, flows are now at 1.5 CFS.

The Weber below Mountain Green and into Ogden is still flowing at a fishable level, but it is only a matter of time before it too will need us [anglers] to give it a break for the long-term health of the fishery. 

 

Green River and Other Waters:

As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir have dropped to 888 CFS

Midges, and Blue Wing Olives have been moving fish on the surface, and I anticipate these same bugs will still move fish for the next couple of weeks. If the surface action is slow when you head out to DJ, don't be afraid to run a nymph 2'-4' behind a big dry fly. I'd also recommend you bring your streamers for fishing in the early morning, and late-afternoon to evening. If you're a walk-n-wade angler, it would be wise to take a slow stroll, and look to "sight fish" to fish feeding off the surface, or suspended off the bottom. When in doubt, prospecting with a #12-#16 Parachute Adams trailed 2'-3' by small Zebra Midges (#18-#20), Scuds (#18-#22), or small mayfly nymphs (#18-#22) will usually move a fish or two. If you need to pick up some flies, give the shop a call, and we'll get you everything you need. 

 

Other Waters:

If you're looking to get up to the high country (Uinta and Boulder Mountains) and get some fishing in on the lakes, now until the snow flies and the ice locks up the lakes is a great time to do so. Fishing in the lakes will be productive with leech patterns, Woolly Buggers, attractor nymphs and dries, and chironomids (i.e. lake midges). The larger reservoirs (Strawberry, Current Creek, etc.) should fish well with streamers as the weather gets cooler and cooler too.

 

Fishing Tip(s):

My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5 1X leaders, and 1X-2X tippets for #6-#10 streamers. For the smaller bugs, I taper down from a 9' 5X leader to 5X, 6X, or 7X tippets. My choice of tippet off of my 5X 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!!!

 

FLY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Bling Midge (#22, #24)

WD-40 (#22)

Barr's BWO Emerger (#20-#24)

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)

Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)

Bling Midge (#22, #24)

Juju Baetis (#20, #24)

Split Case BWO (#20, #22)

"Frenchie" Pheasant Tail (#18)

P.T. Soft Hackle (#16)

Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)

Cripple Baetis (#20, #22)

Befus Emerger (#22)

BWO Thorax (#20, #22)

Winger BWO (#22, #24)

Mother-Shucker (#20,#24)

Purple Rooster (#14-#18)

Para. Adams (#12-#22)

Wounded Sculpin (#8)

Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)

Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)

Leeches (#8)

Confidant (#4)

Sculpzilla! (#8)

Sow Bugs (#16,#18)

Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)

San Juan Worms (#12-#16)