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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: May 3rd, 2022

By: Nick Teynor

May is here, and with its arrival, the first flow bumps of the year have begun. The Green River below Flaming Gorge will bump soon, and the Middle/Lower Provo and Middle Weber saw significant river bumps over the weekend. So if you're looking to head out and fish over the next couple of weeks, check the river gauges before you go! Our spring Blue Wing Olive mayflies and Skwala stoneflies are still hatching, and with the arrival of May, the Mother's Day Caddis hatch should be happening soon. Midges are still a huge factor, and will be throughout the Spring season, so make sure you bring them with you too when you head out. Spring is also the time when our resident Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout spawn. Just like during the Brown Trout spawn, it's important to make sure you watch where you fish and step!!! Respect spawning fish by not fishing to them, or stepping on their redds, and we [anglers] all win in the long-term. 

The new norm is that 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 250 CFS out of Jordanelle Reservoir, and 185 CFS at River Road Bridge. This is a typical spring bump in flows, and with this bump, expect the fish to spread out a little, and move to find more structure as flows increase through May. Midges are still hatching daily, so it's important to pack your fine tippets with you (6X-7X), and make sure you have every stage of the midge life-cycle (nymphs, emergers, dries, etc.) when you head out. Blue Wing Olives are popping off still, so make sure you bring your Blue Wing nymphs, emergers, and dries, in sizes #18-#22 with you too. On the sunnier, warmer days, it would be worthwhile to bring some Skwala Stonefly dries in size #12, and cover all of the "fishy" water-especially riffles, pocket water, and river edges.

If you're trying to hit the Blue Wing hatch, you can expect to see the Blue Wing Olives hatching between 12 PM-4 PM. Mother's Day Caddis should be hatching in the next couple of weeks, so make sure you bring your cased caddis larva patterns (#16-#18), caddis pupa patterns (#16-#18), and olive to peacock caddis dry flies (#16-#18). Nymphing has been productive with midge larva and pupa patterns in sizes #22-#26, sow bugs in sizes #16-#20, Blue Wing nymphs in #18-#22, stonefly nymphs in #12-#14, and worm patterns in #12-#18.

Fishing a soft hackle on a slow, down-and-across swing during the non-hatch periods, or fishing a streamer, is always worth trying when the light is low, and fishing with other techniques is slow.

 

Lower Provo:

The Lower's flow is currently 333 CFS.  With this bump in flows, the fish will be looking to relocate closer to the river edges, and find any slower moving water broken up by structure (i.e. rocks, logs, river banks, etc.). The Blue Wing Olives are still hatching, but they are slowing down a little.  So if you head down to the canyon, make sure you bring you Blue Wing nymphs, emergers, and dry flies in sizes #18-#22 with you. Midges mating in the mornings and evenings, and hatching throughout the day will still be of interest to the fish. Just like the Middle Provo, make sure you bring your 6X tippets, and look to be on the water from 10 AM-4 PM to try and hit the Midge and Blue Wing Olive hatch.  Nymphing with #16-#20 Sow Bugs, Worms in #12-#16, Caddis Larva in #16-#18, #18-#22 mayfly nymphs, and #18-#22 midge larva and pupa will usually move a fish or two if nothing is rising. As long as the flows don't drastically fluctuate, we could also see Skwala stoneflies and Mother's Day caddis popping off when the weather is warmer. 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:

Flows on the Weber River between Rockport and Echo are FINALLY at a fishable level. Flows out of Rockport are 155 CFS, which is a great fishing flow, and hopefully it will stay at those flows long enough for the Mother's Day Caddis to get going in the next week or so. Now that this stretch of the Weber is at a fishable flow, I'd recommend fishing with the same flies and techniques we've recommended for the either the Middle or Lower Provo if you head that direction.

 

Green River and Other Waters:

As of right now, the flows on the Green below Flaming Gorge Reservoir are flowing at 888 CFS. Flows are expected to rise on or around May 5th to 1,800 CFS in order to send water down to Lake Powell. This bump in flows will affect the fishing for a day or so, but once things settle down, these higher flows will make for better fishing for the rest of the season.

Midge and Blue Wing Olives are still popping off, but as the weather warms I would expect to start seeing some Caddis, Ants and Beetles, and Cicadas. If you're heading over there in the next couple of weeks, I'd recommend you come prepared with your Blue Wing Olive nymphs, emergers and dries in sizes #18-#22. If the surface action is slow to non-existent when you head out to DJ, don't be afraid to run a nymph 2'-4' behind a biggish dry fly. I'd also recommend you bring your streamers for fishing when there is no hatch, and for covering water. 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 Cricket or Parachute Adams, trailed 2'-4' by small Zebra Midges (#18-#20), Scuds (#18-#22), or small mayfly nymphs (#18-#22) will usually move a fish or two. Streamer fishing is a good thing to try if the dry fly and nymph fishing is slow. If you need to pick up some flies, give the shop a call, and we'll get you everything you need. 

 

Other Waters:

High Country fishing is done until June, but the Southern Utah reservoirs and local reservoirs are iced-off or in the process of icing off. For those of you who like to chase warm-water fish species with a fly rod, May is a good time to start looking for bass, panfish, and carp.

 

Fishing Tip(s):

My go to leaders for fishing during this time of year are 7.5 2X leaders, and 2X-3X tippets for #6-#10 streamers. For the smaller bugs, I taper down from a 9' 4X leader to 4X-6X tippets. My choice of tippet off of my 4X 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)

"Top Secret" Midge (#24)

Black Beauty Midge (#24-26)

WD-40 (#18-22)

Zebra Midges (#16-#22)

Buckskin Nymph (#20,#22)

Barr's BWO Emerger (#18-#22)

RS-2 (#18-#22)

Juju Baetis (#18-#22)

"Frenchie" Pheasant Tail (#18)

Jig-Head Pheasant Tail (#18)

Pheasant Tail Nymphs (#18-#22)

Red Ass Soft Hackle (#18)

Pulsating Emerger (#22)

Baetis Swinger Soft Hackle (#18)

Black Para. Midge (#22)

Mother-Shucker (#20,#24)

Hi-Vis Gnat (#20-#24)

Turkey Baetis (#18-#22)

CDC Thorax BWO (#18-#22)

Purple Rooster (#14-#18)

Para. Adams (#14-#22)

Olive PMX (#12)

Water Walker Skwala (#12)

Wounded Sculpin (#8)

Woolly Buggers (#6-#10)

Platte River Spiders (#4,#6)

Leeches (#8)

Sow Bugs (#16,#18)

Soft Hackle Sow Bugs (#16, #20)

San Juan Worms (#12-#16)