NORTHERN UTAH REPORTS
Updated: November 12th, 2023
By: Nick Teynor
*PSA: The local Brown Trout are starting their fall spawning activity, which means it's that time of year where we have to watch where we step and fish. We as a shop have written a handful of articles on why it is important to respect ANY and ALL spawning fish, and I'll make sure to provide links to them so you can refresh yourselves on how to identify a spawning redd so you can avoid walking through them, and why it is unethical and unsustainable to purposefully target fish when they are on their spawning redds. You can find the link to the blog posts HERE. I've also provided a helpful video from Redington on why fishing for spawning fish is not a good idea. You can watch the video HERE. If we all respect our local fisheries, and let the fish reproduce in peace, we'll ALL benefit from it, and have plenty of fish to fish for down the road. PSA*
November has brought more fall like weather, and the cold snaps we've had lately have definitely helped to get the streamer bite going on all of the local fisheries, and the clouds and cooler weather have been essential in getting our Fall Blue-Winged Olive (B.W.O.) mayfly hatching too. Blue Wings will also hatch on the sunny warm days, but they are typically less consistent and shorter in duration. So if you're trying to hit the B.W.O hatch well, going out on cloudy, cooler days is what you want to do. As crazy as it sounds, there are still some folks moving fish with ants, attractor terrestrials, and October Caddis on the sunny, warmer days. However, I would not expect this to last as we get into the colder temperatures of November.
In stream flow news, the flows across the state have dropped. The Lower Provo has been flowing at/around 134 CFS, and the Middle Provo out of Jordanelle Reservoir is flowing at 150 CFS. The Weber out of Echo Reservoir has been all over the place. Flows were 2 CFS, but then shot up to 500 CFS last week, and are now dropping back down to 59 CFS.I have no clue why they did such a high flow push, but it looks like things are dropping fast, so you'll need to check the flows before heading out. Flows are 147 CFS out of Rockport Reservoir, which is a good fishing flow, but I would not be shocked if they drop the flows out of Rockport in the next week or so. In short, check the flows before you go so you don't show up to a river with little to no water!
The Fall Season is here, but with this really nice weather, there are still going to be quite a few 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!
Fishing Conditions Summary
As of today, the Middle Provo is flowing at 150 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 129 CFS at River Road Bridge. At this flow, I'd be focusing on fishing the slower pools and runs-especially during the cloudy, and/or low-light periods. Best chance for moving fish will be on B.W.O. and Pseudo mayfly nymphs and dries (#18-#24), October Caddis (#10-#14), Midge nymphs and dries (#22-#26), and attractor nymphs such as Hot-Spot Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears, Pheasant Tails, Sow Bugs, etc., could work too. A "Dry-Dropper" rig during the heat of the day would be a good idea if there are no B.W.O., Pseudos, or midges around.
The Lower's flow is currently 134 CFS out of Deer Creek. Fishing with streamers during the early mornings and late evenings wouldn't be a bad idea, and nymphing with B.W.O. (#18-#22) and Pseudo (#22-#24) mayfly patterns, Sow Bugs (#18-#22), Caddis Larva (#18), and Midges (#20-#26) would be what I would use on the Lower Provo if there are no bugs hatching. I'd also definitely pack your dry flies for the B.W.O. hatches (#20-#22), Pseudos (#22-#24), and Midges (#22-#26) as well.
The Weber River between Rockport and Echo reservoirs has been bumping around, but is now flowing at 147 CFS. This is a fishable flow for this stretch of the Weber, but they have been raising and dropping flows. In short, check the river gauges before you go!!! Flows out of Echo were 2 CFS, but then shot up to 500 CFS last week, and are now dropping back down to 59 CFS. I have no clue why they did such a high flow push, but it looks like things are dropping fast, so you'll need to check the flows before heading out. If flows out of Rockport get ridiculously low again, I'd recommend heading down towards Morgan, Mountains Green, or Ogden if you want to fish the Lower Weber. Until they tank the flows out of Rockport, the Middle Weber will remain fishable. Your fly selection for the Weber below Rockport will be like the Middle and Lower Provo. While the hatches and dry fly fishing on the Weber can be inconsistent, I'd definitely still bring some B.W.O., Pseudo, and Midge dry flies.
Green River Below Flaming Gorge:
As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge are flowing at/around 867 CFS-1,750 CFS. This projected flow shouldn't negatively impact the fishing too much, but it will make crossing the river inadvisable if you're wading the river. Keep in mind that when flows go up, fish tend to hug the shore structure more, so don't worry about wading out very far at all.
If you're heading to the Green, I'd make sure to bring B.W.O. and Pseudo mayfly nymphs and dries (#20-#24), and attractor dry fly patterns like the Parachute Adams or Parachute Cricket. Dry-Dropper fishing with attractor nymphs like "Frenchies", Perdigons, olive or tan scuds, mayfly nymphs, or Zebra Midges can work well if there are no signs of fish feeding off of the surface.
Locally, reservoirs like Strawberry Reservoir and lower elevation Uinta lakes and reservoirs are still fishing well, and will continue to do so until the reservoir freezes over. Streamers have been fishing well, especially on cloudy days and in the morning and evening, and throwing attractor dry flies and mouse patterns continues to move fish. The Uinta Mountains are starting to pick up snow, and the season up in the high country is coming to a close. So if you fancy a drive into the Uinta Mountains, I'd do it sooner than later!
My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5' 3X leaders for streamers and dry-dropper rigs, 9' 5X leaders for fishing dries, and 3X-6X tippets. 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!!!
Buckskin Nymph (#20-#22)
Bling Midge (#22, #24)
Zebra Midges (#16-#22)
Hare's Ear Nymphs (#18)
Juju Baetis (#20-#22)
Split Case BWO Nymphs (#20-#24)
Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)
Prince Nymphs (#16-#18)
Caddis Larva (#16-#18)
Baetis Swinger (#18)
Soft Hackle Emerger (#20-#22)
Befus B.W.O. Emerger (#20-#22)
Mole Fly (#20-#24)
CDC Thorax BWO (#18, #22)
Winger BWO (#22-#24)
Purple Rooster (#14-#18)
Para. Adams (#12-#24)
Parachute Cricket (#12-#14)
Deer Hair Ant (#12-#16)
Wounded Sculpin (#8)
Woolly Buggers (#8-#12)
Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)
Sow Bugs (#16,#18)
Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)